To keep your business safe from a fire or any other emergency, the building’s life safety system(s) need to be checked regularly. Periodic system upgrade or replacement is also vital to ensure that the system stays in good repair, complies with current codes, and employs the latest technology. Here’s how often your business’s fire safety systems need to be inspected, tested, and replaced.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), your fire safety system should be visually inspected weekly. It should include a thorough inspection to ensure that the unit is intact. Your functional fire alarm inspections in Philadelphia also need to be conducted by licensed fire protection professionals semi-annually – one annual 100% functional device test and one semi-annual visual inspection, to check for missing or damaged system components.
There are a few simple, non-invasive inspections that your employees can do on their own. They should check to make sure the system has power, all diagnostic LEDs on the fire panel are operational (lamp test), smoke detectors on ceilings blink intermittently, no amber or red lights illuminated on the panel which indicates existing trouble or alarm conditions, and that no field devices are dislodged or missing.
At least annually, they should also replace the batteries in any devices that are not powered directly by the fire panel.
Testing should be done annually by licensed fire protection professionals who have been trained to work on the brand of equipment installed in your facility. Most fire alarm systems are connected to a central station monitoring facility, so any activation of the alarm system will send a signal to the central station, and they will dispatch the fire department to the building. Licensed alarm inspectors know how to disable the system during testing so that no false alarms are reported to the fire department. You should never attempt to test your own fire alarm system. Annual tests need to be performed by licensed fire protection technicians.
Licensed fire protection contractors can also help you determine when it is time to replace your system and equipment. A good rule of thumb is every 10 years. Electronics like those found in smoke detectors have a life expectancy. Detectors can drift out of their factory-set range of sensitivity, making them either overly prone to false alarms or to not respond at all. A licensed fire protection contractor will help you determine when you’ve reached end-of-life with your system, and they will be able to recommend the best replacement fire protection solutions to protect your people, your building, and your processes.
If you want to ensure the safety of your business, then you need to perform regular checks and periodic code-required inspections. All it takes is one oversight for disaster to occur. To ensure you receive the best service for your life safety systems, give us a call today. We represent the leading life-safety system manufacturers to keep your employees and assets safe.