Businesses have a legal obligation to protect their premises and employees. This includes putting in the correct procedures when it comes to fire safety including the ongoing maintenance and testing of fire alarms.
It is essential for businesses to keep their fire alarm maintained and tested, not only to alert people in the event of a fire but also to prevent false alarms. False alarms account for a huge number of fire brigade call-outs, not only incurring expense but also resulting in the fire brigade being occupied when a real emergency arises.
Fire alarm tests are critical when ensuring your fire alarm systems are fully operational should the worst happen. It is important that people in the building are familiar with the sound of the alarm and the procedure in the event of a fire.
The question is, “When should fire alarms be tested?”
While it is imperative for the alarm system to be inspected and serviced by a professional throughout the year (six monthly minimum), according to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO), it is also a legal requirement to run weekly fire alarm tests. This is covered under Article 17 of the RRO.
In order to ensure the fire alarm system is in full working order, and comply with the RRO and The British Standard BS 5389, weekly testing of a fire alarm system is required. Failure to do so will need to be explained to investigating officers when visiting the premises.
The task of testing the alarm system is to be carried out by the company’s appointed responsible person, or a fire alarm servicing company if the premises is very large or has multiple sites. Tests involve activating the fire alarm call point, checking that the alarm sounds and the panel receives the signal. Premises with multiple call points require that a different call point is checked every week. All tests are to be documented in the fire log book and any problems must be reported to the fire alarm servicing company immediately.
If you’re responsible for health and safety or fire risk assessments at your property, get in touch to see how we could work together to safeguard your staff and clients.