Fire alarm systems are meant to protect people and their properties. However, they can get damaged by dust and dirt, vandalism, and improper maintenance, or they can simply loose their efficiency over time.
If you want to be certain of the performance of your fire alarm system, you need to know how to maintain it, inspect it and test it. Here are a few tips to help you out.
1. Learn about the age and history of your fire alarm system
If you have a brand new fire alarm system, it should not be very difficult to maintain. If your system is between five and fifteen years old, it will require a lot more of your attention. Fire alarm systems that are 20 years old or more can still function properly, but they frequently need to be inspected and tested by professionals.
A fire alarm system that has never been tested, or that has a poor maintenance history, will be more likely to not function its best. If this is the case of your system, it might be a good idea to replace it.
2. Test your fire alarm system every week
You should check the panel of your fire alarm system everyday to make sure everything looks normal, but there are also a few actions you should perform every week to verify that your system is performing well.
Each week, operate at least one of the detectors of your fire alarm system, and check if your system receives the signal and responds to it. If you notice any problem, report it and make sure it is corrected as soon as possible.
3. Keep the contact information of your fire alarm system contractor
You need to know who you can contact if you have any issue with your fire alarm system. Your supplier of fire alarm systems, or the contractor who installed your system for you, should be offering you their inspection and maintenance services.
You need to make sure their contact information is easily accessible, so you will be able to get in touch with a competent contractor quickly if you need help.
4. Ensure a quarterly inspection
Your contractor should perform a quarterly inspection of your fire alarm system. They should perform a visual inspection of the system, but they should also test the batteries and secondary batteries and examine their connections.
All of the functions of the control panel should be carefully checked and tested, and any defect should be corrected quickly. These quarterly inspections will help you keep your peace of mind as you will know that you can trust your fire alarm system.
5. Ensure an annual inspection as well
Once a year, your fire alarm systems contractor should visit you to perform an annual inspection. During this inspection, they will perform the same tests as for a quarterly inspection, but they will also check and test each detector of your system.
They should also check if the cables and the equipment is safe and undamaged. After each inspection, your contractor should provide you with a certificate of testing.
6. Know what to do after a false alarm
Don’t let a false alarm make you lose your confidence in your fire alarm system. Do everything you can to determine the cause of each false alarm, and have your system inspected and serviced so you will know without a doubt that everything is performing as it should.
If your system is frequently sounding false alarms, don’t simply ignore them. There is an issue somewhere that needs to be fixed by your contractor.