Keeping your property safe from fire is one of the best ways to ensure the safety of everyone on the property and to avoid high costs associated with fire damage. Nearly every structure is at risk of a fire, but apartments, hotels, offices, and facilities that care for the sick account for half of all high-rise fires. Proper fire alarm maintenance is the first step in keeping these and other properties safe from dangerous fires.
Know The System’s History
To determine the exact steps that you need to take to maintain fire alarm systems, you first need to know when the fire alarm installation took place. When the system is less than five years old, it should require little effort to maintain. Qualified specialists will be able to test and inspect systems to detect any problems that occurred during installation. Systems were installed five to 10 years ago may be damaged by environmental factors, such as humidity, temperature, and voltage fluctuations. When a system is approaching 15 years, you should pay close attention to its function, especially if it has a history of poor or lacking maintenance. Systems over 20 years old are likely approaching their technological life expectancy, so be sure to have them tested by train specialists or replaced altogether.
Know Fire Alarm Maintenance Steps
Having a commercial fire protection company test your fire alarm system is a good idea, although you can do it as long as you know all of the requirements and operations of the system. Throughout the five fire alarm maintenance steps, pay close attention to detail. Even when nothing looks obviously broken, there could be issues.
- Per manufacturer specifications, test and calibrate alarm sensors. Flame and smoke detectors will require knowing their different operation details.
- Test annunciators by simulating inputs of signals that there is a fire or smoke.
- Set the system’s sensitivity.
- To test the input with the fire department, coordinate them to test the system.
- Inspect the battery for corrosion and check its expiration date.
Know Standards And Guidelines
After the initial installation of a fire alarm system, most manufacturers recommended at least one full annual test and inspection. Additional testing intervals are mandated by various agencies and organizations in certain locations. The National Fire Protection Association distributes the National Fire Alarm Code, detailing the various requirements regarding inspecting, testing, and maintenance. Be sure to check with local authorities and your insurance company as well, as they will have their own regulations that you must follow.
Fire alarms are the first line of defense when it comes to fire safety on your property. Make sure that you are taking the proper steps by paying close attention to your fire alarm system.