Routine testing and maintenance of fire alarm systems

All fire alarm systems should be regularly tested and a record kept of these tests.

Routine attention by a responsible person or persons within the department should be as follows:

Daily

A check should be made to ascertain -

(a)  that the fire alarm control panel indicates normal operation, that any fault indicated is recorded in the log book and that appropriate action is taken to remedy the fault

(b)  that any fault warning recorded the previous day has received attention.

Weekly

The following tests should be made to ensure that the system is capable of operating under fire conditions.

A break glass unit in one particular zone should be operated to test the ability of the control and indicating equipment to receive a signal and to sound the alarm and operate any other warning devices. A different zone should be tested each week so that a different trigger device is used each time.

The alarm need only be sounded for about 10 seconds. Tests should be carried out on the same day and at the same time each week to ensure staff awareness without response. (The University Security Centre Control Room must be informed beforehand if the system is monitored.)

An entry should be made in the log book quoting the particular trigger device used to initiate the test.  Any defect should also be recorded in the log book together with action taken to correct it.

Additional attention should be as follows:

Every three months a competent contractor should check the system. The checks carried out are as detailed in Section 4 of BS 5839: Part 1: 2002. Any defect will be reported to the responsible person and recorded in the log book together with a note of any corrective action.

There should also be an annual inspection again carried out by a competent contractor.  As for the quarterly inspection, checks are carried out as detailed in the British Standard and recorded in the logbook.

NB Any contractor nominated for such work outside the University Central Contract for Fire Alarm Maintenance must be approved by the University Safety Office in consultation with the University Director of Estates.

THIS STATEMENT FORMS PART OF THE UNIVERSITY SAFETY POLICY.  UNIVERSITY GUIDANCE NOTE S5/96 IS WITHDRAWN.  PLEASE AMEND THE INDEX.

March 2005