If you own or manage a business, school, hospital, hotel, or commercial building, you must ensure your fire alarm systems undergo routine testing and inspections. Failure to do so can cost you time, money, your reputation, and lives. Here’s what you should know about fire alarm testing and inspections.
Benefits of Fire Alarm Testing and Inspections
If you make fire alarm testing and inspection a priority for your property, you can reap the following benefits:
- Save Lives: A properly operating fire alarm system is vital as it can save the lives of your employees, customers, and guests in the event of an unexpected fire.
- Abide by Local Laws: Almost all local fire departments have testing and inspection requirements you must follow. Failure to do so could result in costly fines. Code compliant fire alarm testing and inspections can help you avoid these penalties.
- Avoid Legal Expenses: If your fire alarm system malfunctions and a fire is undetected, you may be forced to defend yourself against costly lawsuits due to injuries and losses suffered by those in your building.
Fire Alarm Testing vs. Fire Alarm Inspections
While the terms fire alarm testing and fire alarm inspections often get used interchangeably, they have different meanings. Fire alarm inspections are a visual assessment of the condition of the devices and components that make up your fire alarm system. Testing, on the other hand, is a functional test of the system to ensure it operates as it was designed and intended in the event of a fire.
Types of Fire Alarm Testing and Inspections
Regular Test and Inspections – Fire alarm systems must undergo regular testing and inspections. The frequency of which is determined by the local authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) and codes. These codes, usually referencing an NFPA Standard, will determine how often your system and the individual devices must be tested or inspected to remain code compliant.
Acceptance Testing – occurs after a new fire alarm system is installed or a building undergoes a major renovation. This is a required inspection to make sure that all of the components in the system are installed properly and working as they should.
Sensitivity Testing – This is another periodic test which ensures smoke detectors are sensing smoke within the sensitivity rating of the manufacturer. This testing is usually required less frequently than the functional tests of smoke detectors during your regular test and inspection cycle.
How long your fire alarm testing and inspections take depends on the size of your system and the characteristics of your property. If you have a small commercial building, it may be completed in just a few hours. A larger commercial building may take a few days. If your building is a hospital, school, or another, more complex space, it can take a few weeks.
Contact AFA Protective Systems, Inc. Today
AFA Protective Systems, Inc. has provided services to its loyal customers since 1873. If you’re in need of fire alarm testing and inspections, our highly trained and experienced technicians have you covered. Call us at 877-232-1873 to request a quote and learn more about our offerings.