Fire alarm inspections are integral to having a top-notch fire protection system to protect both property and human life. Property management is critical in this aspect. Regular inspections must be conducted to ensure each component of the system is working as it is designed to be doing. In fact, between 2006 and 2010 it was found that a lack of maintenance caused 44% of wet or dry chemical system failures. That is a high percentage of damage that could have been avoided. Here is how a property manager can prepare for routine fire alarm inspections.
What Happens During Routine Fire Alarm Inspections?
Most people remember the thrill of fire drills at school. The warnings, the loud noises, and the brief chaos that always resulted can be difficult to forget. If this is the image you associate with fire alarm inspections, don’t worry. That is not what will be happening when technicians test the property’s system.
Who Will Be Inspecting the Property?
Commercial fire protection services actually require two technicians to inspect a property. A fire protection company will send at least two professionals to check that the property is in compliance with the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA) Standard 72, which details both how to conduct maintenance and how to fix any issues.
What Will Happen During an Inspection.
Once the inspection is scheduled, the company will send out two technicians. The technicians will alert the nearest fire department that the property is running inspections on that day. Depending on the size of the property, they will begin at the very top of the building and work their way to the bottom. Going floor by floor, the technicians will check smoke detectors; the fire alarm pulls; alarms and horns; and the batteries of the system.
This maintenance check is good to also keep track of any possible problems to be addressed in the future. Fire protection systems work best when they are a combination of fire alarms, fire suppression systems, and such. It is said that using a combination of safety features can reduce by 50% the danger to human life and property damage.
How Should You Let Your Property’s Occupants Know About the Inspection?
It is a courtesy to inform the occupants of the property when the fire alarm inspection will be taking place. This means alerting them to both the day and the expected hours the technicians will be on site. The fire alarms may go off at random intervals. It would be unfortunate to frighten the occupants with fears of a fire unnecessarily. An email and a flyer usually does an adequate job.
Inspections are recommended once a year. If a property manager suspects an issue with the fire protection system, then it is perfectly acceptable to request a technician to come check out the component. It is always better to be overly cautious in these matters, as to be wrong could be devastating.