How often does a business fire alarm need to be tested?

Dec 14, 2020

In all commercial buildings, the fire alarm test must be carried out each week. This is usually carried out by a designated person or the site's Responsible Person.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

To comply with the RRO, your premises, equipment and devices must be regularly maintained by a competent person – which, of course, includes your fire alarm system.

Expanding on this is the guidance set out in the relevant British Standard: BS 5839, which recommends fire alarm detection systems are inspected by a competent person at least twice a year.

What happens during a weekly fire alarm test?

For each fire alarm test ran, a competent person should log the date and time of the test, and take appropriate action – right away – if there’s a fault.

The following recommendations are applicable:

  • Every week, a manual call point should be operated within normal working hours. It should be confirmed that the control equipment is capable of processing a fire alarm signal and providing an output to fire alarm sounders, and to ensure that the fire alarm signal is correctly received at any ARC to which the fire alarm signals are transmitted.
  • Occupants should be instructed that they report any instance of poor auditability of the fire alarm signal.
  • A different manual call point should be used at the time of every weekly test, so that all manual call points in the building are tested in rotation. The duration for the test should be at least 5s.

A logbook needs to be kept for the purpose of recording all events that occur in respect of the system.

Where do Fire Alarms need to be installed in a business premises?

When installing a fire system, is it common to have detectors on the ceiling, this is the perfect position for a fire alarm detector, because any smoke that is produced will ascend up towards the detector. However, in the case that the fire is not seen, having a smoke alarm in the room could give you the extra awareness and time that it takes to get out safely.

Contact us for help on business fire alarm testing

You can find out more about business fire safety and fire alarms by following the links below:

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