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Fire Alarm Fault


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I have been maintaining, fault finding and servicing fire alarm systems in excess of 20 years. I have recently been questioned regarding a routine maintenance regarding a fault on a panel. Could anyone please answer the following questions?

  • Is a non working fault buzzer on a fire alarm panel classed as a critical condition?
  • Can a system be serviced with this fault present?
  • Is this issue documented in BS5839?


For the different companies I have worked for over the years it has been practiced that the system should not to be serviced until the critical fault has been rectified.


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As a Nursing Home and their fire alarm engineer got convicted for an alarm with a defective fault buzzer and deliberately causing that defect respectively (plus a few other things) I would say that yes, it's critical!

You can service it but the service report would obviously need to highlight the defect and no certificate issued. If you don't service it someone else will! 

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