How Often Should Your Commercial Fire Alarms Be Inspected?
Regular inspection of your commercial fire alarms is essential to ensure you meet all the required safety, legal, and liability requirements. Suppose you have neglected regular inspections in the past. In that case, you may have gone through difficult periods between inspections without realizing your mistake.
The NFPA suggests that your fire alarm system needs inspecting around once a year. It doesn’t mean getting them done in December one year and then January the next. You need to ensure that you don’t leave more than 12 months between each inspection because if you do, you may find that you cannot catch many serious issues early on. Poor inspection scheduling could lead to monumental problems down the line, where you would be putting people’s lives at risk if there was a fire. It’s important to know that testing your fire alarm is much more than pressing the button to see if the batteries are working. Ideally, you should hire a professional to carry out smoke detector tests and ensure that everything gets serviced as it should be. It is best to be informed of the rules and recommendations of manufacturers, insurers, regulatory bodies, and other agencies. If any of the tests you carry out indicate an issue with a component, then moving up to a full inspection should be your next step.
Why are Inspections Important?
Every complicated system is prone to wear and tear over time. With your fire alarm, you can’t fix it when you see that there is a problem, much like you can with your air conditioner or your lighting system. It only takes one point of failure for your fire alarm system to become useless in an emergency, which is one of the many reasons testing is imperative. Suppose every component in your system works, but the warning sounds are not triggered. In that case, this could easily lead to preventable deaths.
The Process of Getting your Fire Alarm Inspected
So now that you understand how important it is to inspect your fire alarm, it’s time to move on to the general process. When your fire alarm gets inspected, you should have each component in the chain tested. Components checked can include:
- The device which detects the fire
- Horns, strobes, and sirens
- Control panels
- The power supply to your system
- The backup power supply
In addition to testing your components, you must activate your system as if a fire did happen. The goal is to try and uncover anything that could lead to a failure of your fire system. It is essential that your fire alarm works every single time without fail, and never doubt that it is working.
The best way to ensure your fire alarm is working as it should be is to hire a fire alarm inspection service. When you do, you can feel confident knowing that everything is working as it should and that the appropriate body gets notified in the event of a fire. So many people make the mistake of investing in a top-of-the-line system, only to find that it lets them down when a real fire occurs. The best way to avoid this is to go through an inspection company yearly. As mentioned above, you must ensure you do not leave more than 12 months between inspections. Most companies would be more than happy to arrange a repeat inspection for you. That way, you can feel confident knowing that you get booked in and don’t have to remember.
Unfortunately, it is far too easy to forget about your inspections or overlook their importance. With that said, you must remember that lives are at risk if you do not put in the time to ensure your system works as it should. If you want to do something about this, the best thing you can do is give us a call at 780-426-7878. Our team would be happy to advise you on anything you need to know, not to mention that we are always here to answer any questions you may have.