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Fires are devastating disasters that can cripple a commercial establishment. That's why you need to test your fire alarms and know how to test your smoke detectors.
Fires are devastating disasters that can cripple a commercial establishment and, in some cases, cause irreparable damage. Across the country, fires can cause billions of dollars of damage a year. In Chicago, the statistics are grim in both residential and commercial fires.
Preventative actions can be taken to ensure that your business doesn’t go up in flames. Amongst the preventative measures, the key ones are testing your fire alarms and knowing how to test your smoke detectors.
Smoke alarm testing and fire alarm testing are important tasks to perform periodically for several reasons. One of the principal reasons is that as advanced as technology is, these days it may still fail from time to time. These tests must be performed to ensure that all equipment functions correctly.
In the case of smoke alarms, many of these are battery-operated so it is crucial to make sure that no batteries need to be replaced. There are different types of commercial buildings such as offices and logistics hubs for which these tests are a matter of life and death.
It is recommended to test fire alarms and smoke detectors weekly for commercial properties. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the minimal requirement is once a month. Batteries should be replaced every 6 months and test logs must be kept ensuring fire alarm testing is being performed on a regular basis.
If one smoke detector emits strange beeps, or in the event of false alarms, all fire safety equipment must be tested at that time. This is to make sure that all safety regulations are followed, and that the equipment is up to date.
For commercial properties, it is highly recommended to designate a specific employee who is adequately trained to keep the fire alarm and smoke detector logs up to date.
Most modern smoke detectors come equipped with a test button. The test must be done for each smoke detector in the building. You must have fresh batteries on hand ready to replace all the defective batteries. If there is no sound or the fire alarm sound is weak, this is a clear sign that the batteries for that detector must be replaced.
In the long run, AC powered smoke detectors rely on electrical currents to function. This makes them more reliable. However, testing a fire alarm, whether it is AC powered or battery operated, doesn’t change. Both need to be tested on a regular basis. It is required that all AC powered smoke detectors also have a battery backup.
There are key steps to take when testing a commercial fire alarm. Regardless of whether this is the weekly, monthly, bi-yearly, or yearly test, it is important to log in all the information into a fire alarm test log.
It is recommended to perform an annual fire drill, especially for bigger companies, at which the employees should not be notified. However, a fire alarm notification is necessary for the weekly, monthly, and bi-yearly test, to avoid creating panic or chaotic state with the employees. When the tests are being performed, it is important to notify your security system company to avoid triggering false alarms.
During these fire alarm tests, employees need to be spread out throughout the entire building, from end to end. This is to make sure that in the event of a fire you will hear the alarm, no matter where you are on the premises.
Once everything is set up for the fire alarm test, it can begin. First, the smoke detectors are a key component of your fire alarm system, so it is important to test them. Most smoke detectors today come equipped with a test button. To perform the test just press and hold down the test button for 5 seconds or so.
If the smoke detector is functioning properly and the batteries are still fresh, then a piercing sound will be heard. If, however, the sound is weak or there is no siren then the batteries need to be replaced immediately.
As mentioned above, it is important that a trained individual be responsible for performing the fire alarm tests within a company and that they keep detailed test logs.
It isn’t just enough to routinely test your commercial fire alarm, it’s crucial to maintain it so that it works more efficiently. That way you can avoid false alarms and it can save lives.
Smoke detectors must be replaced every 10 years or as per the manufacturer’s instructions. In a commercial setting, a company can be found liable in the event of injury or death caused by a faulty smoke detector. After 10 years, dust, dirt, and debris buildup inside the smoke detector and regular wear and tear are the main reasons that require a company to replace old smoke detectors.
Cleaning a smoke detector is necessary; it is recommended to clean commercial smoke detectors at least once a month. When cleaning a smoke detector, Forbel want to make sure that air vents are cleaned so that smoke and carbon monoxide can reach the detector unobstructed. Never submerge the detector in water and don’t use chemical cleaners. Keep it simple: use a microfiber cloth to clean the outside of the smoke detector.
Batteries must be replaced every 6 months in smoke detectors. It is important to make sure the new batteries inserted are fresh, so it is always important to test a smoke detector once the batteries are replaced.
Fire alarms and smoke detectors are tools that can save lives. However, it isn’t enough to just install these fire alarms and smoke detectors. It is crucial to test them and maintain them to ensure your employees’ safety. Contact us today for the most reliable fire alarm solutions, someone’s life may depend on it.