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How to Test a Fire Alarm

Published October 28th, 2021 by Secure IT Securities Corp

The 2019 national estimate data for nonresidential building fires shows there were 110,900 fires across the US. And, these fires caused almost $3bn in damage. 

The frequency of fires is increasing. That's why knowing how to test a fire alarm will ensure your employees remain safe in the event of a fire. It would be best if you always prepared your business in case of an emergency. 

If you're unsure about your fire alarm system and how to test it, you've come to the right place. This article will tell you everything you need to know.

Types of Fire Alarms

There are two different types of fire alarms. Most homes use battery-operated detectors. They are inexpensive and easy to install. But, they require frequent inspection. 

Even though these alarms start chipping when they need a battery replacement, you must remember to replace the batteries twice a year. This ensures proper function.

On the other hand, there are AC-powered fire safety systems. Electricians install these units throughout a building by direct wiring them to a power source. As a result, they are more dependable over a long period. 

But, they should have an independent backup battery in case of an electrical fire or blackout.  

Hardwired fire alarms still require monthly testing. This ensures every part of the fire alarm system is working correctly. 

How to Test Your Alarm System

The general method of how to test a fire alarm is the same for both types of alarms. To check for functionality, first, notify the office you're testing the alarms. This way, everyone remains calm when the high-pitched sound goes off. 

Then, make sure there are people scattered around the office. Next, you must make sure your employees can hear the sound no matter where they are. If there is any place where the alarm sounds muffled or weak, you need to install more fire alarms.

All fire alarms and smoke detectors have a test button. You push the button to sound the alarm. If the sound is weak, you need to replace the batteries. As with battery-operated detectors, hardwired detectors should get new batteries twice a year too.

Also, check the light on each alarm. Depending on the model, either a blinking or solid light shows that the alarm is receiving power. It would help if you also make sure no dust or dirt is collecting on the fire alarms. This can affect its functionality.

The test button only helps you know that the fire alarms are receiving power. To test if the detector is working correctly, you can light a few matches and blow out the flame near the sensor. 

Fire alarms have an average lifespan of 8-10 years. However, you can check the manufacturing date of your alarms to get a solid idea of when you should replace them. Additionally, your office should practice fire prevention to reduce the risk of fires.

Now You Know How To Test a Fire Alarm

The process of how to test a fire alarm is straightforward for you to follow. Testing your system monthly and replacing batteries twice a year will ensure everyone remains safe in case of an office fire. 

To get more information about installing and testing a fire alarm system, contact us at Secure IT Securities. Our skilled professionals will guarantee fire safety for your business.


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