Fire Alarm Inspection

Why do I need a Fire Alarm Inspection?

The Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 (Amended 1999) requires that fire alarm and automatic detection systems should be installed where there is a requirement for early warning of fire. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires any business with 5 or more employees to carry out a written Risk Assessment and have an Emergency Plan.

Failure to undertake and hold a written Risk Assessment is now a Criminal Offence.

In addition to workplaces, other premises may also be subject to other Regulations that place further requirements, particularly where the general public may be at risk, such as hotels, public entertainment premises, licensed premises and restaurants.

Fire alarms and automatic detection systems are designed and installed where there is a requirement for early warning to the inhabitants of a building that danger from fire is imminent, and should be installed, tested and inspected in accordance with BS 5839. Periodic Inspection & Testing of all fire alarms and detection systems is essential to ensure the safe operation in the event of a fire.

It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that these systems are suitably maintained and checked for safety and compliancy.

What happens during a Fire Alarm Inspection?

After an evaluation of your premises, its uses and occupancy, a series of visual checks is carried out on the components of the system to ensure their integrity. This includes location checks as well as testing the functionality of existing lighting; cables, containment panels, detectors and sounders, and whilst this is completely non-invasive, the inspecting engineer will be required to trigger the alarm via a detector or break-glass unit to carry out the fire alarm drill.

The alarm sounders must be activated in order to comply. In order to minimise disruption to your business, liaison between the inspecting engineer and site management is strongly advised in order to plan a suitable schedule.

What happens after the Inspection?

Upon completion of the fire detection and alarm system testing you will receive a Certificate detailing the following;

  • Installation details and characteristics
  • Circuit information and test results
  • Schedule of items tested and inspected
  • A list of defects or deviations from the British Standard (these will require attention)

The details of the Inspection will be entered into your on-site log book, which is a standard of BS 5839 requiring you to keep details of the type of Fire Alarm System installed, with all the events and checks logged.

If there is no log book present on site, CEC Electric can provide a comprehensive log book, detailing the type and manufacturer of the Fire Alarm System installed, responsible persons and installer details. Further inspections are then to be recorded within the book.

Continuing Compliance

Periodic checks are required to ensure the functionality of the system. Failure to do this could lead to enforcement notices requiring compliance, and the closing of premises that do not meet this Act.

  • Frequency checks required by BS 5839 are:
  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Quarterly
  • Six Monthly

Checks should be recorded where necessary in the Fire Safety Log Book. CEC Electric will inspect and test on a Six Monthly basis, it is customary for the frequent checks to be completed by the responsible person inhouse.

Regulations may undergo change, keeping up to date with current regulations is important to ensure your installation complies.

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