Your Weekly & Monthly Fire Alarm Testing Guide
Posted: 22/02/2023
4 minute read
Weekly and Monthly fire alarm testing guide
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Your Weekly & Monthly Fire Alarm Testing Guide

Simply having a fire alarm system isn’t enough; since their usage is so infrequent, you need to stay on top of maintaining and testing them. There are a few different intervals at which you, as the user and responsible person, should test the system, but there is also a wider requirement for a competent professional to test them. 

Regardless of how new or old your fire alarm may be, testing is important to ensure faults are discovered and fixed, as well as to check for any major failures. Regular testing also means your team gets familiar with the system and staff familiar with the sound of the alarm and the evacuation protocols. This month at Surrey Tech Services Ltd, we’re going to talk through the various legal requirements, the intervals for testing and how we can help you. 

Protect both the people in your building and your assets by familiarising yourself with our weekly and monthly fire alarm testing guide.

Weekly and Monthly fire alarm testing guide

Fire alarm testing – the legal requirements

According to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, not only is it a requirement for the responsible person to ensure appropriate fire detection is in place, but also, the system needs to be maintained to uphold the “appropriate” aspect of the law – a broken system is not appropriate! That means regular, scheduled testing by your building’s responsible person or a fire warden in your business delegated and trained to do so.

BS 5839 is the British Standard that deals with fire alarm systems, including their maintenance, for non-domestic premises. This recommends that your fire alarms are user-tested both weekly and monthly to differing levels of scrutiny. 

Additionally, the standard also recommends that regular inspection and servicing be carried out by a professional at a maximum of every six months. That means you should be having at least two visits from a fire alarm specialist for inspection each year, if not more.


What fire safety equipment needs to be checked?

Your fire alarm is made up of different equipment, all of which will need testing either weekly, monthly or every six months. Included in that equipment are the following components where applicable:

  • Manual call points
  • Fire alarm control panels
  • Break-glass call points
  • Detectors
  • Batteries 

In addition to this equipment, you will also want to explore inspection and testing for fire doors, emergency lighting systems and sprinkler systems.


Weekly fire alarm testing

Weekly fire alarm testing by users should follow certain details as set out by the associated British Standard. This includes operating a manual call point within your normal working hours, preferably at the same time every week. The test time should be a minute or less to help those in your building identify the difference between this test and an actual emergency.

Where there are staff not regularly present, a monthly test can be done to ensure they become familiar with the alarm. If you have more than one manual call point, you should test a different one each week to cover them all. 


Monthly fire alarm testing

Monthly fire alarm testing also has measures for users from the British Standard. This involves testing the power supply. So if your standby power supply for the system is an auto-starting generator, this needs to be tested. If it’s a vented battery system, on the other hand, these will need a visual inspection, followed by a quarterly examination by a qualified professional.


How we can help

At Surrey Tech Services Ltd, we’re leading fire alarm experts for London and the Home Counties – including Maidenhead, Guildford and Slough. That means we can handle your requirements for fire alarm servicing and maintenance that is required at a minimum of once every six months. Our qualified engineers will perform a variety of checks and remedy any faults to keep any system in full working order.

Let us help you protect your employees and uphold your legal obligations — call today and book an appointment with our friendly team.

    Protect your business premises today

    Call us now on 08081 689 497 to find out more about our fire alarm design, installation and maintenance services.