Testing Fire Alarm Systems

Health and safety is hugely important for all businesses and that must include regular fire alarm testing.

All companies and businesses should regularly carry out routine tests on their fire alarms but, in the UK, The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 also requires that fire alarm systems are properly tested and maintained, and the best way to do this is to use the services of an electrical contractor.

Why Fire Alarm Systems Should Be Regularly Tested

Obviously, the main function of a fire alarm system is to save lives. And, in conjunction with other fire control equipment such as fire doors and fire curtains, a fire alarm system will allow anyone inside the building plenty of time to safely leave the premises and for the fire brigade to arrive and contain the fire.

However, for an alarm system to function properly it must be regularly maintained and tested. Like all things, fire alarm systems will decay and suffer from natural damage such as becoming dirty. Added to this natural wear and tear is the fact that batteries will become worn over time and they must be replaced regularly.

To ensure that the system works as it should and is kept in the best condition possible and electrical services company can be contracted to regularly inspect and, if necessary, repair the system. A full test will be carried out once a year but employers should also have a periodic testing program in place were a member of staff routinely sounds the alarm to ensure everything is working OK.

This periodic testing by an employer is mandatory and failure to have such a program in place will result in the local authority withdrawing the companies fire safety certificate. The reason for this is that if the system is not regularly tested and maintained it may not function correctly in the event of a fire – a situation which could of course lead to a tragic outcome.

Of course, without a fire safety certificate the company would not be able to trade so regular fire alarm checks make sense not only from a safety point of view but also from a manufacturing point of view.

The Testing Process

Unfortunately the testing of a fire alarm system will inevitably lead to some disruption within the workplace; particularly when the systems siren or sounder is tested. Although this can be annoying for staff the actual disruption caused is very minimal and working time lost almost zero.

It is important that the system is thoroughly tested with all the different parts, starting with the main panel, being examined and tested. Other parts of the system to be checked will include the batteries to ensure they are fully charged and not worn; the smoke and heat detectors to make sure they are fully sensitive and the bells or sounders to ensure they are suitably audible in all parts of the premises.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

It is in everyone’s best interests that business premises strictly adhere to the health and safety guidelines laid down in government legislation and employers can do this by ensuring that their fire alarm systems are regularly tested and maintained by a suitable electrical services company.

Powerplus Ltd provide a complete PAT testing and fire alarm testing service to companies throughout the UK



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