Here’s What You Need To Know About Fire Alarm Testing Requirements

fire alarm testing requirements feature

No matter what industry you work in, your facility must have a fire alarm system installed. It will help warn your employees of potential fires so they have time to get to safety, and it will also help protect your equipment and products from potential damage. 

Installing a fire alarm and leaving it at that isn’t enough. The alarm system needs to be inspected, tested, and maintained on a regular basis. Here’s a closer look at fire alarm testing requirements so you can set yourself up for success. 

Fire Alarm Testing Requirements 101

Performing regular fire alarm system inspections and testing is key to maintaining safety in your facility and protecting your assets. Each specific fire alarm system can require varying levels of inspection and testing, depending on the type of system and your local jurisdiction. Therefore, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has established general guidelines you can follow and use to get a general idea of what you’ll need to do.

In General, How Often Should Fire Alarms Be Inspected and Tested?

According to the NFPA general standards, fire alarms need to be inspected and tested weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually, every five years, and every 10 years. Some of these require a licensed fire protection technician to perform them; trained in-house staff members can do others. 

  • Weekly – Trained in-house staff members
  • Monthly – Trained in-house staff members
  • Quarterly – Trained in-house staff members 
  • Semi-annually – Licensed fire protection technician
  • Annually – Licensed fire protection technician
  • Every five years – Licensed fire protection technician
  • Every 10 years – Licensed fire protection technician

What Are the Fire Alarm Inspection Requirements?

After determining your fire alarm inspection and testing schedule, it’s helpful to have a checklist of what each inspection and test includes. 

You and your staff can use this checklist to inspect your alarm systems every week, month, and quarter. 

Weekly Fire Alarm Inspections

  • Inspect the control equipment that’s responsible for trouble signals, including:
    • Fuses
    • Interfaced equipment
    • Lamps and LED lights
    • The main power supply
    • Control unit trouble signals

Monthly Fire Alarm Inspections

  • Inspect batteries for corrosion or leakage
  • Inspect the digital communicator receiver (DACR)
  • Check the CO2 detectors according to the manufacturer’s recommendations

Quarterly Fire Alarm Inspections

  • Inspect radiant energy fire detectors
  • Inspect supervisory signal devices
  • Inspect water flow devices

What Are the Fire Alarm Testing Requirements?

In addition to the inspections above, you or your specially trained staff should test the following components of your fire alarm system. 

Weekly Fire Alarm Tests

  • Test the batteries and engine-driven generator for public fire alarm reporting systems

Monthly Fire Alarm Tests

  • Test the engine-driven generator for central station facilities and fire alarm systems
  • Test the batteries for central station facilities:
    • Lead-acid batteries
      • Perform a discharge test for 30 minutes
      • Perform a load voltage test  
    • Sealed lead-acid batteries (replace batteries within five years after they were manufactured)
      • Perform a charger test
      • Perform a discharge test for 30 minutes
      • Perform a load voltage test 
    • Fire alarm system batteries
      • Perform a primary dry-cell load voltage test
  • Test supervising station fire alarm systems and receivers
    • Digital alarm communicator receiver (DACR)
    • Digital alarm radio receiver (DARR)
    • McCulloh systems
    • Two-way RF multiplex
    • Radio alarm supervising station receiver (RASSR)
    • Radio alarm repeater station receiver (RARSR)
    • Private microwave

Quarterly Fire Alarm Tests

  • Test the batteries for central station facilities:
    • Perform a nickel-cadmium charger test and replace the battery as needed
    • Perform a sealed-led acid-type charger test (replace batteries within five years after they were manufactured)
    • Test the batteries in the public fire alarm reporting system
      • Perform a discharge test for two hours
      • Perform a load voltage test
    • Perform a nickel-cadmium load voltage test
  • Test the initiating devices
  • Test off-premises transmission equipment

Contact Total Industrial Solutions for Licensed Fire Alarm Inspection and Testing Services

We know that the safety of your people and assets is the most important to you – that’s why our team of experts is happy to offer fire alarm system testing and inspection. We’ve got you covered no matter what kind of system you have. 

Do you want to take your fire safety up a notch? Depending on the size of your facility and the chemicals and equipment you work with, you might benefit from a foam suppression system. Foam suppression systems are water-based and include an additional extinguishing agent. They should be used in any setting where flammable or combustible liquids are used, processed, manufactured, or stored. 

At Total Industrial Solutions, we use industry-leading fire protection solutions, including foam suppression systems. Our expert technicians understand the importance of a safe and efficient work environment, and we’re here to support you with all your fire suppression needs. 

Interested in learning more about your fire suppression options? Give our team a call today!