Fire safety equipment is an essential element of any commercial or business premises, and you need to be sure it’s going to do its job in the event of a fire. You also have fire safety legal obligations and regulatory requirements that you must adhere to, and these requirements go beyond identifying fire risks and getting a fire safety system installed.
Fire alarm servicing and maintenance are not only vital but also form part of your legal obligations. And, a big part of this essential maintenance is a weekly fire alarm test. Read on to find out more.
Why Is Fire Alarm Testing Important?
Fire alarm servicing includes the regular testing of your wireless fire alarms for these four crucial reasons:
Fire Alarms Save Lives
In the event of a fire, early action saves lives and reduces injury. A fully operational fire alarm system will alert you of a fire and its location, and weekly fire alarm testing is one of the ways you can be sure this will happen.
Avoid Costly Damage
A fire at your premises will be costly to recover from. Data released in 2020 showed the mean average loss in the event of a major fire was £657,074. 43% of this figure was the cost of property damage. Other costs included interruption to business or services and loss of stock. Proper maintenance of your fire alarm system will minimise this risk for you.
Protect Your Insurance Claims
A faulty or improperly maintained fire alarm system could invalidate an insurance claim in the event of a fire. Evidence of maintaining your fire alarm system and regular testing could help to avoid delays to the settlement of your claim.
Prevent False Alarms
Weekly testing of your wireless fire alarm will highlight any operational issues and can also prevent false alarms. Local fire and rescue services are now able to charge you to recover their costs if your business premises make multiple false callouts.
Need help with choosing a fire alarm? Check out our guide on how to pick the right fire alarm for your construction site.
What Are The Legal Requirements of Fire Alarm Maintenance?
It is your legal obligation under The Fire Safety Order to have a ‘fully operational and adequately maintained’ fire alarm system. To comply with this law, BS 5389 (the safety standard recommended by the UK government) states that your fire alarm system should be inspected by a competent person at least every 6 months.
In addition, it is a regulatory requirement that all fire alarm systems in commercial premises are tested weekly to ensure that there has not been any major failure and that the fire alarm system is in working order.
The law also states that for all business and commercial premises, there is a ‘Responsible Person’ who is responsible for compliance with the legislation in the Fire Safety Order. They are also responsible for the maintenance of the fire alarm system, and the weekly testing.
Fire safety laws, and compliance with regulatory standards, are enforced by the local fire and rescue service. Officers can make a spot check at any time, and if you are found to be in breach of the law you could face a fine or even prosecution.
Testing Your Wireless Fire Alarm
So now you know why you need to test your fire alarm, our five easy steps will help you to implement a weekly fire alarm test to ensure you stay compliant with the regulations.
- Test your fire alarm once a week, at the same time every week (so the occupants of your building know what to expect and can differentiate between a fire alarm test and a real fire alarm). The responsible person should perform the test.
- Activate at least one call-point in each weekly test, checking that the alarm sounds in all parts of the building and the control panel receives the signal. Sound the alarm for one minute or less. (Any longer might cause building occupants to think there is a real fire alarm.)
- Record the results of the test in your fire alarm maintenance logbook, including the location of the call point tested. You should also log any failures or operational issues you encountered.
- Reset the fire alarm control panel
- Report any failures or operational issues to your fire alarm maintainer.
Get expert advice on Wireless Fire Alarm Safety
Here at Evacuator Site Alarms, we are dedicated to creating the best fire detection solutions for the developing needs of the industry. For advice on the most suitable wireless fire safety solutions for your project, contact our team of experts on 0330 135 5337 or at email@example.com.