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Fire Alarm Maintenance

The Importance of Fire Alarm Servicing and Maintenance

Fire Alarm maintenance is critical to fire safety; it is written into the statutory law in the UK. We know how important it is to keep your staff, assets, and premises safe from outbreaks of fire for any business. Maintaining your fire alarm system is paramount and ensures it is fit for purpose should a fire occur. Fire alarm system maintenance is essential to periodic inspection and servicing. Faults are identified, preventive measures are taken to ensure the system's continued reliability, false alarm problems are identified and suitably addressed. The user is also made aware of any changes to the building that affect the protection afforded by the fire alarm system.

Fire Alarm Servicing

Why You Need Fire Alarm Maintenance

Current UK fire alarm regulations state that all business premises must have ‘an appropriate fire detection system’. If not adequately serviced and maintained, the fire alarm system may not work as designed in an emergency, which will put lives and property at risk in the event of a fire. The fire alarm system must be serviceable to alert the building’s 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 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 actual incidents and emergencies. Financial penalties can be levied against persistent offenders that have regular false alarms.

Fire Alarm Servicing in London, Essex and the South East
Fire Alarm Maintenance Benefits

Our fire alarm maintenance packages include:

  • 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 alarm maintenance inspections putting your mind at ease
  • Free support hot-line, preventing unnecessary call-outs, saving you both time and money
  • 24/7 response

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Fire Alarm Service Checks

A competent person should carry out the following.

  • The logbook must be examined for faults or false alarms.
  • A visual inspection should be made to check whether structural or occupancy changes have affected the system’s compliance.
  • Battery voltage needs to be measured and tested.
  • The fire alarm functions need to be checked on at least one device per circuit.
  • Operation of automatic transmission of fire alarm signals to a monitoring company when out of hours to be tested.
  • All controls and visual indicators are to be tested.
  • All further checks and tests in accordance with manufacturers advice.

Fire Alarm Installation
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
Fire Alarm Maintenance Frequency

The British Standard BS 5839 states that Periodic inspection and servicing (every six months as per BS 5839-1) need to be carried out by competent persons with specialist knowledge of fire alarm systems every six months.

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

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

Know Your Fire Safety Regulations
Fire Alarm Maintenance Company - ClearView
Fire Alarm Servicing by a Competent Person

Fire alarm servicing should be carried out by an accredited and competent organisation to maintain fire alarms and fire detection systems.

For all fire safety works, including fire alarm installation, fire alarm repair and fire alarm maintenance, you can rely on ClearView to ensure your building is safe and compliant. Quality assurance is at the forefront of all our repair, installation, and maintenance services. As an NSI Gold accredited company, it allows us to maintain excellent standards, so you can rely on ClearView to ensure your fire alarm systems are fully compliant. With our FIA and FPA memberships, we have access to all the latest training guidance and advice for your complete peace of mind. This includes all aspects of life safety systems including fire alarm design, installation, maintenance and commissioning as well as fire extinguishers, and fire risk assessments. All information and training provided through these memberships are in accordance with the relevant British Standards and Legislation. ClearView are also certified by the International Fire Consultants (IFC) for passive fire protection including fire stopping and fire door installation and maintenance.

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. ClearView’s expert fire alarm engineers are fully trained to maintain fire systems, ensuring they are always fully functional. The following guidelines will help you ensure that your fire alarm systems are adequately maintained to 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.
  • Suppose a fire risk assessment shows a need for more frequent fire alarm inspection and servicing visits. In that case, all interested parties should agree on the appropriate inspection and fire alarm 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/logbook
  • All tests on equipment and trigger devices should be recorded in the logbook
  • All fire alarm maintenance tasks should be carried out following current Statutory requirements, regulations and the manufacturers’ recommendations.
  • A visual inspection should be made to check whether structural or occupancy changes have affected the system’s compliance 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 that all manual call points are fitted with a protective cover that can be moved to access 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 smoke 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 make the existing types of automatic fire detectors unsuitable for detection of fire or prone to unwanted fire alarms.
  • Check any building alterations or extensions that require additional fire detection and fire alarm equipment to be installed.
  • The building occupier should inform the alarm maintenance engineer of any structural or occupancy changes that might affect the detector’s siting or operation.
  • After any testing, the system should be left fully operational, including resetting any interlocks with plants and devices.
  • The records of false alarms should be checked under current British Standards. The rate of false alarms during the previous 12 months should be recorded.

The above is an essential guide, but due to the nature of the varying specifications of fire alarm systems and their various components and devices, the competent person must carry out several further tasks to ensure that the fire system is fit for purpose.

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Fire Alarm Accreditations
Maintenance of all fire detection systems
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 your company’s needs 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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The responsible person must carry out fire risk assessments for fire safety
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 in control of the premises (as occupier or otherwise) in connection with the carrying on by him of a trade, business or other undertakings (for profit or not); or
(ii)the owner, where the person controlling the premises does not have control in connection with the carrying on by that person of a trade, business or other undertakings”.

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.

Fire and smoke spread

Fire alarm maintenance for conventional fire alarms.
Conventional Fire Alarm

A conventional fire alarm system is an analogue system that use electrical currents to communicate with the controlling panel. It 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 the activation was initiated. 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 Installation
Fire alarm maintenance for addressable fire alarms.
Addressable Fire Alarm

Addressable fire alarm signals from smoke detectors, manual call points, or other devices are identified individually at the controlling panel. Addressable fire alarm panels have technology such as a specific electronic address per detector or device. This benefit means you can identify the precise location of the fire. Compared to a conventional system, the advantage 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 Installation
Fire alarm maintenance for wireless fire alarms
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 than conventional and addressable systems, and they are often used for historical buildings and places such as museums or places of worship. In most cases, they provide the same capability as an addressable system but without running cables to the devices.

Wireless Fire Alarm Installation
Bespoke fire alarm and security maintenance at affordable prices
Synergy Fire & Security maintenance

ClearView offers 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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