You likely are already aware of the importance of testing fire alarm systems, but too often the gravity of how important it is doesn’t sink in until it’s too late. Just four different property classes — apartments, hotels, offices, and facilities that care for the sick — make up half of all high-rise fires. This indicates the vulnerability of commercial buildings when fire alarm services are not up to date. Know these important details of testing your system and you’ll be practicing good fire safety.
Know The Age Of Your System
If you’re not the one who installed the building’s fire alarm system, you’re going to have to hunt down records to find out how old it is. Knowing the system’s age is the first step to determining the steps you will need to take in maintaining it. Fire alarm systems under five years old typically mean that you can take a bit of breather in your maintenance concerns. Systems that are this young usually do not have major problems and need just periodic system testing and fire alarm inspections by qualified specialists. As a system ages, it will need regular inspection and maintenance, and once a system reaches 20 years old it may need to be replaced.
Determine Who Will Maintain It
If you have the available staff and time, it is possible to test your fire alarm system yourself. In a commercial building, facility maintenance staff can also perform tests and may offer to perform maintenance as well. In general, it is more advisable to have the manufacturer of the system or experienced specialists to perform necessary maintenance on systems. As the systems are your building’s defense against dangerous fires, you want them to be in the best condition possible.
Be Aware Of Common System Problems
While you may have professionals come to take care of the system, you’ll still want to know common issues fire alarm systems have. By knowing these issues, you will be better equipped to notify authorities that there is a problem or call in your service company. A fire alarm system may malfunction if it has drained batteries, dirty or failed detectors, failed relays, ground faults, false alarms, or horn or strobe failures. All of these components are critical in having an effective fire alarm system, so you must contact a service company as soon as possible if you notice issues.
Being responsible for your building’s fire alarm system is a big job, but by knowing these tips you can better care for everyone in the building. Stay on top of a system’s maintenance, and you won’t have disastrous system issues.