Fire Alarm Systems Inspections

Smoke Detectors Semi-annually All smoke detectors shall be visually inspected in place to identify missing detectors, abnormally dirty detectors, detectors with impeded smoke entry, and detectors no longer suitably located because of occupancy or structural changes.
Annual test To assure that each smoke detector is operative and produces the in- tended response, it shall be caused to initiate an alarm at its installed location with smoke, or other aerosol, acceptable to the manufacturer, that smoke can enter the chamber and initiate an alarm.
Sensitivity test Detector sensitivity test shall be done within one year after installation and every alternate year thereafter. To assure that each smoke detector is within its listed and marked sensitivity range, it shall be tested using either one of the following methods.

  1. The manufacturer’s calibrated sensitivity test instrument.
  2. Listed control equipment arranged for the purpose.
  3. Other calibrated sensitivity test method acceptable to the Fire Prevention Bureau.

Detectors found to have a sensitivity outside the approved range shall be replaced, except detectors listed as field adjustable may be adjusted within an approved range.

Detector sensitivity cannot be tested or measured using any spray device that administers an unmeasured concentration of aerosol into the detector.

Smoke Air Duct Detectors Semi-annual test A visual inspection of the detector installation, including seals, looking for any mistreatment or modification of the device or installation and its in- tended operation.
Annual test

Using smoke or a substitute, or a calibrated test method, perform a full- functional test of the detector, put the detector into alarm, and determine that proper operation occurs. This can be done by directly injecting the smoke or a substitute into the detection chamber or sampling means.

Using the manufacturer’s recommendations, verify that the device will measure/detect smoke in the air stream (i.e., measuring pressure drop for devices using sampling tubes is acceptable).

Sensitivity test

Sensitivity test shall be done within one year after installation and every alternate year thereafter.

Using the manufacturer’s recommended procedures, determine that the sensitivity of the detection devices is correct. Detectors with abnormal sensitivities shall be replaced or cleaned and recalibrated.

Non-restorable Spot-Type  15 years (and every 5 years thereafter) For non-restorable spot-type detectors, after the 15th year, at least two detectors out of every hundred, or fraction thereof, shall be removed every five years and sent to a testing laboratory. The detectors that have been removed shall be replaced with new detectors. If a failure occurs on any of the detectors removed, additional detectors shall be removed and tested as a further check on the installation until there is proven to exist either a general problem involving faulty detectors or a localized problem involving one or two defective detectors.
 Non-restorable Line-Type Fixed Temperature  Annually  Fixed temperature detectors cannot be tested by the application of heat; once they have detected enough heat to create an alarm, they must be replaced. Instead, these detectors are tested by using a piece of insulated electrical wiring to jumper across the electrical contacts on the base of the detector unit. (Make sure the jumper wire is insulated.) The detector must be removed from its electrical outlet box to perform this test.
Semi-annually Non-restorable line-type fixed temperature detectors-the loop resistance shall be measured, recorded, and compared with that previously record” ed. Any change in loop resistance shall be investigated.
Restorable Heat Detectors Semi-annually All restorable detectors on each signal-initiating circuit shall be tested. They can be tested using a hair dryer or shielded heat lamp. If the detector contains a fixed temperature element in addition to the rate-of-rise feature, remove the heat source immediately after the rate-of-rise portion operates. If it is not removed, the fixed temperature element might melt and the detector will have to be replaced.
Pneumatic Line-Type Semi-annually All pneumatic line-type detectors shall be tested for leaks and proper operation.
Pull Stations Semi-annually Operating tests of manual stations consists of pulling the face of the station in the manner indicated on the device. (Operate per manufacturer’s instructions.)
Voice Alarm and Fireman’s Two-way Communication Systems and Visual Alarm Systems Annually Functional and operational testing of all systems shall be conducted at least annually. These tests shall include the following equipment two-way telephones for the fire service, fire warden, or general public emergency use and the automatic and manual voice paging systems in each zone.
Annunciating Panel Semi-annually Test the supervisory device circuit by disconnecting a conductor from its terminal in the control panel. Once a trouble signal is received, reconnect the wire to its terminal and reset the control panel. Repeat the test for all supervised circuits.