How Often Should I Conduct Smoke and Fire Alarm Inspections?

The early detection of a fire is a critical part of protecting those within a building from the danger it poses. As a result, conducting regular fire alarm inspections is something which should be a priority for landlords and business owners. Unfortunately, it’s far too easy to become complacent and feel safe in the knowledge that they should be working.

In last week’s blogs we talked about the different types of fire detection systems – but how regularly should we be having them inspected?

How often do they need to be inspected?

Whilst regulations technically state that you only need to ensure your fire alarms are ‘adequately maintained’, legislation BS 5839 states that your fire alarm should be inspected by a competent person at least every six months. The UK government recommends the same, although some common sense is required; if you own a particularly large property with many different areas to cover, there’s absolutely no harm in having things looked over more frequently.

Why are fire alarm inspections so important?

The statistics around fire detection systems speak for themselves – and they have a lot to say. In the year leading up to September 2018, 38% of battery-operated smoke alarms did not sound during a fire; this could be due to missing, flat or disconnected batteries. Whilst we don’t know exactly how many lives were lost as a result, the mere fact that many of these incidents may have been avoided or resolved sooner thanks to a functioning smoke alarm should be a wake up call to us all.

Other things to consider are the time and resources which go into responding to false alarms – many of which are caused by faulty fire alarms. London Fire Brigade attended no less than 38,000 false alarms in 2017 and, as a result, there are discussions happening around whether to start charging individuals and businesses to recover the costs of such incidents. Conducting regular fire alarm inspections means you’ll be able to identify any issues or concerns before time and resources which could be better spent elsewhere, working on real emergencies, are wasted.

Smoke and fire alarm inspections by Excel Fire

If you’ve found your way to this page, it’s likely because you have questions about the validity of your current fire and smoke alarms – questions which we’re both more than happy and extremely well-equipped to answer. Whilst your annual fire risk assessment may be a legal obligation, having your equipment tested and inspected more regularly simply makes sense – and could truly save lives.

We’d love to tell you more about smoke and fire alarm inspections as a part of the fire safety guidance we here at Excel provide; whilst we may run a business, our aim is to ultimately protect people, properties and homes across London and the surrounding areas. With that in mind, whether you’re simply looking for some impartial advice or to fully engage with a fire safety partner: don’t hesitate to contact us today.