Fire Alarm Maintenance FAQ’s

Fire Alarm Maintenance FAQ’s

How do you maintain fire alarms?


In order to maintain fire alarms, a business or organization should partner with a fire alarm maintenance company that is registered with their State Fire Marshall to conduct fire alarm inspection and maintenance. Fire alarm maintenance should not be done by in-house maintenance personnel, as performing fire alarm maintenance requires certification, registration and ongoing technical training. (Some states make exceptions for some state agencies).

A licensed, registered fire alarm maintenance company will conduct through, regular inspections of your fire alarm system that include visual inspection, testing, cleaning, and repair of the system including the control panel, sensors, notification devices, and backup batteries. They will provide required documentation for your state in accordance with NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) guidelines.

What does a fire alarm system consist of?


A fire alarm system consists of the following elements:

  1. Control Panel, which connects all elements of the fire alarm system.
  2. System Circuit Wiring, which is the physical wiring that connects system components to the control panel.
  3. Heat and Smoke Detectors, which trigger the fire alarm system in case of fire.
  4. Manual pull stations, which can be used to trigger the fire alarm manually.
  5. Notification devices, which include a loud alarm sound and flashing lights.
  6. Annunciators, which give direction as to where in the building the fire is located.
  7. Auxiliary power, or backup batteries.
  8. Wired or Wireless Communication System, which alerts the fire department and your fire alarm monitoring company when the fire alarm system is triggered.

How often do you have to test a fire alarm?


In addition to an annual fire alarm inspection, it is required by state law and national fire code to test certain fire alarm components every three months, with inspection of some components on a weekly and monthly basis.

What triggers a fire alarm?


Fire alarm systems include various triggers including temperature sensors, smoke detectors, and manual pull stations.

Is a fire alarm the same as a smoke detector?


No. A smoke detector is one component of a fire alarm system, which also includes temperature sensors, alarms, notification devices, and more.