Inspection and maintenance of a fire alarm system

Fire alarm systems warn at an early stage, control other fire protection systems and inform the fire brigade. Maintenance and inspection are mandatory and imperative.

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21 July 2021 Fire Safety

Fire alarm systems warn of danger at an early stage, provide specific information about the source of danger and sometimes also independently initiate initial fire protection measures. To ensure that this also works in an emergency, it is important to carry out the prescribed fire alarm system maintenance. You can find out who is obliged to do this, what the maintenance involves and who is allowed to carry it out here.

Sense and purpose of a fire alarm system

A fire alarm system is part of preventive fire protection and is installed in the building. The fire alarm system provides early warning in the event of danger from smoke, gas or fire and can be connected to the local fire brigade. The fire alarm system consists of several parts such as fire detectors, manual push-buttons, signaling devices (flashing light and siren), a fire brigade information centre as well as a fire brigade key depot and the fire brigade run cards. If the connected fire alarm system is triggered, it alerts the local fire brigade, triggers the internal alarm and can trigger further measures such as opening smoke outlets, closing fire closures or similar fire protection systems. This keeps escape and rescue routes smoke-free for a longer time so that people present can save themselves. A fire alarm system like this can therefore be life-decisive!

Duty to inspect and maintain a fire alarm system

If a fire alarm system is required by building law, then there is also an obligation in accordance with the fire brigade's conditions for activation for annual maintenance and quarterly inspection. Maintenance may only be carried out by a certified specialist company such as CWS Fire Safety. The inspection can also be carried out by an instructed person of the operator, whereby this is usually done by the certified specialist company as well. These specialist companies must meet the requirements of DIN 14675 and also provide proof of this.

We are certified and will gladly carry out the inspection and maintenance of your fire alarm system.

Inspection of a fire alarm system

The inspection is prescribed quarterly according to DIN 14675 and can be carried out by an instructed person. During the inspection, attention is paid to soiling and damage to fire alarm components as well as to structural changes and changes to the surrounding situation, e.g. due to a conversion or a change of use.

Maintenance of a fire alarm system

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Maintenance of a fire alarm system is mandatory at least once a year. For maintenance, the main detector is switched off so that no alarm is sent to the local fire brigade. In addition to the visual inspection, it is checked whether the detectors (smoke detectors as well as manual call buttons) are triggered and whether the display on the fire brigade information centre with the fire brigade control panel is correct. In addition, it is checked whether other alarm and fire protection devices are activated and triggered. Since a fire alarm system must also function without power, the batteries are checked by measuring the quiescent and load current or voltage.

When maintaining a fire alarm system, individual wearing parts or elements must be replaced from time to time. These include the following:

  • Batteries of the emergency power supply must be replaced every 4 years according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Fire detectors with contamination compensation must be replaced after 8 years at the latest, without contamination compensation after 5 years at the latest.

Often the inspection is also carried out by the specialist company that performs the maintenance. Therefore, the inspection of the detectors is usually spread over the year, i.e. 25% of the detectors are inspected every quarter, so that after one year all detectors have been inspected once. Fire detectors are tested with a test gas, thermal detectors are heated up by a heat test button until they give an alarm. Afterwards, the number of the fire detector in the fire brigade information centre is used to check whether the detector has also detected.

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All connected systems that are triggered by the fire alarm system are checked during the maintenance of the fire alarm system. Depending on the requirements, this may include, for example, the following fire protection devices:

  • Opening of smoke vents and escape doors
  • Closing of fire doors and fire gates
  • Lift that automatically travels to the basement or to an area where no activation takes place
  • Shutting down ventilation systems

Note: If it is the case that different companies check the connected fire protection equipment, it is best to have the equipment serviced on the same day.

Quality in fire alarm system maintenance

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All elements of a fire alarm system to be tested are carried out on the basis of a checklist, and the fire alarm system maintenance is also recorded in an operating log. An inspection certificate is issued to the operator. This ensures compliance with DIN 14675, DIN VDE 0833 and ISO 9001.

By the way, our service technicians are regularly updated to the latest state of the art for fire alarm systems every 4 years at the latest. Our own training centre - Fire Safety Academy - regularly trains and educates our own service technicians in all areas of fire protection through our own as well as external lecturers.

Overview of the inspection, maintenance and servicing of fire alarm systems

  • Annual maintenance of the fire alarm system by a qualified person
  • Quarterly inspection by an instructed person
  • Replacement of the battery emergency power supply every 4 years
  • Replacement of smoke detectors with contamination compensation after 8 years at the latest, without contamination compensation after 5 years at the latest.
  • DIN 14675 Specifications for the installation and operation of fire alarm systems
  • DIN VDE 0833 Specifications for hazard detection systems for fire, burglary and robbery
  • ISO 9001 Standard for quality management systems

Do you still have questions about the maintenance of a fire alarm system?

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