As a business owner/manager, you will be well aware of your fire safety responsibilities, having both a legal and moral responsibility to combat the threat of fires. From ensuring the right fire extinguishers are in the right locations to installing fire doors where necessary, there are many things you may already be doing to protect your business, its staff as well as its customers and visitors.
However, when it comes to enhancing the fire safety of your premises, the all-important alarm should never be overlooked. And, that means much more than just installing a standard alarm.
At the centre of your fire safety setup, your fire alarm needs to be maintained to the highest of standards.
This is why weekly fire alarm testing is essential. In fact, for commercial properties, weekly fire tests are a legal obligation. This is why today, we answer a few frequently asked questions on the subject, informing you of the dos and don’ts when conducting these regular tests.
When should I conduct fire alarm tests?
As well as testing the alarm system itself, these checks also reinforce the sound of the alarm and the fire exit plan to staff members. So, be sure to conduct the test every week at the same time and during working hours. It is also worth checking that all people in all areas of the building heard the alarm clearly.
Should I inform the authorities I am testing the alarm?
The majority of intelligent fire alarm system are ‘monitored’, meaning they immediately inform the authorities when sounded. This is why prior to testing you need to contact your ARC (Alarm Receiving Centre). However, it is important to contact them again following the test to make sure the signal went through and two-way communication is working.
What should I look for on the panel?
Checking that the panel has registered the correct zone is hugely important. This is why having your building’s zone chart next to your fire alarm panel will prove beneficial.
Do I still need to conduct fire drills?
It is important that you do not replace your fire drills with these tests. Fire drills are actioned to gauge the effectiveness of the company’s exit procedure, not the worthiness of the fire alarm. So, doing both is advised.
Do I need to record the results?
Keeping a log of when the tests were carried out is incredibly important. As well as ensuring you are keeping up to date with the checks, recording the tests also keeps you protected if a fire were to occur, showing that you were doing your part in protecting the property. Records can be kept in a simple logbook or digitally using images and videos of the test itself.
Who carries out fire alarm tests?
The individual appointed as the ‘responsible person’ at a company usually conducts the weekly fire alarm tests. However, it is very common for businesses to pass this responsibility onto their alarm provider. This is due to the fact that they may not have the time to do the tests or feel comfortable that they are capable of carrying them out properly.
Fire alarms and testing with Twenty4 Fire and Security
Whatever type of commercial property you are looking to protect, we are Twenty4 can help. Offering a range of intelligent alarm systems and other fire safety solutions, we are proud to be helping businesses across Wales.
Contact a member of the team today for a free, no-obligation quote on our fire alarm installation, maintenance and testing services.