Service and maintenance FAQs
How often should my fire alarm be serviced?
Your fire alarm system should be serviced at least once every 6 months as recommended in BS 5839. Don’t forget that as well as having an inspection carried out twice a year, it’s an important requirement for you to carry out a weekly fire test too.
Can I service my own fire alarm?
The service and inspection of your fire alarm should only be carried out by a professional fire alarm engineer. Luckily our team are highly experienced and waiting to help you. A weekly fire test can be carried out in-house but our expert engineers are on hand to help with those too if you prefer.
How long does a fire alarm service take?
The time it takes to complete a fire alarm service depends entirely on the size of the property, number of devices and ease of access to said devices.
As the service is an exercise in time, the price you pay will be dependant on the hours needed to completed a thorough inspection.
How often should I change the batteries in my fire panel?
The batteries in your fire panel need to be changed every 4 years. If there is no installation date written on the current batteries it must be assumed that they are older than 4 years and therefore must be replaced.
Can I change the batteries in my fire panel myself?
You are able to change the batteries in the fire panel yourself, but you must make sure they are the correct size and voltage. It’s important to remember that you can’t assume the batteries installed already are the correct size for your system so we’d recommend getting that checked first. Failure to do so may result in the panel not working correctly which could be disastrous in the event of a fire. If you’re unsure give us a call and we’ll happily help, or better still, supply and change the batteries for you. Whether you fit new ones yourself or ask a professional always double check the installation date is written on the new ones to avoid unnecessary expense in the future.
What if there’s a problem with my fire alarm?
If something goes wrong with your fire alarm, let us know immediately so that we can rectify the fault for you. A system fault means your fire alarm is not classed as being ‘adequately maintained’ you would therefore be non-compliant with fire alarm regulations.
Some examples of when your fire alarm may need attention outside of schedule maintenance are:
- an alarm is sounding but there’s no fire
- a light on your fire alarm panel says there is a fault
- your fire alarm panel is beeping
We service, maintain and repair ALL fire alarm systems in ALL environments and guarantee we won’t be beaten on price and service. If you call to report a fault we will attend within 24 hours, if not sooner.
How often should my fire extinguishers be serviced?
You will need to carry out a visual inspection of all extinguishers monthly. Check that the extinguisher itself, it’s ID card and it’s instructions are clearly displayed. You should also make sure that it hasn’t been tampered with or damaged in anyway and that it hasn’t lost any pressure. A quick visual check of the extinguisher, its pressure gauge, headcap pin and seal will help identify any issues.
All fire extinguishers require a ‘basic service’ and inspection once a year. The service will usually include changing the headcap seal, checking the headcap safety pin operates correctly, testing the pressure gauge and changing any O rings as necessary in the junction of the valve and hose or horn. All annual services must be carried out in accordance with BS 5036-3.
Every five years most fire extinguishers need an extended service. CO2 extinguishers need an extended service every 10 years.
Can I service my fire extinguishers myself?
A ‘basic service’ is a lot more complex than it sounds. The Fire Safety Order 2005 states it must be carried out by a ‘competent person’ and we highly recommend you use one of our trained engineers to carry out the inspection. Our experience and knowledge means we have the skills and tools to keep your business safe. You’ll need a professional to carry out the extended service for you.
How often should I replace my fire extinguishers?
It’s often easier and cheaper to replace all extinguishers at their extended service date so we would recommend buying new at the 5 and 10 year intervals. However, you should keep an eye on the manufacturer’s expiration date and instructions as the shelf life of extinguishers can vary – typically anywhere from 5-12 years. If an extinguisher is damaged seek professional help. If it is damaged beyond repair you will require new.
How often should my emergency lights be serviced?
A visual check to make sure that all maintained lamps are operating and that the system is healthy should be carried out daily. These checks can be carried out in-house.
Each month you should ensure that all luminaries and other emergency lighting equipment is in good condition. You should test all emergency lighting equipment by simulating a failure of the normal lighting supply. If your caretaker or maintenance person is competent they may carry these checks out themselves. If there is no one in your organisation who has sufficient knowledge or experience give us a call.
Once a year a full system test should be conducted, including a full rated duration test of the system. This is usually around 3 hours. If your caretaker or maintenance person is competent they may carry these checks out themselves. If there is no one in your organisation who has sufficient knowledge or experience give us a call. Usually we will carry out this check at the same time/visit as the annual fire alarm service. We tend to test 50% of the lights on visit 1, and the other 50% on visit 2, 6 months later.
Always check that any fault found is recorded in the Log Book and given urgent attention.
Can I service my emergency lights myself?
No specific qualification is required to test emergency lighting, however it must be undertaken by a competent person. Generally a competent person can be seen as someone who has sufficient knowledge to carry out the task at hand. It is down to you to make the decision about whether a person is competent. If you decide to do the testing yourself it’s important that you keep an accurate record of dates and any faults found. As emergency lighting is considered to be a life safety system we would recommend asking a professional, give us a call if we can help you in anyway.
How often should I replace my emergency lights?
Most emergency lights will be fitted with backup batteries that are usually made to last for 4 years. There is no set timescale for how often you should replace emergency lights, therefore if the battery is still working after 4 years, you don’t to change it. Similarly the battery may work for less than 4 years, in which case you would need to replace it earlier. If an emergency light fails the annual 3 hour test, it is time to change the battery inside regardless of whether it’s 1 or 8 years old. Thanks to technological advances and the low running costs of LED lights, emergency light fittings are now much cheaper than ever before. This means in many cases it’s cheaper and more efficient to change the whole fitting as opposed to just the battery, especially when you take the cost of labour into consideration. In instances where a certain emergency light type has been built into specification, or the aesthetics of a building are important we’d recommend changing the batteries as it can often be difficult to replace fittings like for like visually.
For help with your service and maintenance give us a call on 01942 562021, our experts are always happy to help!