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Fire Alarm Maintenance

The Importance of Fire Alarm System Servicing and Maintenance

For any business, we know how important it is to keep your staff, assets and premises safe from outbreaks of fire. Maintaining your fire alarm system is of paramount importance and ensures it is fit for purpose should a fire occur.

The Benefits of Fire Alarm Maintenance with ClearView

Our fire alarm maintenance service package includes:

  • Complete reliability as your fire systems will always work when you need them to
  • Highly trained engineers ensuring you get a fast response
  • Excellent first time fix rate – because we come prepared
  • Fully compliant, meeting your legal and insurance obligations
  • Regular fire maintenance inspections putting your mind at ease
  • Free support hot-line, preventing unnecessary call outs, saving you both time and money
How Often Does a Fire Alarm Need To Be Serviced?

The British Standard BS 5839 state that fire alarms and fire detections systems should be inspected at 6 monthly intervals by a competent person.

UK Statutory regulations state that fire alarms must have suitable maintenance:

(1) Where necessary in order to safeguard the safety of relevant persons the responsible person must ensure that the premises and any facilities, equipment and devices provided in respect of the premises under this Order or, subject to paragraph (6), under any other enactment, including any enactment repealed or revoked by this Order, are subject to a suitable system of maintenance and are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.

Why Fire Alarms Must be Maintained

If not adequately serviced and maintained, the fire alarm system may not work as designed in an emergency, and this will put lives and property at risk in the event of a fire. The fire alarm system must be serviceable to alert the buildings occupants in the event of a fire. Moreover, the responsible person has a statutory duty of care to ensure that a “suitable system of maintenance” is in place to safeguard people in order to prevent loss of life.

Another reason for fire alarm servicing is to prevent needless false alarms that stretch the fire service and prevents them from attending real incidents and emergencies. Financial penalties can be levied against persistent offenders that have regular false alarms.

burning building

Servicing by a Competent Person

Fire alarm servicing should be carried out by an organisation that is accredited and competent to maintain fire alarms and fire detection systems. The following guidelines will help you to ensure that your fire alarm systems are adequately maintained so they work as designed in an emergency and comply with UK statutory regulations.

  • Fire alarm systems should be maintained at least six monthly, or more frequently depending on the fire risk assessment requirements
  • If a risk assessment shows a need for more frequent inspection and servicing visits, then all interested parties should agree the appropriate inspection and servicing schedule. If this recommendation is not implemented, it should be considered that the system is no longer compliant with British Standards.
  • A record of all tests and checks and any defects remedied should be maintained in the fire safety manual/log book
  • All tests on equipment and trigger devices should be recorded in the log book
  • All maintenance tasks should be carried out in accordance with current Statutory requirements, regulations and the manufacturers’ recommendations
  • A visual inspection should be made to check whether structural or occupancy changes have affected the compliance of the system with the recommendations of this standard for the siting of manual call points, automatic fire detectors and fire alarm devices.
  • Check all manual call points remain unobstructed and conspicuous
  • Check all manual call points are fitted with a protective cover which can be moved to gain access to the frangible element
  • Check if any new exits have been created without the provision of an adjacent manual call point; any new or relocated partitions have been erected within 500mm horizontally of any automatic fire detector
  • Ensure that no storage encroaches within 300mm of ceilings; a clear space of 500mm is maintained below each automatic fire detector and that the ability of the detector to receive the stimulus that it has been designed to detect has not been impeded by other means
  • Check if any changes to the use or occupancy of an area makes the existing types of automatic fire detector unsuitable for detection of fire or prone to unwanted alarms
  • Check any building alterations or extensions require additional fire detection and alarm equipment to be installed.
  • The building occupier should inform the maintenance engineer of any structural or occupancy changes which might affect the siting or operation of the detector
  • The system should be left fully operational at the end of any testing including the resetting of any interlocks with plant and devices
  • The records of false alarms should be checked in accordance with current British Standards. The rate of false alarms during the previous 12 months should be recorded

The above is a basic guide, but due to the nature of the varying specifications of fire alarm systems and their myriad components and devices there are several further tasks that must be carried out by the competent person to ensure that the fire system is fit for purpose.

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Fire Alarm Systems to Detect Smoke or Fire

You depend on your fire alarm systems to detect smoke or fire and to provide the earliest possible warning of a risk to your staff and visitors. Therefore it is essential that your fire safety system is kept in optimum condition and regularly checked and maintained.

Whether your fire equipment was provided by us, or another supplier, ClearView’s expert fire alarm engineers are fully trained to maintain fire systems, ensuring they are always fully functional.

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Full Compliance With Fire Alarm Legislation and Insurance Requirements

Maintenance and servicing of fire alarm systems to the standards prescribed in BS 5839-1:2017.  Emergency lighting to BS 5266.

We understand the importance of full compliance with health and safety regulations, which is why we put the needs of your company at the heart of our work from day one.

Whatever fire detection system you have, we can maintain it, ensuring you comply with the ire alarm maintenance legal requirements ‘Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005’.

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Fire Alarm System Overview

It is vitally important that the correct fire alarm system is specified to ensure that it is fit for purpose and installed in accordance with UK statutory regulations to the relevant British standards as recommended in The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. All non-domestic buildings are covered in the act.

Meaning of “responsible person”

“In this Order “responsible person” means—

(a)in relation to a workplace, the employer, if the workplace is to any extent under his control;

(b)in relation to any premises not falling within paragraph (a)—

(i)the person who has control of the premises (as occupier or otherwise) in connection with the carrying on by him of a trade, business or other undertaking (for profit or not); or

(ii)the owner, where the person in control of the premises does not have control in connection with the carrying on by that person of a trade, business or other undertaking”.

Essentially, the responsible person as defined under the act, must conduct a fire risk assessment to ascertain what fire protection systems are required to meet statutory law. However, UK legislation does not provide detailed information on how and what fire alarm and detection systems should be installed but will quote relevant British standards such as BS 5839. All fire alarm systems in the UK should be installed and maintained to BS 5839 which is the British Standard for Fire Detection and Fire Alarm Systems for Buildings. The standard provides recommendations on fire alarm design, installation, planning commissioning and maintenance of fire alarms and fire detection systems.

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3 Main Fire Alarm Types
Conventional Fire Alarm

A conventional fire alarm system divides a building into distinct zones, the manual call points, fire detectors and sounders are wired as a single circuit. When activated the fire alarm indicates the zone where that the activation was initiated from. It is important to note that this type of fire detection system will not identify the exact area of the fire or activation. This type of system is basic; however it is reliable due to its simplicity.

The advantage of a conventional fire system is that they are significantly cheaper than other types of fire alarm systems such as addressable fire alarms. This type of system should only be used in low-risk buildings.

Conventional Fire Alarm Install
Addressable Fire Alarm

Addressable fire alarm panels have technology such as a distinctive electronic address per detector or device. This benefit means that the precise location of a fire can be identified. The advantage over a conventional system is the speed at which the incident can be dealt with due to knowing the exact location. Addressable fire alarm systems are normally used in higher risk environments and large buildings.

Addressable Fire Alarm Install
Wireless Fire Alarms

Wireless fire alarm systems consist of a fire alarm panel and associated devices that do not require cables to operate. They are typically much faster to install compared to conventional and addressable systems, and they are often used for historic building and places such as museums or places of worship. In most cases they provide the same capability as an addressable system, but without the need to run cables to the devices.

Wireless Fire Alarm Install
Synergy Fire & Security maintenance

ClearView offer you an excellent maintenance service for your fire detection equipment. Alternatively if you have other fire and security equipment you can save time and money by combining the cover all at once with our bespoke Synergy security service and maintenance package for a monthly fixed fee.

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Interested in service and maintenance for your fire alarm System? Book your free site survey, alternatively, call 01245 214104 to speak to a member of our team.

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