What Happens During a Fire Alarm Inspection Test?

Posted June 21, 2022 by Koorsen Fire & Security

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National Fire Protection Association NFPA 72, also known as the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, sets forth inspection requirements and testing requirements for fire alarm systems. These requirements have been developed to ensure that fire alarm systems are always properly maintained and operational. 


In addition to fire alarm system inspection and testing requirements, NFPA 72 also sets forth inspection requirements and testing requirements for mass notification systems. These are systems that provide visual and audible alerts in cases such as: 


  • Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other weather emergencies
  • Biological, chemical, nuclear, and other terrorist attacks

In this article, we answer the questions: 


  • How often should a fire alarm system be inspected?
  • Who performs fire alarm system inspections?
  • What specific parts of the fire alarm system are inspected?

We also explain why Koorsen Fire & Security is the #1 choice for companies needing fire alarm system inspections and testing. 

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How Often Should a Fire Alarm System Be Inspected?


To comply with the inspection schedule appearing in NFPA 72, a fire alarm system must be inspected at least once a year. As explained in greater detail below, the annual fire alarm system inspection is comprehensive and covers many parts of the system. 


Additionally, smoke detectors must be tested for sensitivity and functioning at least every two years. The tests are designed to ensure that the smoke detectors are calibrated to trigger when specified levels of smoke are present. 


Who Performs Fire Alarm System Inspections? 


Company staff who have received fire safety training can perform regular inspections and testing of fire alarm systems, although many states do require licensing, and even then, employees are strictly limited on what they can do.  


The regular inspections that can be performed by trained company staff include: 


  • Weekly inspections of fire alarm control equipment. This equipment includes the panel that indicates the status of the fire alarm system and whether they're any faults detected in the system.
  • Monthly inspection of batteries for leakage. Batteries are found in smoke and other detectors, and battery backups are used by equipment in cases of power loss.
  • Quarterly inspection of water flow devices and heat detectors, also known as radiant energy detectors.

Company staff cannot perform annual fire alarm system inspections and testing. They must be conducted by licensed fire protection technicians who have received extensive specialized training. 


What Specific Parts of the Fire Alarm System Are Inspected? 


Many fire alarm system components are inspected by a licensed fire protection technician when an annual inspection is performed. The inspection is quite comprehensive and includes testing of, at a minimum: 


  • Fire alarm panels
  • Heat detectors, tamper switches, and fire sprinkler flow switches
  • Remote annunciators
  • Control valves used to trigger wet alarms
  • Output relays that unlock doors when the fire alarm system is activated

How Koorsen Fire & Security Can Help With Your Fire Alarm System Inspections and Testing 


Koorsen Fire & Security is the most trusted name for fire alarm system inspections and testing. Companies across the nation and various industries depend on Koorsen Fire & Security to keep their fire alarm systems maintained and ready to help save lives in the event of a fire. 


Our licensed fire protection technicians at Koorsen Fire & Security are highly experienced with fire alarm systems produced by top manufacturers. In addition, our technicians are kept up to date with the latest advancements in fire alarm system technologies. 


When you partner with Koorsen Fire & Security to inspect and test your fire alarm system, our technicians will ensure the system complies with all local, state, and federal laws, codes, regulations, and manufacturer requirements. 


As part of our fire alarm system inspection and testing process, we: 


  • Verify that every alarm initiating device is functioning normally
  • Check the fire alarm system panel to ensure that every alarm initiating device is connected
  • Confirm that power supplies and battery backup systems are sufficient
  • Test smoke detectors with test smoke
  • Make sure remote annunciators are reachable

Contact Koorsen Fire & Security today to learn more about how we can help with your fire alarm system inspection and testing needs. 

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Topics: Fire Safety, Inspection/Testing, Fire Alarm Systems

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Disclaimer: The information in this article is for informational purposes only. It is believed to be reliable, but Koorsen Fire & Security assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this article. It does not constitute professional advice. The user of this article or the product(s) is responsible for verifying the information's accuracy from all available sources, including the product manufacturer. The authority having jurisdiction should be contacted for code interpretations.