Recording inspections (other than daily routines) in a log book is the simplest way of demonstrating compliance with routine maintenance requirements. It is recommended that a maintenance contract is taken out with a reputable company (competent person) where specialist maintenance and testing is required.
This guide is not intended to replace maintenance requirements specified by the manufacturer, contractor or risk assessor, or in order to meet other specific obligations.
Further information on recording the testing and maintenance of electrical installations and portable appliances as well as other items such as staff training and fire drills is contained in the Fire Safety Inspections and Maintenance Log Book.
FIRE EXTINGUISHERS (for further information see BS 5306: Part 3 or equivalent standard)
- Monthly inspection – ensure that all extinguishers are in their proper position, unobstructed, have not been operated or lost pressure (where fitted with pressure indicator), and tamper indicators are in place. Operating instructions should be clean, legible and facing forward.
- Annual inspection – to be completed by a competent person following the manufacturer’s recommended procedures. A certificate of inspection should be provided.
- Extended service – a discharge test (or overhaul as required) to be completed by a competent person at intervals not exceeding those laid down in BS5306 Part 3.
FIRE ALARM (for further information see BS 5839: Part 1 or equivalent standard)
- It is important that testing the system does not result in a false alarm being transmitted to the fire and rescue service.
- You should inspect the panel daily for normal operation of the system. Where visual indication is provided, check that the connection to the remote call receiving centre is functioning correctly.
- You should test and examine the system weekly to ensure that it is capable of operating under alarm conditions. This can be done by operating a manual call point during normal working hours, at about the same time each week, to prove the control equipment is working, the fire alarm sounders operate, and a signal is received by the alarm receiving centre where appropriate. Ensure that a different call point is used each week until all call points have been tested. The test should last no more than one minute.
- The installation should be inspected at least every six months by a competent person.
AUTOMATIC DOOR RELEASE MECHANISMS ACTIVATED BY THE FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
- Weekly (in conjunction with the fire alarm test) – check all doors are being released and closing fully onto the door rebates.
EMERGENCY LIGHTING (for further information see BS 5266: Part 1 or equivalent standard)
- Due to the possibility of failure, full functional tests should be undertaken at times of least risk (i.e. when the building is empty).
- Regularly inspect the system for cleanliness, particularly luminaires. Battery banks and generators should be checked following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Self contained luminaires should be checked monthly by a competent person able to simulate a failure of the normal lighting supply for sufficient time to allow all luminaires to be tested for proper function.
- Annually, a full functional test of self contained and central battery systems by simulation of a failure of the normal lighting supply, for a continuous period, for its full duration should be completed by a competent person.
SPRINKLER SYSTEM (for further information see BS EN 12845, or equivalent EU standard)
- The installer should provide to the occupier an inspection and checking programme for the system. The programme should include instruction on the action to be taken in respect of faults, operation of the system, in particular the procedure for emergency manual starting of any pumps and details of the daily and weekly routines. The test should be completed by a competent person.
HOSE REELS (for further information see BS 5306: Part 1 or equivalent standard)
- You should inspect fixed hose reels for accessibility, damage, leaks and correct operation (actual frequency of inspection to be determined by the fire risk assessment).
- An annual test by a competent person should completely run out the hose and subject it to operational water pressure to ensure that the hose and all components are in good working condition and that all couplings are water tight. A flow test should be carried out to ensure the discharge rate is steady and sufficient.
FIRE DOORS (for further information see BS 8214, or equivalent standard)
- Monthly (or as determined by the risk assessment) you should check that self closing devices and other fixings and hardware function correctly and are securely attached; that heat-activated seals and smoke seals are undamaged; and that gaps between the door leaf and the frame are not so small as to be likely to bind, or so large as to prevent effective fire and smoke sealing.
- Six monthly (in addition to above) you should examine door leaves and frames for superficial damage, structural damage or excessive bowing or deformation.