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How Do You Maintain a Fire Alarm System?

How Do You Maintain a Fire Alarm System?

A good fire alarm system is one of the most significant investments you’re likely to make in your business. Not only will it help keep your premises and anyone within safe, but it also helps you meet your legal obligations under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

But just getting it installed shouldn’t be the point at which you forget about it again, because once it’s there, you want to do everything you can to make sure it’s always working effectively. Not only that, but having taken the time and trouble to have it installed, you also want to make sure you get the best value out of it by making sure it lasts for as long as possible.

The best way of achieving all that is to get your fire alarm system checked and serviced regularly by a qualified professional. But what sort of checks and tests are needed and who is the best person to do them?

How do you maintain a fire alarm system?

Self-testing a fire alarm system

There are a few things that you can do to make sure your fire alarm is still working well without calling in the services of a qualified expert. These include:

  • Testing the alarm – carry out weekly alarm tests by activating at least one call point and making sure that the alarm sounds properly and that the panel receives the appropriate signal.
  • Checking the batteries and backup power – your weekly test should confirm that something at least is powering your alarm. If its primary source is the mains, turn it off and then run your normal test again to check that the backup battery is also working.
  • Cleaning it – make sure that there’s no buildup of dust, dirt or grime on or around the different elements of your fire alarm system. Dusting and wiping with a damp or moist cloth is enough, but avoid using any chemical cleaning agents.

Professional fire alarm maintenance

The above tasks can be carried out by you (or one of your team), but more exhaustive maintenance duties should be conducted by a trained expert. When they visit, they will do the same checks, but more thoroughly – for instance:

  • When testing the alarm is sounding properly, they will check that the sound is reaching wherever it needs to at a level that will be effective, even in noisy environments.
  • When checking batteries, they won’t just make sure that they’re working, they’ll check they have enough charge to last until the next scheduled maintenance visit.
  • Cleaning will be carried out at a deeper level to ensure all components – including internal parts – are free from dust and dirt.

Additional maintenance tasks that would be carried out by a professional include:

  • Checking sensors and detectors – the engineer will ensure that each sensor responds in the right way to the stimulus that it is designed to identify.
  • Checking the functionality of the control panel – including ensuring that it is connecting to all devices and that it is responding to any sensors being triggered.
  • Investigating any false alarms – to see if they were caused by faulty equipment in need of replacement, accumulation of dust or other environmental factors.

In all cases, the engineer will also be looking for any signs of damage or wear and tear that might represent a reduction in the efficiency of the equipment in the coming months and performing the necessary remedial action.

They will also need to keep a detailed record of all test results, issues that have been identified and any remedial actions that have been taken, including replacement of parts and system upgrades.

Here at Scutum North, we can provide comprehensive fire alarm maintenance and repair services across North England, including in and around Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield. Our fully trained and qualified engineers will carry out detailed tests and checks to ensure you can rely on your essential fire alarm equipment, not just for the next few months but long into the future.

Get in touch now to find out more and ask for a cost-effective quotation.

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