Fire Alarms Servicing – what’s it all about?

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Published: August 30, 2022

Installing a fire alarm..

How often should my fire alarm be serviced?

Legally a fire alarm system needs to be ‘adequately maintained’, however British Standards recommends that your fire alarm system should be inspected and serviced by an accredited professional at least every 6 months – see BS phrase below. If your business uses a more complex system, or the space you’re protecting is more susceptible to fire, we recommend servicing your fire alarms at least quarterly.

Fire Alarm – BS 5839-1:2017

45.3 Recommendations for periodic inspection and test of the system

The recommendations in this clause should be carried out by a competent person (see 3.11). The period between successive inspection and servicing visits should be based upon a risk assessment, taking into account the type of system installed, the environment in which it operates and other factors that may affect the long term operation of the system. The recommended period between successive inspection and servicing visits should not exceed six months. If this recommendation is not implemented, it should be considered that the system is no longer compliant with this part of BS 5839.’

The importance of fire alarm servicing

Fire alarms systems alert the occupants of a building in the event of a fire. With about 150,000 fire incidents in England last year, it is clear to see the importance of ensuring your fire alarm system is fully functional is paramount.

Fire alarm.. Fire risk assesment. Installing a fire alarm..

Why do I need to service my fire alarm system?

Fire alarm servicing is an obligation for employers under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Furthermore, under the Regulatory Reform Order 2005, most commercial properties will require a fire alarm system. There are some exceptions, however it is always advisable to err on the side of caution.

Servicing your fire alarm is also important in order to prevent false alarms. In 2021, 40% of the incidents attended by Fire and Rescue services were false alarms. False alarms are not only detrimental to your business's productivity, they also potentially direct fire rescue services away from real fires. To tackle this issue, the London Fire Brigade introduced a charging scheme to start recovering costs from false alarms.

What else can I do to ensure my fire alarm is in full working order?

It is recommended by British Standards, and ourselves, that you carry out a weekly call point test. Should you opt not to follow this recommendation, you may need to explain your reasoning to any fire officers that visit your premises.

Fire alarm testing is different from fire alarm servicing. The service we provide at ISE Fire involves a comprehensive check of your entire fire alarm system, whereas weekly testing simply ensures that your fire alarm is in working order.