As with many things, age increases the need for maintenance. Fire alarm systems that are less than five years old are unlikely to have the same issues as older systems, so the maintenance and testing of such systems needs to evolve over time to account for its use, maintenance history, and age.
Regarding recently installed systems, periodic inspection and testing is forefront. Any issues that are discovered early could be an air quality issue or a problem with the installation, such as improper grounding. Qualified inspection and testing can identify and help resolve these issues before they become dangerous to you and your business.
For most systems, regardless of age, there are some monthly maintenance steps that can be taken. First, ensuring the alarms are clean and clear of dust and cobwebs will keep false alarms to a minimum. Second, if the system or alarms are equipped with a testing function, using that once a month will allow discovery of issues before they become dangerous. There may be other, specific methods of testing which you can find in the manufacturer’s specifications and instructions for the device. Finally, in any battery powered system, the batteries should be changed out at least once a year. It is good to have a scheduled day each year for this so it will not be forgotten. If you live in an area with daylight savings, that can be a useful reminder, but any significant date can make remembering easier. By keeping the batteries fresh you can rest assured that, in the case of an emergency, your fire safety system will not be out of power.
The National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission both recommend replacing your smoke detectors every ten years as well. This is due to the fact that, over time they become less sensitive. Replacing them at the appropriate time will allow your system to remain sensitive and operational.
By following these simple procedures, you can ensure that your alarms will continue to function and keep you safe in the event they are needed. For any inspections, repairs, or installations, contact us today.