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Weekly Fire Alarm Tests – Why should you do it?

Weekly Fire Alarm Tests – Why should you do it?

A weekly fire alarm test is required in order to monitor and ensure your fire alarm is operational in the event of a fire emergency

Some people only hear the fire alarm when the fire alarm engineer carries out his fire alarm service and this could be anything from every three months to six months depending on the contract that is in place.

Every week at least one manual call point should be operated during normal working hours to test the ability of the controlling equipment to receive a signal, sound an alarm and operate any devices connected to the fire alarm system. It is not necessary to confirm that all fire alarm sounder circuits operate correctly at the time of the test.

A different manual call point should be used at the time of every weekly test, so that all manual call points in the building are tested in rotation over a prolonged period

The weekly test should be carried out at approximately the same time each week and carried out by a Responsible Person or a professional engineer as per The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) order 2005.  The Responsible Person must undertake or nominate a next suitable person to supervise the fire alarm system, and should be in a position to authorise any necessary work to the alarm system immediately to ensure it remains operational at all times. The Responsible Person should check if the power light is illuminated whenever they pass the fire alarm control panel. The standards state this should be once a day.

The result of the weekly test and the identity of the manual call points used should be recorded in the system log book. 


The following equipment is required:


  • A call point triggering device, or in some cases an alan key or screwdriver may need to be used to unscrew the front of older call points to simulate breaking the glass.


  • Access / Enabling keys or codes to the main fire alarm panel to cancel the alarm when triggered as part of the test.


  • Fire Alarm Logbook to record the test and relevant details of the call points zone, location etc.


  • Authorisation / Access codes to go off line with the Monitoring Company so that fire and rescue services are not called.


Actions required to carry out the test are as follows:


  • Isolate Plants or Systems as necessary before initiating the fire alarm system.


  • Where buildings have multiple FA panels networked together, ensure all panels are activated and that sounders operate throughout the building.
  • Once the alarm is initiated and sounders cancelled, before the system is reset check the following:


  • Ensure that doors fitted with ‘Electromagnetic Door Security Locking Systems’ are released as the fire alarm must be activated for this function, but sounders do not need to be ringing.


  • Ensure that all doors fitted with ‘Electromagnetic Hold Open Devices’ are released and that fire doors are closed fully shut.


  • Make sure that ‘Fire Alarm Activated Do Not Enter’ signs operate where fitted to entrances of the building or building separation points.


  • Test the Deaf Pager transmitter connected to fire alarm panels using Vibrating Pagers.


  • Ensure the fire signal went back to the Monitoring Station/UCL Security Control Room for monitored systems.


  • Finally, report or repair any non-functional devices, bells, sounders, door release or locking systems immediately.