NFPA 72, also known as the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, defines inspection and testing requirements for fire alarm systems. The purpose of these requirements is to ensure that fire alarm systems are always maintained and function properly.
When should a fire alarm system be inspected?
In accordance with NFPA 72, fire alarm systems 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 fire alarm parts of the system.
Who inspects fire alarm systems?
People who have received fire safety training can perform regular inspections and testing of fire alarm systems, although many states require licensing, and even then, they are restricted in their capabilities.
Regular inspections can be performed by trained company personnel in the following areas:
- Inspections of fire alarm control equipment on a weekly basis. The equipment includes a control panel that indicates the system’s status and whether there are any faults detected.
- Battery leaks should be checked monthly. Batteries are found in smoke and other detectors, and battery backups are used by equipment in cases of power loss.
- Inspection of water flow devices and heat detectors, also called radiant energy detectors, on a quarterly basis.
A person cannot perform annual fire alarm system inspections and testing. Fire protection technicians who have received extensive specialized training must conduct these inspections.
Which Fire Alarm System Parts Are Inspected?
A licensed fire protection technician inspects many fire alarm system components during an annual inspection. The inspection is quite comprehensive and includes testing of, at a minimum: