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The importance of regularly testing your fire alarm

Why is fire alarm testing important?

Most self-respecting business and homeowners would agree on the importance of having a fire alarm system on the premises. However, many still fall short by not only failing to have their fire alarms installed by a professional but also by not testing their fire alarms regularly. Make sure you’re not one of those exposing themselves and others to unnecessary risk.

There are many reasons why it’s important to have a fully functioning fire alarm system. Aside from the obvious risk of personal injury or loss of life, there are lots of expensive consequences in store for those who don’t have a properly installed fire alarm system in place. Damage to property, legal costs and voided insurance all stack up to result in a hefty bill that could leave you with financial difficulties – in short, nothing but disaster.

The bottom line is that UK law requires that all business premises be fitted with a fire alarm system that is regularly checked and maintained (see The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 for more details). That means if you want to be considered a legitimate business, you will have to commit to the upkeep of a working fire alarm.

The solution is simple: remember to have your fire alarm system installed by a certified professional and regularly check your fire alarm to make sure it is fully functioning. That way, you mitigate the risk of fire and protect yourself and others from the worst-case scenario.

How often should I test my fire alarm?

At home

Rather than a full fire alarm system, most houses will be fitted with a smoke detector. These are usually battery powered although occasionally can be mains fitted.

In the case of battery powered smoke detectors, it’s important to note that the batteries will run down over time. What’s more, even some of the small parts of the device may wear down eventually. That’s why you should regularly test your smoke detector, so you know to change the batteries, or (in the case of worn-down parts) replace the whole device if necessary.

You’re advised to test your smoke detector once a month to make sure it’s still working, and it’s expected that you’ll need to change the batteries once or twice a year. Also, consider wiping down or vacuuming the device to prevent an internal buildup of dust which could affect functionality.

A smoke detector should last around 10 years before needing to be fully replaced. Keep a record of the month and year it was installed so that you’re prepared for when that time finally comes around.

At work

For the average sized business premises, it’s recommended that the fire alarm system be properly tested every 6 months. A larger premises needs to be tested more frequently. This is because a larger building means a larger, more complex fire alarm system with a higher number of separate components, and therefore a higher risk of one of those components malfunctioning. If this applies to your premises, commit to testing your fire alarm system each quarter.

For a full fire alarm system, it’s advisable to enlist the services of a professional company rather than leaving it to yourself or your staff. Professional technicians provide accurate, reliable results and are up to date with any changes to technology or fire safety regulations.

Most companies offering fire alarm installation services will also provide regular inspection and maintenance of the system following installation. Make sure you go with a trusted, well regarded company for the best results.

Who should I contact?

It’s never worth taking chances in the case of fire safety. As a highly reputed, professional organisation, Point Electrical are the smartest choice to put your fears at rest. Whether it’s for your home or for your business, choose us for guaranteed professional service, expert consultation, as well as swift and efficient maintenance whenever necessary. Contact us for an obligation-free quote.

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