The National Fire Protection Association’s standard for fire alarms is NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. The NFPA 72 covers requirements for the installation, performance, testing, inspection, and maintenance of the fire alarm systems. Although visual inspections are normally conducted at the same time as the testing, this article only covers the functional testing requirements. Inspections have their own set of requirements.

The testing intervals vary depending on the equipment. Some items need to be tested monthly, others semi-annually or annually. Most building owners or facility managers can do their own monthly and semi-monthly testing. Ryan Fireprotection is normally called in to handle the more intensive annual fire alarm testing. The following is a checklist of the top 15 items that we test on annual inspections.

  1. For the Control System and Transponder, the following are checked:
    • Function
    • Fuses
    • Interface equipment
    • Lamps and LEDs
    • Primary (main) power supply
  2. Fire Alarm Control Unit Trouble Signals
  3. The Supervising Station Alarm transmitters (e.g., DACT, DART, McCulloh, RAT, etc.) are verified to be in working order
  4. Emergency Communication equipment including:
    • Amplifier/Tone generators
    • Call-in signal silence
    • Off-hook indicator
    • Phone jacks
    • Phone set
    • System performance
  5. Secondary (standby) power supply
  6. Uninterruptible power supply (UPS)
  7. Batteries and charger
  8. Batteries are replaced as needed
  9. Conductors are tested for circuit integrity including the device circuit, notification appliance circuit, and the signaling line circuit
  10. Initiating devices are tested including:
    • Electromechanical releasing devices
    • Fire extinguishing or suppression systems alarm switches
    • Fire, gas, and other detectors
    • Heat detectors
    • Manual fire alarm boxes
    • Smoke detectors
    • Carbon monoxide detectors/alarms
    • Supervisory Initiating devices (i.e., air pressure, room temperature, water level, and water temperature switches)
  11. Special hazard equipment
  12. The following Combination Systems are tested:
    • Combination Fire Extinguisher Electronic monitoring devices/systems
    • Combination Carbon Monoxide detectors/systems
  13. The following equipment is also tested:
    • Guard’s tour equipment
    • Exit Marking Audible Notification appliance
    • Emergency control function interface device
    • Area of Refuge two-way communications system
  14. The time delay and alarm response are tested for smoke detectors that have alarm verification
  15. Multiplex systems

Ryan Fireprotection has the qualifications and expertise to perform all the required testing and resolve any problems found. Contact Ryan Fireprotection to schedule annual inspections and testing of your alarm system.