How Often Should You Get a Professional to Check Your Office Fire Alarm?
It’s estimated that fire departments in the United States respond to 3,340 fires in office buildings every year. Those fires result in an average of four deaths, 44 injuries, and $112 million in direct property damages.
A working fire alarm may not prevent a fire from starting. However, fire safety equipment, including alarms, fire extinguishers, and automatic sprinkler systems, are essential for saving lives, preventing injuries, and minimizing property damage.
Ensuring the fire alarm system in your office is in excellent working order requires regular inspections. Here are the details on how often you should call for a professional to check your equipment.
Why Can’t My Office Manager Check the Fire Alarm?
You can delegate just about anything to your office manager, except testing fire safety equipment. First, your local fire code likely requires a professional fire alarm system technician to test fire alarms in the workplace.
Professionals go through extensive training to ensure they’re skilled in all aspects of fire alarm systems, including testing. They’re also familiar with how to work with local fire departments, especially when testing equipment.
Most laypeople, including office managers, don’t have the training to inspect and test these critical safety systems. Office staff trained in fire safety can do visual checks and other maintenance-related tasks, but a qualified technician must do the official testing and inspection.
Who Determines When I Test My Fire Alarms?
Whether you run a small business or a large corporation, you’ll have commercial fire safety equipment at your business building. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) writes the standards for fire protection equipment in commercial buildings.
The NFPA sets the rules for the frequency of testing the fire alarm and other components of the fire safety system.
The type of system in each location partially determines the interval between tests. In addition, your local Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) has its own rules you must follow. That said, the standards developed by the NFPA for quarterly, semi-annual, and annual inspections are universal.
How Often Should I Call a Professional Technician?
As mentioned above, testing intervals for fire alarms are based on the type of fire alarm system you have in your office building. You’ll want to initiate a good working relationship with your fire safety solution provider. Why?
The first reason is that you’ll depend on their expertise to ensure that your system is working correctly. Second, your fire safety specialists will keep track of your inspection and testing schedule.
You may never need to call (unless you have an emergency or other pressing questions) because they’ll contact you—at least for your annual inspection.
Your fire protection system must be tested every year by a licensed technician. Not only will they test the fire alarms and their components, but they should also test other components of the system, such as the sprinkler system and standpipes.
Contact Us to Schedule Testing
Fire alarm testing isn’t only a legal requirement. It’s the ethical business owner’s responsibility to ensure the safety of staff and visitors at your business location.
Are you scheduling your annual fire alarm testing and inspection for the first time? The experts at Secure it Securities Corp. are happy to walk you through the process and answer questions you might have about our other services. Contact us today for more information or to request a free estimate.