You don’t want to ignore fire alarm inspections. First, it may come back to haunt you. Second, it’s illegal. Yes-you must schedule regular inspections, maintenance, and testing visits for your fire alarm system.
The maintenance, testing, and inspection requirements for fire alarm systems are written and maintained by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. The code sets specific inspection criteria and clarifies the maximum intervals allowed between inspections.
For example, it explains that qualified individuals must visually inspect your fire alarm system’s control panel, batteries, sensors, pull stations, and audible alarms. Here are the specific breakdowns of inspection:
- Control panels must be inspected upon installation, reinstallation, and annually.
- Batteries must be inspected upon installation and reinstallation.
- Sensors must be inspected upon installation, reinstallation, and quarterly or semi-annually.
- Pull stations must be inspected twice per year.
- Audible alarms must be inspected every year.
NFPA Standard 72 also explains that a qualified person must conduct the inspection. To qualify as an inspector, a person must be trained and certified by the system manufacturer, have certification from a national organization, have an affiliation with a registered organization, or be employed by a testing laboratory.
Here are some of the critical things a qualified inspector will do during a routine inspection:
- Look at the power supply and transponders of the system’s control panel.
- Ensure the control panel reads the correct address and uses appropriate signals for emergencies.
- Check that the power supply in the batteries is in the correct circuit. The inspector must also make sure that the battery is the correct type and labeled with the month and date of manufacture.
- Examine the audible and pull stations for any physical or operational defects.
Depending on your needs and the specifics of your fire alarm system, an inspection may comprise more tasks. But typically, a visual inspection that includes the details above will meet the NFPA code and the safekeeping of your building.
Total Fire Protection provides all of your fire safety needs. Consult one of our experts today for a free quote and to schedule an inspection today.