How often should fire alarms be checked?


Appropriate fire alarms are a legal requirement for every single business. It’s not enough to simply install one though, by law, you’ve got to maintain and test it too.

The legalities

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) is the overarching legislation covering fire  safety.

To comply with the RRO, your premises, facilities, equipment and devices must be regularly maintained by a competent person – which, of course, includes your fire alarms.

Expanding on this is the guidance set out in the relevant British Standard: BS 5839, which recommends fire alarm detection systems are inspected by a competent person at least twice a year.

The inspection process

Fire alarms are intricate systems, which is why it’s so important that the person conducting the checks knows what they are doing.

During the inspection process, particular attention should be paid to things like:

Checks Questions
Condition Is the exterior condition of your fire alarms suitable? Is the condition and power of your standby batteries in working order?
Sound When required, do your fire alarms sound as they should?
Link Does the link to your alarm centre work?

How often should fire alarms be tested?

As well as sticking to six monthly inspections (as a minimum), you’re legally required to run weekly fire alarm tests, too – this is covered under Article 17 of the RRO.

Fire alarm tests are a critical cog in ensuring your devices are fully operational should the worst happen, and that the people in the building know how it sounds. For each fire alarm test ran, a competent person should log the date and time of the test, and take appropriate action – right away – if there’s a fault.

Outside of your fire alarm tests, the below should all be documented too:

  • The date, time, cause and duration of each time the fire alarm’s triggered
  • Any faults found and what action was taken to repair them
  • The date and time of any instances whereby the fire alarm’s disconnected
  • The date and time any alterations are made to your alarms
  • Any evacuation drills that are completed utilising your alarm system.

It’s essential that your fire alarm test log book is accurate and up-to-date. Why? Because it could be called upon by an enforcing authority at any time, and it’s your audit trail that you’re on top of your legal duties.

Don’t be alarmed

If you’re worried your current fire alarm safety regime isn’t up to scratch, then we can help. We’ve got an army of highly experienced and qualified technicians on hand to thoroughly inspect your fire detection devices twice a year.

To find out more about our Fire Alarm Servicing, get in touch with our dedicated Additional Services Team on 0345 241 5250 or Alternatively, if you’d like to hear about our range of Health & Safety Services, get in touch today.

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