The LWF Blog

Facilities Management & Fire Safety – Inspection, Testing and Maintenance – Part 2

May 30, 2018 10:52 am

In LWF’s blog series for Facilities Managers and those people with a responsibility for or interest in fire safety, we have been looking at the necessity of regular inspection, testing and maintenance to ensure that fire protection provision is in good working order. Part 1 finished by recommending that visual checks are completed whenever possible, with attention being paid to any small works that are undertaken which may compromise compartmentation, for example. Part 2 continues from that point with active fire protection systems.


While a visual inspection of an active system can show issues – vandalism, fault lights etc., simple visual inspections are not sufficient to ensure that the system will operate as expected in case of a fire. Specific test routines must be performed on equipment such as fire alarm systems, emergency lighting installations for escape routes and sprinklers.


While some testing on active fire protection systems can be undertaken by an informed lay person (such as the ‘responsible person’ or an internal health and safety manager), inspections, testing, servicing and maintenance must be performed by a person with technical knowledge of the system in question. Such checks and work must comply with the published codes of practice and recognised trade practices.


While typical frequencies of checks, servicing and maintenance of equipment can be referred to, work should be undertaken having considered the following:


 The type of building and risks from fire

 The recommendations of manufacturers and suppliers of equipment

 British Standards and other codes of good practice

 Recommendations or requirements of the Fire Service or other enforcement authority

 Recommendations or requirements of the company’s fire insurers


Typical daily checks would include:


 Fire alarm indicating equipment and control equipment and the log book

 Emergency Escape Lighting control panel, central batteries, generators and the log book

 Any fastenings used on fire exits are removed and escape routes are unobstructed before the building is occupied

 Unmonitored connections between sprinkler systems and an alarm-receiving centre.


In part 3 of this series, LWF will look at those checks which should be undertaken on weekly, monthly, quarterly, bi-annual and annual basis. In the meantime, if you have any queries about your own facilities or wish to discuss this blog series, please contact Peter Gyere in the first instance on 0208 668 8663.


Lawrence Webster Forrest is a fire engineering consultancy based in Surrey with over 25 years’ experience, which provides a wide range of consultancy services to professionals involved in the design, development and construction and operation of buildings. 


While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF’s publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.


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