How Often Should Fire Alarms Be Tested?
The government recommends following the British Standard BS 5839 for guidance on when your fire alarm should be tested and inspected. It’s important to note that testing your fire alarm and inspecting your fire alarm are two different practices, each with their own recommended guidance. In this article, we explain the guidance for both testing and inspecting, plus how you should record the results of your test.
How often should a fire alarm be tested?
The British Standards BS 5839 recommends that you test your commercial fire alarm every week. This involves activating a minimum of one fire alarm call point and rotate . You should designate someone in your company as a responsible person to carry out this task. The test and its results should be logged in your company’s fire logbook.
In addition, BS 5839 recommends that your fire alarm is inspected once every six months. A fire alarm inspection is more thorough than a simple test and will need to be carried out by a professional.
Fire alarm testing legal requirements
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, all commercial premises in England and Wales, with a small number of exceptions, must abide by the following regulations:
- They must have a suitable fire alarm system installed
- Every effort must be made to ensure a fire alarm system is suitably maintained in good working order
- The fire alarm must be regularly tested
- The person undergoing regular testing must be competent
Fire alarm inspections are also legally required under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The professional inspecting your fire alarm must be certified and approved to industry standards.
In accordance with all fire safety regulations, you must record your fire alarm tests in your company’s fire logbook.
How should fire alarm tests be recorded?
Each fire alarm test must be logged in your company’s fire logbook by a competent person. They should log the date and time of the test, as well as any appropriate action required if there is a fault.
All of the following should be documented:
- The date, time, cause and duration of each instance where the fire alarm is triggered
- Any faults identified and the action that was taken to fix them
- The date and time of any instances whereby the fire alarm is disconnected
- The date and time of any alterations made to the alarm
- The date and time of any evacuation drills that utilise your alarm.
Fire alarm testing can be done by a competent person within the business, but fire alarm inspection must be carried out by a certified professional. At A.T. Alarms, we provide fire alarm inspections and maintenance for businesses across the UK, including Nottingham. We’ll perform comprehensive checks of your fire alarm systems to ensure that your premises remain safe from fires and compliant with the law. Should we find a fault, we can fix your system or replace it altogether with any of the latest systems. We are an NSI Fire Gold and BAFE-accredited company, and all our work is independently audited to guarantee that it conforms to British and European standards.
Safeguard your business today by contacting A.T. Alarms.