Customer Compliance Checks
Businesses often invest in Fire and Safety Systems and in general pay a substantial amount of money for the privilege. The driving force behind the investment is generally one of two reasons, the results of a Fire Risk Assessment or at the behest of their Insurance Company. However once installed there is a need to for the owner/user of the building to perform regular checks on the systems or devices installed and to record these in a log book (on site or in a cloud).
What the legislations says: –
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) places legally enforceable requirements on organisations, where necessary, to safeguard the safety of relevant persons within the premises in the event of fire. The responsible person must “ensure that the premises and any facilities, equipment and devices provided in respect of the premises …are subject to a suitable system of maintenance and are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair”. Annual Service and Maintenance should be conducted by a competent person.
The “Responsible person” is normally the owner, landlord or business proprietor or a member of staff delegated with responsibility for fire safety. The “competent person” is someone qualified by training and experience to undertake service and maintenance. In addition to annual Servicing it is recommended that the Responsible person carry out testing of equipment on a regular basis.
Listed below are a few of the most common systems and their requirements and frequency of checks : –
Fire Alarm – Weekly (even if premises closed)
- Isolate any plant or systems as necessary prior to initiating fire alarm system,
- Check that where buildings have more than one FA panel networked together, that all panels activated and that the sounders operated throughout the building,
- Once alarm initiated and sounders cancelled, but before the system is reset – check the following functions:
- Ensure that all doors fitted with ‘Electromagnetic Door Security Locking Systems’ released as part of the fire alarm activation
- Ensure that any doors fitted with ‘Electromagnetic Hold Open Devices’ released and that the fire doors closed fully shut
- Ensure that the ‘Fire Alarm Activated Do Not Enter’ signs operate, where fitted to building entrances or building separation points
- Test Deaf Message System connected to the some fire alarm panels using a mobile phone texting system
- Ensure that the fire signal went back to Monitoring Station
- Report or Repair any non-functioning devices, sounders, bells, door release or locking systems immediately.
Fire Extinguishers – Monthly
BS5306:3 Code of Practice for Fire Extinguisher Service and Maintenance provides recommendations on how to conduct a visual inspection as follows.
- Each extinguisher is correctly located in the designated place;
- Each extinguisher is unobstructed and visible;
- The operating instructions of each extinguisher are clean and legible and face outwards;
- Each extinguisher has not been operated and is not obviously damaged or has any missing parts;
- The reading of any pressure gauge or indicator fitted to an extinguisher is within operational and safety limits;
- The seals and tamper indicators of each extinguisher are not broken or missing.
Emergency Lighting – Monthly
All emergency lighting systems must be tested monthly (called a flick test). The test is a short functional test in accordance with BS EN 50172:2004 / BS 5266-8:2004.
The period of simulated failure should be sufficient for the purpose of this test while minimising damage to the system components, e.g. lamps. During this period, all luminaires and signs shall be checked to ensure that they are present, clean and functioning correctly.
The designated responsible person within the organisation should record the results of this inspection and arrange for corrective action, if necessary, by a competent person. If you employ 5 or more people it is also a legal requirement to keep a permanent Record of all servicing, maintenance and inspections for inspection by the Fire Services Inspectorate. This is normally done by filling out the site Fire Safety Log Book. This can also be an online Log Book.