Do you have a fire alarm system installed within your building with manual call points?

Are you carrying out weekly fire alarm testing?

British Standard BS5839 notes the following recommendations in respect of weekly testing:

  1. The operation of a manual call point during normal working hours;
  2. This test to be carried out at approximately the same time each week;
  3. Additional tests to be made at least once a month for any employees not usually present during the normal weekly test;
  4. In systems with multiple manual call points, a different one to be tested each week, so that all are eventually included in the schedule of testing over a period of time;
  5. The routine test time should not normally exceed one minute, so that the occupants of the premises can learn to distinguish between this weekly alarm and an actual fire alarm.

Do you legally need to carry out weekly fire alarm testing as defined above?

Not necessarily, though you would likely need to demonstrate that you have tested to equivalent or higher standard if not carrying out to BS5839 being a known and accepted standard or that is is not reasonably practicable to conduct.

What is the purpose of conducting weekly fire alarm tests?

  1. To check the alarm sounds in all areas of the building;
  2. Fire alarm remains fully operational, any faults are identified prior to service intervals and resolved;
  3. That devices connected with the fire alarm operate on activation, such as internal fire doors all close, where retaining devices are used to hold open, fire curtains drop or entrance, exit doors fitted with access control release to allow evacuation from the building;
  4. All employees are aware of what the fire alarm sound likes, as new employees may start in between fire evacuation drills.

If you require any assistance in either putting weekly testing in to place, employees trained to carry out or your weekly testing carried out for you contact Sky Blue Safety Ltd 01933 812234 neil@skybluesafety.co.uk