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June 15, 2017

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The Intruder Alarm Report 2020

10 top tips for the maintenance and testing of fire detection systems

John Briggs, head of training and risk at the Fire Protection Association (FPA), is delivering a seminar on ‘Defining competency’ during day two of FIREX 2017 – Wednesday 21 June – between 12:00-12:50 in The FPA Infozone.

Briggs has also put together the following tips for the maintenance and testing of fire detection systems, which offer a digital foretaste of the kind of high-level education to expect from the FPA Infozone at FIREX International 2017. Get your free badge now.

1. All

You need to ensure that whoever does your maintenance and testing that it is done by a “competent” person.

2. Fire detection systems

BS5839 is the standard that maintenance companies comply with to carry out maintenance on fire alarm and detection systems. These checks are normally done quarterly. However, there are also user checks in this standard that the owner or user of the system must complete on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

3. Emergency lighting

There is now no requirement for the six monthly test in emergency lighting tests BS5266-8.

4. Dry risers

The guidance says that dry risers should be tested each year. This is a full pressure test.

5. Fire log book

It is important to record all maintenance carried out on fire systems in the fire log book.

6. Fire doors

Remember, fire doors are only part of the door “SET” which is the doors, the frame and the door furniture.

7. Fire extinguishers

A subcontractor will inspect your extinguishers annually, according to the contract you may have in place, but you or the user are required to carry out and record monthly checks.

8. Fire stopping

When fire stopping, it is important to label what has been done and keep a record of the materials used.

9. Escape routes

You must show [record] that you have checked on a regular basis that escape routes are clear and unobstructed – at all times.

10. Ducting

Make sure the fire detection system in any ducting or voids can be serviced properly.

John Briggs, head of training and risk at the Fire Protection Association (FPA), is delivering a seminar on ‘Defining competency’ during day two of FIREX 2017 – Wednesday 21 June – between 12:00-12:50 in The FPA Infozone.

FIREX International takes place between 20-22 June 2017 at London ExCeL. Get your free badge now.

The Future of Fire Safety: download the eBook

Is the fire protection industry adapting to the post-Grenfell reality fast enough? At FIREX International 2019, Europe's only dedicated fire safety event, some of the world's leading fire safety experts covered this theme. This eBook covers the key insights from those discussions on the developments shaping the profession, with topics including:

  • Grenfell Inquiry must yield “bedrock change” – and soon
  • After Grenfell: Jonathan O’Neill OBE on how austerity and policy “on the hoof” are hampering progress
  • Hackitt’s Golden Thread: Fire, facilities and building safety
  • Fire safety community has to “get on board” with technological changes

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AITO FireworkJordanOscar O'MalleylnweaverTyler Meredith Recent comment authors
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Tyler Meredith
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Tyler Meredith

It’s interesting that fire detection systems are generally tested and maintained quarterly. It makes sense that this could help ensure there aren’t any minor problems that could cause a major one in an emergency. I’ll have to remember this for when I get a fire detection and suppression system because even if there aren’t requirements for residential applications, keeping it up to date would be beneficial.

lnweaver
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lnweaver

I didn’t realize that BS5839 was the standard that maintenance companies use to carry out maintenance on fire alarm systems. If I owned a company, I would want to make sure that we were up to code with that standard. A fire systems maintenance company that was able to check regularly and was competent in their abilities would be the type of company I would look for. http://streamlinefireprotection.com/ventures.html

Oscar O\'Malley
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Oscar O\'Malley

I appreciate that you explained how important it is to regularly make sure escape routes are clear. The other day I was at the store, and noticed a pile of boxes in front of an exit door. That left me a little nervous, but now that I’ve seen all these precautions that can be taken, I’ll be sure to implement them in my own home!
http://thesafetyteaminc.com/

Jordan
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Jordan

I’ve been wanting to look into a fire alarm company, and I think that being able to know what to look for would be good. I’m glad you mentioned getting fire doors and how they are part of the set. I’m going to have to see what options we can find and figure out if we can get a good fire alarm set from a quality company!

AITO Firework
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AITO Firework