Fire Alarm Testing

Fire Alarm Testing

Why do I need to carry it out?

Fire alarm and detection systems are designed and installed as an early warning system to the inhabitants of buildings that danger from fire is imminent. A system that is correctly designed, installed and maintained will ensure that all employees, residents and patients have adequate time to evacuate a building and alert the fire authorities in good time.

The Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 requires that fire alarm and automatic detection systems should be installed where there is a requirement for early warning of fire. Periodic testing and inspection of all fire alarms and detection systems is essential to ensure they will operate correctly in the event of a fire; poor maintenance can lead to failure of these systems, with catastrophic consequences.

It is the responsibility of all employers to ensure that these systems are suitably maintained, and checked to ensure they are safe and compliant. All fire alarm and detection systems should now be installed, tested and inspected in accordance with BS5839 pt 1.

Who is responsible?

Realistically, everybody has an obligation to ensure the safety of others whilst at work; however, your employer will have the ultimate responsibility for electrical safety. If nobody at your place of work is assigned as the safety representative, then the responsibility falls on the most senior person. It is important to know who has the responsibility for safety and welfare of staff in order to establish that compliance is achieved.

What does it involve?

Fire alarm and detection system testing and inspection involves a series of visual checks carried out on the components of the system to ensure their integrity. This will include cables, containment, panels, detectors and sounders. Whilst this type of work is completely non-evasive, it will also be necessary for the inspecting engineer to carry out a fire alarm drill which involves triggering the alarm system via a detector or break-glass unit.

It is important to communicate with your inspecting engineer to establish a convenient time to perform this test, as staff on site must be notified of the drill situation in order to avoid unnecessary evacuation.

Who should do the work?

It is vital that this type of work is carried out by a qualified and experienced testing engineer. Such testing engineers are generally fully qualified electricians who have experience of test and inspection and have been specifically trained and qualified in the testing and inspection of fire alarms and detection systems. When selecting your contractor you should ask to see evidence of their qualifications and experience in this type of work.

Will it impact on my workplace?

There will be some impact, such as fire alarm sounders being activated for a short time. With careful planning and co-ordination between you and your contractor, this can be conducted at a time that best suits your business. Be wary of contractors that tell you this work can be fully carried out without sounding the fire alarm – it is impossible.

What will I receive?

Upon completion of fire detection and alarm system testing you should receive a report that details the following:

– Installation details and characteristics
– Circuit information and test results
– Schedule of items tested and inspected
– A list of defects or deviations from the British Standard (these will require attention)

If you are not a technical person, then your contractor should be pleased to talk through your report with you and advise you of any further action required. Your contractor should enter the details of the inspection in your on-site log-book.

How much will it cost?

To obtain a quick and easy quote, please call us on 0845 465 0464 or use the contact form on the right to get in touch with us.

What could happen if I don’t do it?

Aside from the threat of prosecution in the event of fire, injury or death, surely the safety of your colleagues, employees, patients or belongings are reason enough to test and inspect your fire alarms and detection system.

How can we help?

Selectatest is one of the UK’s leading independent Electrical Safety Testing specialists. We have a wide range of accreditations including NAPIT and NICEIC – more can be found on our ‘Accreditations’ page.

Do you have any testimonials?

We can provide testimonials and references from over 200 satisfied customers across all sectors and regions, please request these from our sales department.

Will I qualify for any discount?

Selectatest is a nominated supplier under many Public and Private sector framework agreements, and works with a number of multi-company buying groups. These frameworks and groups open up potential discounts for customers who are eligible to buy through them. To see if your organisation is eligible for any of the available discount packages, or to discuss your own potential volume discount, please call us on 0845 465 0464 or use our contact form to get in touch.

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