Why have a fire alarm company come in and inspect the system?
Most municipalities follow standards from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for fire alarm testing. Often they adopt them as a requirement for properties to maintain occupancy.
Many facility managers have negative views of the fire inspection process, primarily because they do not recognize the significant benefits for the business security. Testing and inspection will determine whether your fire protection products meet minimum performance criteria described by the association.
The NFPA sets strict guidelines for the installation, maintenance, and performance of fire alarm systems in the United States. By following the local fire code established by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), you can have peace of mind that you are following the safety standards— and your fire alarm system is operating at optimum efficiency. You can find out exactly who your AHJ is by contacting the fire marshal in your district.
Related: Area of Refuge Requirements
What is involved in a fire alarm system test?
Fire tests from Alarm Detection Systems, Inc. (ADS) are scheduled around your time to have the smallest interruption to your business.
A qualified technician will come to your facility make a comprehensive list of your devices. He will then perform the required tests for each. Some are visual inspections while others might involve triggering mass notification devices.
Like many electronics, fire alarm panels and associated components can degrade over time and can compromise the system’s operation. Dust, dirt, and damage to fire safety devices are common occurrences that affect the integrity of your fire protection.
When properly maintained, tested and serviced, your fire alarm system will be running at optimum efficiency. After the scheduled test is complete, you will receive a comprehensive report to keep on file. NFPA guidelines specify the intervals between fire alarm tests. They can be annual, bi-annual, or another timeframe depending on the equipment at your facility.
Benefits from fire alarm testing
- Safer work environment for employees and customers
- Improved resale value of your building
- Lower insurance premiums
- Risk mitigation from fire Loss
- Avoid fire code violation
- Reduce fines due to false alarms
Find the right company
Don’t be fooled. Some companies may perform fire testing without licenses. In certain cases, some business owners accept the simple “look up at the ceiling for smoke detectors method” as an indication that those devices are functioning.
How would you know if a company’s technician is qualified to do fire testing? Search their credentials through the NICET website. The individuals listed will have the certifications to service fire and life-safety equipment. Most fire departments in Illinois require that you submit your annual test for inspection.
You do not want to provide a fire test performed by an unlicensed company to your local fire department. Doing some of the homework when choosing a company will save you problems down the road.
Fire alarm systems are designed to protect individuals, property and other assets essential to business operations.
Contact Alarm Detection Systems at 630.844.6322. We are the largest privately-held security provider in Illinois that offers fire and sprinkler testing