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Fire Alarm Inspections: What to Expect

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Fire alarm inspections are routine checks of the fire alarm system in a commercial or residential property. They are performed by qualified personnel from a fire protection company and are done to verify that alarm systems are still functioning properly. Fire alarm inspections involve a visual examination of the system, a series of system tests, and system maintenance if required. If you are having the fire alarm system in your home or place of business inspected, here’s what you can expect.

1)      You will be asked to notify everyone on the premises that a fire inspection will be taking place at a specified time. This is necessary since the alarm will go off during the inspection. The inspection company will also give the monitoring/dispatch center notice about the inspection so that no fire trucks are sent to the premises when the alarm goes off.

2)      The alarm technician will visually inspect the batteries, panel, wires, charging circuit, and modules.

3)       The technician will perform a series of tests to make sure that different components of the alarm system are working properly. All of the signal devices (the main alarm, horns, bells, chimes, strobes) will be triggered for a few minutes and the technician will go to each one to verify that it is working (known as location checks). The water flow switch, which regulates the flow of water through the sprinkler pipes, is also set off to verify functionality. The smoke and heat detectors are tested, as well as the battery-charging circuit.

4)      The alarm technician will call the dispatch center to verify that all signals sent during the tests were received.

5)      Any required system repairs or upgrades will be performed or recorded for servicing in the near future.

6)      Paperwork will be filled out and a green tag with information such as the inspection date and the fire protection contractor’s name will be attached to the panel. The green tag signifies that the alarm system has been inspected and deemed completely sound and functional by a licensed inspector. If the system has been found to be functional with a minor deficiency, then a yellow tag is affixed. A system that is non-operational is given a red tag, while a system that has been serviced is given a white tag.

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