Testing Fire Alarm Call Points

Aug 27, 2019

How an Addressable Fire Alarm System Works

Most large commercial-grade fire alarm systems today use Addressable Fire Panels. Addressable Fire Panels give every smoke detector or sprinkler head on the system its own uniquely identifiable address or call point. 
 
When any sensor on the system is triggered, the main control panel shows exactly which device or point was triggered this way you know exactly where there may be an emergency situation.

Fire panels like these come in handy when you need to protect a large area, such as a hockey stadium, which might have 10 to 20,000 points throughout the facility. Again, a point is anything that detects fire, smoke, or heat, such as a smoke detector or sprinkler head.
 

Fire alarm testing ensures that all the components of your system are functioning correctly

Fire Alarm Testing Requirements

Fire alarm testing ensures that all the components of your system are functioning correctly; meaning every point on your alarm is tested:
  • Pull stations will be activated
  • Horns and strobes will be sounded
  • Smoke detectors and sprinkler heads will be checked
  • Doors will be checked to ensure they close properly
  • People will have to leave the building
The National Fire Protection Association’s standard for fire detection, signaling, and emergency communication demands are NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code®. While local municipalities base their codes and standards on NFPA 72, there can be many differences depending on where your building is located.
 

Fire Code Enforcement

The Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) is the organization, office, or individual responsible for enforcing fire codes. The AHJ where you are located may be your county. It may be your city. It may be an engineer. There can be many differences between AHJs in how they enforce codes and what codes are enforced, so testing requirements for your fire alarm call points must be set and verified by them.
 
Fire alarm testing may be required to happen weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually, depending on your AHJ.
 

a tester for fire alarm call points must be certified by the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) or licensed by the state

Who Can Test a Fire Alarm?

 
A tester for fire alarm call points must be certified by the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) or licensed by the state.
 
At FSS Technologies, our fire alarm system designers and installers are NICET certified. We understand the nuances of installing, testing, and inspecting fire alarms in most jurisdictions. Contact us for a free consultation.
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