Installing a fire alarm system in your business is only the first step in protecting your business from fire. You must also ensure it meets federal guidelines and remains effective and operational.
To help you meet these requirements and safeguards, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) publishes updated standards every three years. These standards, entitled NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, will help you keep the fire protection system for your business up to date.
Are Inspection and Testing Requirements the Same Everywhere in the U.S.?
The NFPA 72 provides the basic requirements outlined by the NFPA, a nonprofit organization that seeks to minimize the effects of fire and electrical hazards. While these guidelines are voluntary, OSHA and local jurisdictions adopt many of the recommendations in NFPA 72, making them mandatory for commercial businesses. You can contact your local Koorsen Fire & Security branch or your local AHJ to get the fire codes for your area.
As such, states are responsible for ensuring compliance. Periodic testing and inspection services help businesses keep their fire protection systems compliant.
Fire Alarm System Inspection Requirements
Different aspects of your fire protection system should be inspected at various intervals throughout the year. ‘Inspections’ are visual checks of equipment, while ‘tests’ are hands-on operations of the components. While an employee can do some inspections, other inspections and testing require a fire protection company like Koorsen Fire & Security.
The control equipment should get inspected every week. This includes inspecting the system’s fuses, power supply, control unit signals, and interfacing equipment.
Every 30 days, the system's batteries should be checked for corrosion or damage. The CO2 detectors should also get inspected at this time. The digital alarm communicator receiver (DACR) should be checked as well.
Each quarter, the supervisory signaling device should be inspected. This unit monitors the various alarm systems throughout your business, so it’s important to ensure it’s functioning properly. The water lines connected to your fire sprinkler system should be inspected at this time. If your business uses radiant energy fire detectors, they should be inspected each quarter.
Testing Your Commercial Fire Alarm System
Your fire protection system should be tested at weekly, monthly, and quarterly intervals in addition to the inspections. Every week, the batteries and the engine-driven generator should be tested to ensure the system will function in the event of a power outage.
The batteries should be checked every month as well. Every 30 days, a charge test, 30-minute discharge test, and load voltage test should be conducted.
At the end of each month, the DACR communication receiver and radio receiver should be tested to check the functionality of the supervisory signaling system. During this testing, one must monitor the radio alarm supervising station receiver (RASSR) and repeater station receiver (RARSR).
Battery tests should be completed at the end of each quarter in addition to weekly and monthly tests. Initiating and signaling systems must undergo testing at this time as well. Finally, one must test the operation of off-premises transmission equipment to ensure rapid response times in the event of a fire-related emergency.
Keep Your Business Compliant with a New System
If you find that your fire alarm system no longer meets the necessary qualifications, don’t delay in replacing it. By contacting us at Koorsen Fire & Security, a fire protection company, our fire alarm experts will make sure your business stays compliant with fire protection regulations. We can meet all of your fire protection system needs from installations and upgrades to testing and inspections. You’ll also enjoy the peace of knowing your business is protected.