Enquiry posted by Matt Ball –
Following the installation of a fire alarm system in a general needs block of flats where a rise of heat sensor, sounder and beacon is installed as part of the system in every flat, can anyone offer experience regarding the management of this system? Specifically, the weekly testing regime and tenant engagement?
I’m interested in cost effective solutions to undertake the weekly checks, whether there is a requirement to test the sensors within the flats weekly and how all this can be done with minimal disruption to the tenants lives.
We have an agreement with WYFS that where we have a Part 1 system installed within general needs flats we will test then fortnightly rather than weekly. This just completed in the communal area at one of the break glasses. When we complete the service we will then attempt to enter a s selection of flats.
We have a team of a facility operatives who complete these tests checks along with a flick test on the emergency lighting and a few H&S checks on stairs and access etc.
We would also have a part 6 system installed within each flat and these are tested annually.
BS5839-1 is specific when it says weekly testing must be undertaken, ultimately if the regs are not followed you have to prove via risk assessment why you have deviated.
The rule i also think about is if there was a fire and someone died could you back up an investigation and court appearance saying you did all the checks required from the British standards?
As already noted by Paul a weekly test is a simple activation of a call point to confirm correct operation of the Fire Panel, i always think it better to do this with relays enabled so you are confirming fire doors close and any other ancillary equipment is doing what it should
Cost is not an option when it comes to life safety systems.