Fire alarm systems must meet the inspection and testing requirements of NFPA 72, also known as the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. These requirements are intended to ensure that fire alarm systems are maintained and function properly.
When should a fire alarm system be inspected?
A fire alarm system must be inspected at least once a year in accordance with NFPA 72. Annual fire alarm system inspections cover many fire alarm parts of the system, as explained in greater detail below.
Smoke detectors should also be tested for sensitivity and functionality every two years. Calibration tests are conducted on smoke detectors to ensure they detect specified levels of smoke.
Who inspects fire alarm systems?
In many states, people who have received fire safety training can inspect and test fire alarm systems, although they must be licensed, and even then, their abilities are limited.
Regular inspections can be performed by trained company personnel in the following areas:
- Inspections of fire alarm control equipment on a weekly basis. The equipment includes a control panel that indicates the system’s status and whether there are any faults detected.
- Battery leaks should be checked monthly. Batteries are found in smoke and other detectors, and battery backups are used by equipment in cases of power loss.
- Inspection of water flow devices and heat detectors, also called radiant energy detectors, on a quarterly basis.
A person cannot perform annual fire alarm system inspections and testing. Fire protection technicians who have received extensive specialized training must conduct these inspections.
Which Fire Alarm System Parts Are Inspected?
During an annual inspection, a fire protection technician inspects many fire alarm components of the system. The inspection is quite comprehensive and includes testing of, at a minimum: