Common Questions About Commercial Fire Alarm Systems
1. Am I required to have a fire alarm monitoring system?
Maybe. Whether or not your facility legally requires a fire alarm system depends on occupancy type and several other critical variables. Generally speaking, your building either has an existing fire alarm system or you will be required by code to have one installed prior to taking occupancy of your building. For more information, we recommend you call your local fire department or the authority having jurisdiction in your area.
2. Does my fire alarm system need regular testing?
3. How often does my fire alarm system need to be tested?
Per NFPA 72, initiating devices such as smoke detectors, fire alarm pull stations, and heat detectors must be tested annually. Water flow devices & sprinklers must be visually inspected four times annually and functionally tested twice annually. San Diego information here.
4. How long do I have to maintain fire alarm testing documentation?
Fire alarm system inspection, testing, and maintenance records must be kept until the next test and for 1 year thereafter. According to NFPA 72 section 188.8.131.52, “systems with restorable fixed- temperature, spot-type heat detectors tested over multiple years, records shall be retained for the 5 years of testing and for 1 year thereafter.”
5. Does my fire alarm system have to be monitored?
Yes, if your building requires a fire alarm system, then the system must be monitored.