Testing Fire Alarm Call Points

How an Addressable Fire Alarm System Works

Most large commercial-grade fire alarm systems today are an addressable fire alarm system. Addressable fire alarm systems, also known as 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 to pinpoint the location of the possibly emergency situation. 
Fire panels like these come in handy when you need to protect a large area, such as a sporting venue or office building, which might have 10,000 to 20,000 points throughout the facility., A point is anything that detects fire, smoke, or heat, such as a smoke detector or sprinkler head. 


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 evacuate 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, city, or a local engineer. The specifics on what codes are enforced and how vary widely so testing requirements for your fire alarm call points must be set and verified by your local AHJ. Your AHJ also determines your testing schedule so refer to them regarding test frequency.  

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 your state. 
At FSS Technologies, all 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, and ensure your business is properly protected.

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