As a business owner or property manager, your building is most certainly protected by a fire alarm system. But do you know how frequently you should be getting the fire alarm inspected?
Failing to inspect and test your fire alarm system regularly could lead to heavy fines at best, or damage to or loss of life or property at worst.
Types of Fire Alarm Inspection
To see when your fire panel was last inspected you must find the actual panel (not the keypad). Either on the outside of the box or inside the door there will be a BLUE Inspection Sticker with the date of the last inspection.
It is the state law that all components of the fire alarm system must be inspected regularly. This means everything from the control panel; fuses; LEDs; heat, smoke and duct detectors; and visual and audible alarm signals must be inspected. For a full explanation of all inspection and testing requirements, be sure to read NFPA 72, Chapter 14.
In brief, however, while each local jurisdiction may have slight variations on some of these requirements, you will need to perform regular visual inspections as well as annual testing.
Visual Inspections: visual inspections of fire alarm components may be required as frequently as once a week or infrequently as twice a year.
Weekly Visual Inspection: control panels and equipment, such as the power supplies, fuses, LEDs, and trouble signals must be visually inspected weekly.
Monthly / Semiannual Visual Inspection: batteries need to be visually inspected for corrosion on a monthly or semiannual basis, while initiating devices such as heat, smoke, and duct detectors must be visually inspected semiannually.
Annual Visual Inspection: once a year, all components and equipment should be visually inspected to ensure no detrimental changes.
Testing: in addition to visual inspections, all fire alarm systems must be tested to ensure proper function. Most components only require annual testing, though a few do require semiannual testing. Check with your local jurisdiction for the proper schedule in your area.
Testing will be a thorough process carried out by professionals, making sure that all detectors and fire alarm system signals are working and communicating properly. All power sources, including the battery backup, will be tested to ensure they are functioning sufficiently. If there is a monitoring company, it will be verified that an alarm signal successfully reaches them.
Who to Call
Regular inspections and annual testing is the law and is necessary to ensure the safety of your employees, customers and property. Call our professional, licensed fire alarm technicians at (972) 612-0938 today to schedule your service!