Legislation – Weekly Testing Fire Alarms
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) places legally enforceable requirements on organisations, where necessary, to safeguard the safety of relevant persons within the premises in the event of fire. The responsible person must “ensure that the premises and any facilities, equipment and devices provided in respect of the premises …are subject to a suitable system of maintenance and are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair”. Annual Service and Maintenance should be conducted by a competent person.
The “Responsible person” is normally the owner, landlord or business proprietor or a member of staff delegated with responsibility for fire safety. The “competent person” is someone qualified by training and experience to undertake service and maintenance of the fire alarm. In addition to annual Servicing it is recommended that the Responsible person carry out testing of the fire alarm equipment on a regular basis i.e. at least weekly to determine if the fire alarm activates and the ancillary devices operate
- Isolate any plant or systems as necessary prior to initiating fire alarm system,
- Check that where buildings have more than one FA panel networked together, that all panels activated and that the sounders operated throughout the building,
- Once alarm initiated and sounders cancelled, but before the system is reset – check the following functions:
- Ensure that all doors fitted with ‘Electromagnetic Door Security Locking Systems’ released as part of the fire alarm activation
- Ensure that any doors fitted with ‘Electromagnetic Hold Open Devices’ released and that the fire doors closed fully shut
- Ensure that the ‘Fire Alarm Activated Do Not Enter’ signs operate, where fitted to building entrances or building separation points
- Test Deaf Message System connected to the some fire alarm panels using a mobile phone texting system
- Ensure that the fire signal went back to Monitoring Station
- Report or Repair any non-functioning devices, sounders, bells, door release or locking systems immediately.
The designated responsible person within the organisation should record the results of this inspection and arrange for corrective action, if necessary, by a competent person. If you employ 5 or more people it is also a legal requirement to keep a permanent Record of all servicing, maintenance and inspections for inspection by the Fire Services Inspectorate.