BS5839-1:2017 45.3 Recommendations for periodic inspection and test of the system


Some fire detection and fire alarm systems and components claim to include features that permit functions to be automatically monitored, and faults or warnings to be annunciated, or otherwise made available to authorized persons. In cases where this is proven, the recommendations for

routine testing under this subclause and in 45.4 may be modified to omit testing which is proven to be unnecessary by the equipment manufacturer, provided it can be proven that the automatic monitoring achieves the same objective as the appropriate test recommended in this subclause and/or 45.4. In the case of detectors (all types), tests should ensure that products of combustion are capable of passing unhindered from the protected area to the sensing chamber/elements of the detector and not simply test the ability of the detector to sample/verify the status of the atmosphere already in the sensing chamber. The recommendations in this clause should be carried out by a competent person (see 3.12). The period between successive inspection and servicing visits should not exceed six months. If this recommendation is not implemented, it should be considered that the system is no longer compliant with this part of BS 5839.

The following recommendations are applicable.

a) The system logbook should be examined. It should be ensured that any faults recorded have received appropriate attention.

b) A visual inspection should be made to check whether structural or occupancy changes have affected the compliance of the system with the recommendations of this standard for the siting of manual call points, automatic fire detectors and fire alarm devices. Particular care should be taken to verify whether:

  1. all manual call points remain unobstructed and conspicuous;

  2. any new exits that lead to a place of ultimate safety have been created without the provision of an adjacent manual call point;

  3. any new or relocated partitions have been erected within 500 mm horizontally of any automatic fire detector [see 22.3g)];

  4. any storage encroaches within 300 mm of ceilings, such as to obviate compliance with22.3i);

  5. a clear space of 500 mm is maintained below each automatic fire detector [see 22.3o)], and that the ability of the detector to receive the stimulus that it has been designed to detect has not been impeded by other means;

  6. any changes to the use or occupancy of an area makes the existing types of automatic firedetector unsuitable for detection of fire or prone to unwanted alarms;

  7. any building alterations or extensions require additional fire detection and fire alarm equipment to be installed.

c) The records of false alarms should be checked in accordance with 30.2i). The rate of false alarms during the previous 12 months should be recorded [see 30.2i)]. Action taken in respect of false alarms recorded should comply with 30.2j).

d) The battery voltage should be measured with the mains on to check the steady state charge voltage and check it is within the manufacturer’s recommendations before any other tests that might discharge the battery and with no load on the power supply other than the quiescent or standing load.

e) The standby battery should be disconnected, the alarms activated and the power supply output voltage checked that it is close to the nominal voltage.

NOTE 1 If applying the full alarm load is not practicable, then the full load may be simulated.

NOTE 2 It would be reasonable to expect the power supply voltage to achieve at least 95% of nominal voltage.

f) Batteries and their connections should be examined and momentarily load tested with the mains disconnected (other than those within devices such as manual call points, detectors and fire alarm sounders of a radio-linked system), to ensure that they are in good serviceable condition

and not likely to fail before the next service visit. Vented batteries should be examined to ensure that the specific gravity of each cell is correct.


g) The fire alarm functions of the CIE should be checked by the operation of at least one detector or manual call point on each circuit. An entry should be made in the logbook indicating which initiating devices have been used for these tests.

h) It should be confirmed that a fire alarm signal is given on operation of at least one manual call point or fire detector.


i) All controls and visual indicators at CIE should be checked for correct operation.

j) The operation of any facility for automatic transmission of alarm signals to an ARC should be checked. Where more than one form of alarm signal can be transmitted (e.g. fire and fault signals), the correct transmission of each signal should be confirmed.

k) All ancillary functions of the CIE should be tested.

l) All fault indicators and their circuits should be checked, where practicable, by simulation of fault conditions.

m) All printers should be tested to ensure that they operate correctly and that characters are legible. It should be ensured that all printer consumables are sufficient in quantity or condition to ensure that the printer can be expected to operate until the time of the next service visit.


n) Radio systems of all types should be serviced in accordance with the recommendations of the manufacturer.

o) All further checks and tests recommended by the manufacturer of the CIE and other components of the system should be carried out.


p) On completion of the work, any outstanding defects should be reported to the premises management, the system logbook [see 40.2d)] should be completed and an inspection and servicing certificate should be issued (see G.6).


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