Importance of An Annual Fire Alarm Inspection

Integrated Fire SystemsFire Alarm News

Has Your Property Had an Annual Fire Alarm Inspection This Year?

Fire Alarm Systems are a vital element to your property. They ensure that your occupants will be notified in the event of a fire and they alert the local authorities to put out the fires. This means that people will be able to get out of the building safely and the fire department will respond quickly. But, just having a Fire Alarm System does not guarantee this. The Fire Alarm System at your commercial property must have an Annual Inspection to ensure that it’s in working order.

The Annual Inspection

An Annual Fire Alarm Inspection involves far more than triggering an alarm and confirming that the horns sound and the strobes flash, although that testing is a vital element. Modern fire alarms integrate fully with other building systems. A proper Annual Fire Alarm Inspection involves making sure all components are 100% operational for all possible conditions.

Since the power could be out when a fire occurs, everything on the system needs a back-up power supply. Indeed many fires cause the power to fail as the event spreads. Every battery on the system needs testing for proper voltage and amperage to confirm all devices will function. On many systems this includes additional Power Supply Cabinets. As a result, these power the notification devices, door holders, and other powered devices that the Fire Alarm Control Panel (FACP) triggers.

The protective devices that attach to your FACP are Initiating Devices. These include Smoke and Heat Detectors, Duct Detectors, Waterflow Switches (for your fire sprinkler system), and various kinds of Tampers that supervise the auxiliary systems that protect your building. During an Annual Fire Alarm Inspection, a technician tests and visually inspects all of these devices. This ensures that the devices will trip during a fire and meet the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards. This also establishes that the FACP responds correctly to each device.

The Annual Inspection Report

NFPA-72 requires a certified technician to document all testing and inspecting on a NFPA-72 compliant report. That means that each initiating device is noted by point number and location, and that all notification devices were confirmed. Each device specified has a clear note for battery voltage and amp results.

The Inspection Report includes a report of all deficiencies and corrections found during testing. This report is a record so a proposal is sent out for repairs and battery replacements. As a result, the subsequent repairs will ensure the system is operating by design as originally approved by the Fire Officials at the time of installation. A thorough, compliant, and current Annual Inspection Report may be requested by your local fire officials at any time and is a mandatory element for insurance companies and investigations after fire events.

-The IFS Team