Once a fire alarm is installed into your premises, you need to ensure the fire alarms are serviced and weekly tests are completed!
There are many different types of fire alarms, from automatic detection (including heat, smoke, optical etc) to manual break glass points and then to the domestic interlinked fire alarms installed into your home or HMO (House of Multiple Occupation). The type of detector, type of system and fitting of the alarm can be discussed with the fire risk assessor and the fire alarm provider.
Once the alarm is installed (or if you move into new business premises) you need to look after the system. Carry out weekly tests of the call points (the red break glass box) with a test key is a requirement. You need to check a different call point each week and keep records! If you don’t have records, then the enforcing authorities will not accept the tests were completed!
Servicing is vital to the health of the fire alarms. This can be done quarterly, six-monthly or annually, but it is better to check with the fire alarm engineer and get their advice on frequency. There are different types of batteries available, some of which need checking more often, but take the advice on frequency from the alarm engineers. Again, keep records (and an invoice is not a record!)
It is important to visually check the fire alarm panel every day when you arrive into work. Make sure this is displaying healthy and that there are no faults or warning displayed. For faults, you need to ring the alarm engineer and request a call out. This will incur a charge, but it is better having a working fire alarm than a faulty one.
The fire alarm is designed to let you know a fire is in the building and it is provider to save life in the property, so why would you not maintain it! look after the alarm and the alarm will look after you!