A Complete Guide to Your Fire Alarm Tests

A satisfactory fire alarm maintenance regime is critical to the continued dependable performance of your fire alarm effectiveness. Routine testing of the system allows the occupants of a building to become familiar with the fire alarm signal.

Below is a comprehensive list of your responsibility to routinely test the fire detection and alarm system.


This regime is advised by section 44 of BS5839-1.

A single, named member of the premises management to supervise all matters pertaining to the fire detection and fire alarm system shall be appointed, who after they have been given the necessary instructions, shall ensure that the system remains in working condition. Their details shall be displayed in log book.

The premises manager shall ensure that a programme of inspection and checks is carried out and keep records, including a logbook, which shall be held on the premises.

The premises manager shall arrange for the test, service and maintenance schedule to be carried out under contract by a competent fire alarm contractor.

Any alarm receiving station(s) shall be notified of any system tests which will result in

the transmission of an alarm. The alarm receiving station(s) shall be informed immediately that the test procedures have been completed.

After an inspection, check, test, service or maintenance procedure the system, and any automatic pumps, pressure tanks and gravity tanks shall be returned to the normal operational condition.


The following tests should be performed each week:

  • The operation of a manual call point should be made during normal working hours. Ensure you have a reset key to reset the call point.

  • It should be confirmed that the fire condition is present at the fire panel and the fire condition causes the sounders to activate. Plus, you should ensure the signal is properly received by the alarm receiving centre.

  • The weekly test should be carried out at approximately the same time each week.

  • Additional tests should be made at least once a month for any employees that are not usually present during the weekly test.

  • If you have multiple manual call points, a different one should be tested each week. This way all manual call points will eventually be included in the schedule of testing over a period of time.

  • The routine test time should be no less than 5 seconds and 1 minute.

  • Voice alarms should be tested in accordance with BS5839-8.

  • A record of the test should be recorded in the log book.

  • Any remedial work should be reported to your service organisation for rectification.


The following tests should be performed each month:

  • If an automatically started emergency generator is used as part of the standby power supply to the system, this should be tested monthly by simulation of failure of the normal power supply and operated on-load for at least 1 hour.

  • At the end of the test the fuel tanks should be left filled and oil and coolant levels replenished where necessary.

  • If vented batteries are used as a standby power supply, a visual inspection of the batteries and their connections should be made to ensure they are in good condition. Electrolyte levels should be examined by a competent person.

  • A record of the test should be recorded in the log book.

  • Any remedial work should be reported to your service organisation for rectification.

We are happy to walk you through these steps and provide you further training. We can even perform some or all these tests on your behalf.

Please get in touch on 01257 463018 or email sales@solidstatesecurity.co.uk


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