Check-ups – what you should be doing
Many people believe that they can leave the checking of their fire protection equipment entirely in our hands. Unfortunately, this is not the complete story! So are you fire safety compliant at work?
The relevant British Standards require you to carry out routine checks of the equipment in addition to our periodic maintenance visits. A summary of the most common checks required are as follows:
Most fire alarm systems require a daily visual check of the control panel and a weekly check of one of the manual call points. A different call point should be checked each week in a cycle. It is good practice to carry out the checks at the same time each week so that the occupants of the building know when to expect the weekly test.
Fire extinguishers should be visually inspected at least monthly. The visual inspection simply verifies that the extinguishers are 1) in the correct place, visible and accessible 2) the tamper tag or security pin is still in place 3) the pressure gauge (if fitted) is on the green section 4) the instructions for use are still legible and 5) there are no obvious signs of damage.
Emergency lighting should be function tested on a monthly basis. This simply means switching off the power to the emergency lights and checking that they illuminate. If you are unsure how to carry out this test, speak to one of our engineers next time we call.
It is also good practice to carry out a formal check of the escape routes and final exit doors on a monthly basis. This is particularly important for doors that are seldom used because they can become swollen and jammed in the winter months. Likewise, any external escape routes need checking because these can become overgrown if they are not frequently used.