February 2024

Ensuring the effectiveness of your fire alarm system is paramount to the safety of everyone within your commercial premises. Regular testing is not only a safety measure but also a legal requirement governed by standards such as the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and British Standard BS 5839-6:2019.


In this article, we'll delve into the frequency of fire alarm testing and the necessary procedures to uphold compliance and safety.


Legal Requirements and Standards

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, specifically Article 13, mandates that the premises must be equipped with appropriate fire detectors and alarms. Competent individuals, as defined by the order, are responsible for testing and maintenance after receiving the necessary training. Compliance with British Standard BS 5839-6:2019 is crucial to meet legal obligations and maintain a high level of safety for your employees or customers.


Frequency of Fire Alarm Testing

According to BS 5839-6:2019, commercial buildings' fire alarm systems should undergo a weekly test to ensure proper functionality. Larger facilities might adopt a rotational approach to cover all alarms over a span of weeks. Compliance with these standards guarantees that the fire alarm system is regularly assessed, reducing the risk of serious failures going unnoticed.


Weekly and Monthly Fire Alarm Tests

Weekly tests involve activating at least one fire alarm call-point to ensure both the alarm and control panel function correctly. Monthly tests may include checking backup power sources and vented batteries.


Importantly, notifying the Alarm Receiving Centre before and after testing is crucial if the system is connected to one.


Who Should Test the Fire Alarm System?

The responsibility of testing typically falls on the building's occupant, designated as the responsible person by the Fire Safety Order. This individual can be the employer, property manager, or security personnel. While testing is relatively simple, it requires adherence to specific procedures.


Routine Examination and Maintenance

Fire alarm maintenance contractors with proper training and certification, preferably third-party accredited, are best suited to routinely service your commercial fire alarm – working to ensure its ongoing operation. The importance of identifying and correcting system defects during these routine examinations cannot be overstated.


Regular testing of fire alarm systems is not just a legal requirement but a fundamental aspect of ensuring the safety of occupants within a commercial building. By adhering to the prescribed standards and conducting routine examinations, you not only meet legal obligations but also significantly reduce the risk of overlooking potential system failures. Remember, the safety of everyone in your building is in your hands.


At Lynx Fire & Security, our engineers are available to conduct routine servicing twice annually to ensure that your fire alarm system is working to optimal conditions. For more information on pricing or our comprehensive range of services, you can request a free quotation online today.

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