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Testing of smoke detectors as part of a commercial fire alarm

Guest Claire T

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Guest Claire T

Hi all

I wonder if you can help.

I've previously seen fire alarm service companies use long poles to puff smoke into detector heads as part of the routine service of the fire alarm.

During a recent inspection and visit to a site when I was discussing this, the site indicated that this never happens and they are certain of this.

I'm not sure if there are other ways to check the detector heads. If anyone can help clarify how smoke detector heads should be serviced that would be great. Does it need to be manually checked in this way or can it be done remotely / via electronic signals

Any help would be appreciated

Kind regards

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Has to be using test smoke/heat. If they aren't then they are doing the equivalent of what in the extinguisher trade is known as 'rag & tag' i.e. not actually doing anything other than filling in the service label/report & adding a tamper tag.

Wouldn't surprise me if they don't open up the panel and check the panels with a test meter either.

Far too many con artists out there in the fire trade.

From the British Standard for Fire Alarms:

c) Every heat detector should be functionally tested by means of a suitable heat source, unless
operation of the detector in this manner would then necessitate replacement of part or all of
the sensing element (e.g. as in fusible link point detectors or non-integrating line detectors).
Special test arrangements are required for fusible link heat detectors. The heat source should not
have the potential to ignite a fire; live flame should not be used, and special equipment might be
necessary in explosive atmospheres.
d) Point smoke detectors should be functionally tested by a method that confirms that smoke
can enter the detector chamber and produce a fire alarm signal (e.g. by use of apparatus that
generates simulated smoke or suitable aerosols around the detector). It should be ensured
that the material used does not cause damage to, or affect the subsequent performance of, the
detector; the manufacturer’s guidance on suitable materials should be followed.

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