How Often Do Fire Alarm Systems Need To Be Tested
Weekly fire alarm testing is a legal requirement for businesses within the United Kingdom. Following the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order in 2005 fire safety activities of the responsible person, or persons can be audited by the relevant authorities at any time making it essential that businesses manage this risk correctly and have a suitable fire system testing process in place.
Often businesses will allocate this responsibility to a health and safety officer whose responsibility is to manage risk throughout all of the businesses activities. In this case, weekly tests may be completed by this person and it’s their responsibility to complete a full test and record the outcome of these tests.
In this article, we aim to help better inform business owners about the importance of fire safety systems and hopefully eliminate any confusion around the topic.
Understanding The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order
The Regulatory Reform of 2005 is detailed legislation designed to set out the standards for managing the risk of fire within a commercial setting. Whilst this is a fairly lengthy read, it’s worthwhile if you’re putting together your fire risk management procedures for your business. A couple of the key takeaways from this legislation is that every commercial property needs to be equipped with appropriate fire detectors and alarms. Additionally, the testing and maintenance of these systems are your business responsibilities.
Why Should Businesses Frequently Test Fire Alarm Systems
Testing your fire detection systems frequently is not just about sticking to the legislation, it’s all about keeping your work premises and most importantly staff safe all of the time. Fires can cause serious damage to buildings often resulting in the majority of equipment being destroyed, therefore, you must have a testing and maintenance procedure in place to ensure the fire prevention is in working order. It’s much earlier to prevent fires than to deal with the aftermath.
Implementing a frequent fire alarm testing process in your workplace shows your staff are being kept safe at all times. Whilst our electronics are getting safer and building design constantly improves to prevent the chance of fire you can never guarantee that these instances will not occur. All it takes is one faulty electronic or a single spark for your team to be put in serious. Managing this risk correctly fills your employees with confidence creating a safer and more productive work environment for all.
The Different Types of Commercial Fire Alarm Systems
There are two main types of fire detection system on the market for commercial premises. The first of which being manual requires a person to activate the fire alarm by a manual call point. This will then register on the fire alarm panel and send out a clear signal which notifies everyone within the premise that there is a risk of a fire.
The second and most common type of fire detection system is automatic. As the name implies, these types of systems will automatically pick up the key signs of a fire and then trigger the alarm. These signals can be smoke or heat and have proven to be extremely effective over the years, therefore, becoming the standard for commercial premises today.
How To Action The Fire System Test And Record The Results
Every week a member of the team should manually test the fire alarm system to ensure that everything is working correctly. This can be achieved by activating the alarm system by the dedicated testing button or by activating the manual call point. Once activated the alarm and the sound is heard throughout the entire premises it can be reset at the master panel cancelling the sound. The result of the weekly test will now be formally recorded within a logbook.