Fire Alarm System Verification 101: How Is Existing Fire Alarm System Verified?
February 20, 2023
Fire alarm systems are an essential part of any building's safety system. They are designed to alert occupants of a potential fire, allowing them to evacuate the building quickly and safely. However, for a system to be effective, it must be properly installed, maintained, and tested. Otherwise, disaster can ensue. This is where fire alarm verification comes in.
What Is Fire Alarm Verification?
Fire alarm verification is the process of testing and ensuring that a building's fire alarm systems are functioning properly after fire alarm installation. It is a critical step in maintaining the safety of the building and its occupants, as a malfunctioning system can lead to delays in evacuation and increase the risk of injury or death in the event of a fire.
Fire Alarm Verification: What You Need to Know
There are several steps involved in the fire alarm verification process or verification procedures as per described in the CAN/ULC-S537 Standard for Verification of Fire Alarm Systems, the document that is mandated by the National Building Code in Canada:
- Inspection: According to the BC fire code, a thorough visual inspection of all components of the system should be conducted, including the control panel, (fire panel or control units), annunciators, manual fire alarm boxes, smoke detectors, heat detectors, duct detectors, and sounders.
- Functional Testing: All system functions should be tested to ensure they are working properly, including alarm initiation, alarm indication, and alarm transmission to the supervising station. This test will verify any existing device connected, including any existing field device (which could be a conventional field device or addressable device), existing input circuit and output circuit, wiring supervision, and new or altered wiring.
- Signal Strength Testing: The strength of the signals transmitted from the system to the supervising station should be tested to ensure they meet the required standards.
- Maintenance: Regular maintenance of the system should be performed to ensure it continues to operate effectively. This includes cleaning of detectors and other components, replacing batteries, and checking wiring connections.
- Documentation: Complete documentation of the verification procedure should be kept on file for future reference.
Upon successful verification, the engineer will issue a fire alarm verification certificate to be submitted to the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to obtain an occupancy permit.
Additionally, it is also important to perform regular maintenance on the fire alarm systems, such as cleaning and replacing batteries. This will ensure that the system is always ready to function in the event of a fire. Regular maintenance will also extend the life of the system, reducing the need for costly repairs and replacements.
Important Notes on Fire Alarm Systems
Keep in mind that the verification should only be done by a trained and certified professional. Attempting to perform verification on your own can lead to damage to the system or injury to yourself or others. A professional will have the knowledge and experience necessary to properly test and maintain the fire alarm systems, ensuring that it is always in good working condition.
Another important aspect of fire alarm verification is conducting regular drills and training sessions. This can help to familiarize occupants with evacuation procedures and ensure that they know what to do in the event of a fire. Building owners should also make sure that the system is clearly visible and easy to locate for all occupants, including those with disabilities or mobility issues.
In conclusion, fire alarm verification is a critical step in ensuring the safety of a building and its occupants. By performing regular visual inspections, functional tests, and maintenance, building owners can ensure that their smoke detector and fire alarm system is always ready to function in the event of a fire.
It is important to remember that fire alarm verification should only be done by a trained and certified professional. Additionally, regular drills and training sessions, as well as proper signage, can help to ensure that occupants are familiar with evacuation procedures and know what to do in the event of a fire.
By taking the necessary steps to properly verify and maintain a fire alarm system and new and existing devices, building owners can help to protect the lives and well-being of their occupants.
If you're looking for a reputable company to tackle your fire alarms, MNA Quality Consulting is here for you. Contact us today to learn how we can help!
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