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Guest Graham

Do fire alarms have to be tested at certain time?

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Guest Graham

I am due to hold a conference and the venue has told me there will be a fire alarm test at a time that is inconvenient to us as conference organisers. They tell me the time of the test cannot be changed.

Are they able to dictate the time and is there a legal requirement for them to hold the alarm at a specific time?

I obviously understand the need to hold alarm tests and I am happy for them to test the alarm during our event - but not at the time they specify which would cause inconvenience to our delegates.

What are the rules?

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The weekly fire alarm test is usually done at a day and time known to all the occupants of the building so they know it is a test and not an evacuation. If this information is changed then everybody would have be informed and then changed back for the following weeks. Could you not warn all the delegates at the beginning of the conference that there will be a fire alarm test at a certain time and would only last a couple of minutes which you can confirm with the conference centre. It is not a legal requirement but best practise.

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Guest DanielTil

Question: The building where I work has a fire alarm test once a week. It used to be at a reasonably regular time on a regular day (thus indicating to all employees it was just a test). This has now changed. It will still be once a week but at any time and any day. I am concerned that if a fire is not obvious and the alarm goes off we will just assume it is a test losing potentially vital seconds. Is there some form of legislation which states it should be regular an flagged up to staff when the test is to be made?

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I am not aware of any guidance or legislation but it is common sense and most Responsible Persons adhere to that principle. The other factor that should determine if it is a test or the real thing is the length of the test, tests should only last a short period of time, just sufficient time to ensure the system is working and everybody can hear it.

There should be two persons carrying out the test one at the fire alarm panel and the other operating the manual call point so the sounders can be silenced quickly.

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Guest

Hi Tom

When do the smoke alarms need testing in an office building with warehouse attached, can this be done out of hours or must it take place when the employees are at work? It is quite disruptive to do it during working hours, however I don't want to test out of hours if this is not acceptable.

Many thanks

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The weekly test should be done during working hours, because it is designed to see if the FA system is working and everybody can hear the sounders, also each MCB is tested over a period of time. The test should also be carried out at the same time every week and only for a short period, if it continues then they should realize it is not a test and should evacuate. If it is not done during working hours how will the employees know if they can hear the sounders and if a sounder develops a fault how will the RP know without being informed by one of his employees. The other maintenance and tests can be done at the convenience of the service engineers and RP. 

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Guest PAul

i have recently joined an organisation where the fire alarm is tested weekly when the office is shut. I have therefore not heard the alarm sounding. Is this compliant? Thanks 

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The purpose of testing the alarm is to test some of the components and ensure the alarm s working, also to allow all relevant persons to hear what the alarm sounds like and ensure they can hear the alarm. It should be tested at the same time each week so relevant persons realise it is most likely a fire alarm test. Consequently the Responsible Person is not carrying out the recommended procedure.

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Guest I am having a three hour i

I am having an intermittent fire alarm test at our office over a three hour period during office hours. Is this allowed?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm guessing it's a service visit where a large percentage of the points are tested and the panel log checked to see they've reacted correctly. If so then as part of servicing sounders are supposed to be tested so it's correct. Most building users ask for the sounders to be silenced during servicing though although this does mean sounders end up never tested (partcularly the out of the way ones where no one will be in the weekly test.

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Guest Jacque Forster

Hi last year 2019 we had fire training it was good. We were told signs,  of the day alarm would be sounded, and times had to be displayed in a small care home.

For some reason the manager put us in for yet another fire training online course which stated we are to test alarms on any day at any time?

Obviously I ticked the same day same time every week?? Needless to say I was given the red X for wrong answer!! Confused. Com

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The correct answer should be ideally at a similar time on a set day, however some online training is quite poor and wrong in content. Random activation will cause confusion and slow down staff response in the event of real alarm

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