Fire alarm testing is not only an important aspect of fire alarm system maintenance but also a legal requirement in most states. Whether you’re a home or commercial property owner, you’re obligated to have your fire alarms tested at regular intervals.
Since you’re legally required to have fire alarms in your business area, it’s essential that you ensure they’re up to code and without any faults. Of course, this means you should be familiar with relevant regulations. Aside from consulting the authorities, you can also discuss fire alarm system testing with your trusted provider.
How often should a business test fire alarms?
Every commercial property manager or owner should schedule regular testing of their fire alarm systems. The frequency of these tests will depend on the specific component that’s being tested, type of fire alarm, and a few additional factors. The type of fire alarm test itself will also determine how frequently you need to conduct it.
Furthermore, while visual checks can be performed by anyone to determine signs of visual damage and problems, legally required inspection checks should be conducted by authorized companies.
Here are a few general testing requirements for business fire alarm systems:
- Annual testing should be conducted on the essential alarm system equipment.
- Monthly testing should be performed for load voltage, discharge mechanism, batteries, engine-driver generator.
What is the legal requirement for fire alarm testing?
In California, fire alarm testing needs to be performed in accordance with NFPA 72 code. This set of regulations determines the frequency of each fire alarm component testing, as well as additional circumstances under which this type of testing should be conducted.
In addition, a property owner is required to contact professionals who will perform either of the following two types of tests:
- Installation acceptance testing. It should be performed according to relevant installation standards. Your local fire authorities need to be informed before such a test takes place.
- Integrated testing. This type of fire alarm testing is conducted if your system is connected to any other safety system. This test needs to verify the response of the subordinate system.
However, keep in mind that fire alarm testing regulations vary depending on the state, as well as a great number of other factors. Thus, it’s highly advisable you consult relevant authorities or your preferred fire alarm provider regarding any additional questions or concerns you may have.
How do you test a fire alarm system?
Should you decide to test your fire alarm system prior to contacting an authorized party, you should follow a few important steps. Nonetheless, it’s important to stress that to meet all the required legal regulations, you need to obtain a certificate that your fire alarm system has been tested by a certified company.
With that in mind, here are a few general steps in fire alarm testing:
- Let the fire department know. If your fire alarm system is connected directly to the fire department, you should let them know before testing your fire alarms. This is essential because once your fire alarms go off, the fire department will be alerted.
- Turn on your fire alarms. To test your system, you need to activate it. You can do this either manually or from the control panel depending on your system.
- Check your fire alarms. While on, your alarms should give off a loud warning sound and strobe lights.
- Write down your results. You should record your findings and share them with your local provider once they come over to do an official test or fix any problem you’ve come across.
Contact the leading fire alarm testing experts in San Diego
If you need to schedule regular fire alarm testing, you simply need to reach out to Red Truck Fire & Safety. We will handle this important task and make sure your system meets all the legal requirements. Our team consists of highly trained and fully licensed technicians who know the ins and outs of fire alarm mechanisms.
To top it all of, our service brings nothing but convenience and flexibility! Schedule your required fire alarm testing today!