How Often Should You Inspect Your Fire Alarm System?

Jul 15, 2020

Everyone dreads the day when fire alarm systems are being tested because they are often loud and a little annoying. However, the importance of making sure your fire alarms are working properly outweighs the small distraction of lights and noise. Putting off a fire alarm inspection can be both risky and negligent for business owners as it puts both employees and property at risk.

Moreover, putting off inspections and testing may put you into contempt of your local regulations. It is your responsibility to make sure your fire alarms are in proper functioning order in your home, and that applies to your business as well.

New Equipment or Updates

The original test to check any new equipment in your business is referred to as Initial Acceptance Testing in NFPA 72, 14.4.1.1, and there are Reacceptance Tests outlined in NFPA 72, 14.4.1.2.

These tests will help you to make sure that your new equipment and systems are working. Even brand-new equipment can experience issues or be set up improperly. When updates are made, you will need to double-check that all your equipment continues to communicate correctly. Problems can arise with updates if your equipment is old and not supported on new systems.

Visual Checks

At FSS Technologies, we recommend you do routine visual system checks monthly to ensure that your smoke detectors are functioning, emergency doors are clear from obstructions, and your alarm system notifications are working. These tests can be done quickly and outside working hours, so they do not interrupt your team’s work.

These visual checks include looking for obstructions in front of your doors, obvious cracks or issues with lights or equipment. You should also make sure that none of the warning system lights are on for any of your control panels or equipment.

 

Quarterly Inspections

You should be doing a thorough inspection of your entire fire alarm system every quarter. These quarterly tests should include cleaning the dust that can accumulate around the sensors of the smoke detectors. Dust and debris on smoke detectors can make them less efficient at detecting a fire.

These detailed inspections should include a visual check of your batteries for corrosion and review the connections or any wires that might be out of place.

During your thorough check, you should refer to NFPA 72, Chapter 14, for more details. Your local jurisdiction might have different requirements that you need to adhere to as well.

Testing

Functional testing is essential as well because visual checks cannot show you any technical problems with your system. This kind of testing is done by professionals to ensure that your fire system and detection devices are working. A professional team will test everything from your system’s alarms to the connection between your system and the monitoring system (if you have one).

FSS Technologies conducts fire alarm testing to ensure that your equipment is functioning and meets the appropriate standards for your local jurisdiction. Our experts will check each piece of the warning system, from sound alarms to strobe lights, as well as the different elements of the control panel. For FSS Technologies customers, we will be able to seamlessly communicate with our monitoring team to ensure the systems are synced. 

If you want to get started with a new fire monitoring system or are looking for a professional inspector, contact us.

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