The Importance of Fire Alarm Testing

May 20, 2024 | Fire Safety

Fire safety is a critical concern in any building, whether it’s your business premises or home. One of the most vital tools in fire prevention and protection is a functioning fire alarm system. Regular fire alarm testing is essential for ensuring the effectiveness of these systems. In this blog, we will delve into the importance of fire alarm testing and how it plays a crucial role in safeguarding lives and property.

Early detection saves lives

A fire alarm system’s primary purpose is to detect smoke or fire at the earliest possible stage and alert you to the danger. Regularly testing your fire alarms verifies their functionality, allowing for immediate detection and swift evacuation in case of an emergency. Lives can be saved when fire alarms are fully operational and able to sound an alarm promptly.

Ensuring robust fire alarm functionality

Like any electronic device, fire alarm systems can experience glitches or faults over time. Testing ensures that each component of the system, including sensors, control panels, and sounders are working correctly. This helps avoid false alarms, ensuring that the alarm system will operate as intended when a genuine fire occurs.

Compliance with codes and regulations

Building codes and regulations require fire alarm systems to be regularly inspected and tested. This is to comply with safety standards. Failure to comply may result in fines, or even closure. Regular fire alarm testing is an essential part of meeting these requirements and ensuring the safety of those on site.

In fact a fire alarm should be tested weekly according to the British Standard BS 5839-6: 2019 fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings. It is a simple procedure but necessary to check it is operating properly for optimum fire safety.

“The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 introduce new duties under the Fire Safety Order for building owners or managers (responsible persons). These Regulations apply to all buildings in England that comprise two or more domestic premises (including the residential parts of mixed-use buildings) although there are more requirements depending on the height as explained in this guide. These buildings are, principally, blocks of flats (whether purpose-built or converted from another type of building, such as a house or office building), but also include blocks used for student accommodation.” as extracted from the UK Government’s website.

The FPA highlights the following regulations ‘The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 [FSO]’ and states on their website “The relevant British Standard with regards to the testing of a fire alarm system is BS 5839-1: 2019 Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings . In section 25.2  it states that all fire alarm systems in commercial premises need to be tested weekly to ensure that there has not been any major failure, and that the fire alarm system is in working order. To do this, firstly a list of all  outstations within the premises must be created, as each one should be tested in a rotational order, ensuring that all locations are tested regularly. In smaller premises, it is acceptable to test just one location each week – so for example within a premises where there are a small number of  outstations, these could all be tested over a two month period in rotational order. In larger premises, it may be more appropriate to test two or three outstations each week, to ensure all devices are tested over the same length of time.”

Protecting property with fire alarm testing

A functional fire alarm system is also crucial for protecting property. Early detection allows for swift action in extinguishing the fire, minimising damage and potential loss. By conducting regular testing, potential issues or malfunctions can be identified and addressed promptly, reducing the risk of severe property damage.

Peace of mind for your people

Knowing that your fire alarm system is operational and regularly tested provides peace of mind for everyone. It instils confidence that safety measures are in place, helping to create a sense of security within the building.

Don’t delay and make fire safety a priority

The importance of fire alarm testing cannot be overlooked when it comes to preserving lives and protecting property. By regularly testing fire alarm systems, you ensure they are fully functional, in compliance with regulations, and capable of detecting and alerting those in the buildi ng to potential fire hazards. Remember, prevention is always better than what could be the end result of a fire, and a well-maintained fire alarm system is your best defence against the devastating consequences of fire.

If you’re looking for a fire alarm partner who can ensure your alarms are fully functional and compliant to the latest legislation contact JKE today as our team can help (phone 0800 2545645 or email