Fire alarm systems degrade over time, which is why regularly conducting an effective fire alarm system maintenance is essential for workplaces in Malaysia. Having a working fire alarm system is critical for a building’s active fire protection. They detect a fire early and send out an alarm to inform all occupants of it. This gives everyone enough time to evacuate in a safe and orderly manner.
Building owners and employers should regularly conduct fire alarm system maintenance to ensure the system is fully operational at all times. We’ve compiled several factors you should look out for when carrying out fire alarm system maintenance, including three common issues to look out for during an inspection.
Why is Fire Alarm System Maintenance Important?
All commercial and industrial buildings in Malaysia (except for certain small residential buildings) must have a functional fire alarm system in place. A building owner is legally responsible for ensuring the building’s fire alarm system maintenance is conducted at least once every 6 months by a certified specialist (according to BS 5839 Standards). Doing so assures building owners that the building’s fire alarm system will work as it should during an emergency, thus protecting the building and its occupants in a fire.
Another reason for fire alarm system maintenance is to prevent unnecessary false alarms that prevent firefighters from attending to actual emergencies. It also ensures that the building’s fire alarm system is maintained per local fire codes and regulations. As a result, system flaws are identified and repaired, and building owners will avoid fines and summonses for non-compliance from local fire safety officers.
Conducting Fire Alarm System Maintenance For Your Workplace
If you are a building owner, you can consult an experienced fire alarm contractor to manage your fire alarm and detection systems. They are trained to ensure the workplace is safe and compliant with local fire safety regulations.
Inspecting your workplace’s fire alarm system is a simple process. However, there are specific steps you should follow, including:
- Check the fire alarm’s status on the control panel.
- Activate and check if the fire alarm call points, detectors, or panels have any physical damage to them.
- Ensure that all call points are accessible and detectors do not have any objects within a 500mm radius.
- Check if the alarm sounders and any other connected equipment, such as magnetic door holders, are working in optimal condition.
- Inspect the fire alarm system’s batteries for any damage.
- Reset the call point and the fire alarm panel.
- Record any problems you find in a logbook and contact a professional.
3 Common Problems to Look For in A Fire Alarm System Maintenance
A fire alarm system’s battery can drain over time and, if left unmonitored, may not be able to function in normal or backup mode. The system should be designed with sufficient standby battery capacity to remain fully operational during an emergency.
Moreover, monitoring the battery’s charging current is important to ensure the system is not overcharged or undercharged during normal operation. Backup batteries should also be available inside the fire alarm panel. During a power outage, they will power the fire alarm system, ensuring it remains operational. In fact, a battery’s lifetime is typically two years. By conducting fire alarm system maintenance, building owners can know if their system has sufficient power and switch batteries if needed.
2. Poorly Positioned Fire Detectors
Fire detection devices should not be placed in dusty, smoky, or greasy areas. Otherwise, they would be triggered accidentally, causing false alarms and panic amongst building occupants.
3. Inadequate Detection
If your workplace is located in a large commercial building or industrial facility, you must ensure that enough detectors are installed throughout the property. This guarantees that all occupants will be alerted of a fire and have enough time to evacuate safely.
Your One-Stop Solution for Fire Protection Systems
Palcon offers a comprehensive range of fire safety solutions, including supplying, installing, and servicing firefighting equipment and fire protection systems. If you need help managing building safety, our team has the skills to conduct fire alarm system maintenance for commercial and residential buildings.
We assure you that once we’ve had a look at your fire alarm systems, you can rest easy knowing they will be in optimal working condition.