How Often Should Your Fire Alarm be Serviced?
The fire alarms in business premises are among the most fundamental and most important elements of any commercial fire safety system.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that you must have an appropriate fire detection system installed if you employ more than five people who work at the premises in question. However, it’s no good having a fire alarm system if you have it installed and do not then make regular checks to ensure that it is working as it should be.
For that reason, there is also legislation surrounding the requirements for fire alarm maintenance. This article will examine these requirements, explain why they are so important and detail how often you need to get your fire alarm serviced.
Why is fire alarm maintenance such an important part of fire safety?
Modern fire alarms are complex pieces of machinery that do a very important job. They need to both detect signs that there might be a fire in the area in which they are installed, and then alert any occupants to that danger so that they can have the maximum possible time to make good their escape.
But fire alarms also need to be sensitive to subtle differences of warning signs so that they do not produce too many false alarms.
As with any complex machinery, to ensure that you are getting the best from your fire alarms and that you can trust them to do the important job you need them to, you need to have professionals who know how they work checking them over on a regular basis. By doing this, an engineer can not only make sure they are working as they should, but also keep an eye out for developing issues and signs of wear and tear that might later become a more significant cause for concern.
What do the guidelines and legislation say about fire alarm maintenance?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 actually sounds fairly vague around the matter, merely saying that “all equipment provided for the purpose of fire safety or for the use or protection of fire fighters must be maintained and kept in good order”.
More specific guidelines for how often fire alarm maintenance should be carried out can be found in British Standard: BS 5839, which tells us that:
“The 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.”
It goes on to say that:
“It is essential that the system is subject to periodic inspection and servicing so that faults are identified, preventive measures can be taken to ensure the continued reliability of the system, false alarm problems are identified and suitably addressed, and the user is made aware of any changes to the building that affect the protection afforded by the system.”
All maintenance and inspections should be carried out by:
“A competent person with specialist knowledge of fire detection and fire alarm systems, including knowledge of the causes of false alarms, sufficient information regarding the system, and adequate access to spares.”
It’s always best to check that whoever is doing the work has the relevant training and accreditations. You should particularly check to make sure that your provider is registered with BAFE (British Approvals for Fire Equipment).
You should also test your fire alarms yourself on a weekly basis and keep a record of the results.
For a full range of reliable and professional fire alarm maintenance services in the South East of England, including London and Surrey, you can’t do better than talk to the team at Scutum London. With years of experience in the fire safety business and many satisfied customers across the region, we provide both expertise and exceptional value every time.
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About Scutum London
Scutum London is a leading expert in fire safety and security solutions for businesses and organisations located across South East England, including London and Surrey.
From fire alarms, fire extinguishers and fire risk assessments to access control, CCTV and intruder alarm systems – and a lot more besides – we offer a comprehensive range of products and services designed to keep you, your business and your staff and visitors safe.
With decades of industry experience to call on, we’re proud to hold accreditations from leading trade associations and bodies such as British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE), the British Fire Consortium, the Fire Industry Association (FIA) and Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB).
If you’d like to find out more about Scutum London, get in touch with our friendly team or explore our products and services on our site.