Fire Alarms

How Often Your Fire Alarms Should Be Tested

Featured image by John Cafazza on Unsplash

Many individuals and business owners overlook testing their fire alarms or smoke detectors on a regular basis. Unfortunately, this can be a costly mistake. It is a legal obligation for the responsible person to make sure that the premises is equipped with appropriate fire alarms and signals in order to safeguard people’s lives.

Britannia Fire & Security recommend that, “In order to ensure safety, it is a legal requirement that fire alarms are tested weekly”. This article will provide you with information about how often to test your fire alarms. This way, you stay compliant with legal standards and keep yourself and your business safe.


Do You Need Training to Test Fire Alarms?

An individual does not need any specialized knowledge to perform a fire alarm test, as stated in BS 5839-6: 2019 section 25.1. In most cases, individuals can easily complete these tests. However, to complete this task thoroughly, it may be necessary for a competent individual to give initial training in the testing of a fire alarm system.

The responsible person is considered, as stated in the Fire Safety Order (FSO) part one subsection three, the employer or owner in control of workplace that practices a trade for profit or not. As the owner or employer, you should stay on top of testing your fire alarms. This way, it can protect your employees and your business. So, who is the best employee to delegate this important task to?

Who Should Test the Fire Alarm?

Section 25.1 of the BS 5839-6: 2019 states the owner or occupier of the property is responsible for testing fire alarms. This might be any one of several individuals. For example, pick a manager or a trusted employee in charge of all matters relating to health and safety. However, either will need instructions on how to do so at first.


How Should You Test a Fire Alarm?

Observe the following instructions when conducting a fire alarm test:

  • When the master station of your fire alarms is in a location where the audible fault warning signal may go unnoticed for more than 24 hours, a special check should be done each day to verify that either the equipment indicates normal operation or that any fault indication is receiving adequate attention. This examination does not need to be recorded. For example, if there’s a large site with the main master station in a security building at the entrance of the facility.
  • Every week, use a different outstation. Ensure that the master station correctly receives the call. A small test conversation must be clear and understandable at both locations. To do this, turn on the manual call point. Then, that sends an alarm signal via the control panel after it hears it. The reset key may be inserted into the call point after it has been reset, silencing, and resetting the fire alarm using the control panel.
  • Every week, use a new outstation so you test all areas of the building in a rotation.

If the fire alarm is linked to an alarm receiving center (ARC), it’s critical to remember that the ARC is contacted before and after each weekly fire test. This is to ensure unwanted alarms are avoided, as well as ensuring that the fire alarm signals are correctly received.

Final Thoughts

Do not overlook the importance of your business’s safety. You, as the owner, have a legal obligation to maintain the safety of the building and your employees. Improving the safety of the work environment will also help improve overall morale for your employees as they will see you care about their wellbeing. Happy and healthy employees are the backbone of any business large or small. So take these recommendations for your fire alarms seriously and implement them today.