When we speak about Fire alarm testing or Fire alarm maintenance we should ask:
What are the steps and procedures to test your fire alarm system? Do you know what fire alarm parts are you going to test and/or maintain?
Do you know how to test a fire alarm heat detector, how to maintain smoke detectors or even how to reset fire alarm system after testing?
So what is the difference between testing and maintenance fire alarm system?
Testing is doing some scheduled practices and pre-defined procedures to ensure system liability and by those testing schedules you will save money and protect your property.
Any fire alarm circuit consists of:
- Main fire alarm control panel (which contains batteries, fuses and screen with led lamps)
- Sensing fire alarm parts( smoke detectors, heat detectors, manual call points)
- Notification devices: Devices which produce fire alarm sound or fire alarm beeping like (bells or seriens).
- Infrastructure: fire alarm cables used or fiber optic cables or even a wireless fire alarm system.
You have to test your system every specified period of time to confirm the liability of your system.
Testing is done using special tools,some for smoke detection and others for heat detection.
For instance if you are going to check your home fire alarm system & hire someone specialized in fire alarm testing, you don’t have to bring him monthly & pay him money;
You can bring him and make the maintenance semi annually (every 6 months).
On the another hand if you have a valuable piece of antique in an important museum you will have to test the system monthly and pay for it.
If your system is older than 7 years you will be obligated to test and maintain your fire alarm system with close attention.
Testing fire alarm system is a fire safety matter that you should implement.
Fire alarm maintenance is to disassemble fire alarm parts and maintain, clean and inspect them separately.
Maintenance basic procedures:
- Isolate the detector or the area to be maintained from the fire alarm system
- Inform concerned people if any about the maintenance (contact firefighters before maintenance)
- Disassemble each detector and test it individually based on schedule.
There is a base for testing even you have to make a sheet for testing the fire alarm system (Enroll in the course to find what this test sheet looks like?)
You should periodically maintain and test your fire alarm system which including checks for:
- Power supply voltages
- fire alarm panels batteries check (if any corrosion)
- All detectors responses (alarm condition and alarm verification)
Also resetting fire alarm is required during testing the fire alarm system as some of fire alarm parts testing are simple and others are complicated.
Testing and maintenance of heat detectors ,smoke detectors and flame detectors are done using special tools and certain steps for efficient fire alarm testing.
If you want to get a fire alarm training about fire alarm testing and maintenance here is your guide:
Wireless fire alarm system is a another shape of the original standard fire alarm system.
Wireless fire alarms are a good use of wireless radio frequency technology as they are used in certain applications:
- Applications that has very difficult rout to lay cables
- Museums and valuable historical places that don’t accept digging or installation works
- Temporary applications that not need infrastructure work
Note that most of valuable or historical palaces that use wireless fire alarm systems also use wireless security cameras (video surveillance system), applications of radio frequency wave propagation.
Typical wireless security system uses wireless alarm system and wireless CCTV video recording system.
In some countries you must take permission or pay some annual fees for using some wireless frequency ranges.
As we all know that anything in the world has advantages and disadvantages.
The advantages of the wireless fire alarms are:
- They are easy installation systems.
- They require no cabling or pipes for installation.
- And of course they have no infrastructure maintenance as there are no cables or pipes.
The disadvantages of the wireless fire alarms are:
- Interference with other electromagnetic wireless waves (some electromagnetic noise may interfere with the original signal), it is measured by the signal to noise ratio (S/N), if the ratio is less than a certain value you shouldn’t use wireless fire alarms as it will not be the suitable solution for the given application.
- In steel applications you cannot use wireless fire alarms as the electromagnetic wireless waves cannot propagate in metal application.
- Typical wireless fire alarm system parts is very expensive when compared to the normal fire alarm system that uses cables, but you also will save the installation work cost for laying cables inside pipes.
The significant disadvantage of wireless fire alarm system is the wave distortion which will make actual fire signal do not reach the fire alarm control panel or it will reach the panel with distortion that will not be identified as an alarm signal.
Here is a typical fire alarm signal sine wave and the distorted alarm wave after noise interference.
If your application has no limitations and accepts both systems (wireless fire alarms & conventional cabled fire alarm system) you should make a cost study which system is cheaper to implement as both systems provide you the same function.
In the wireless fire alarm system all system parts are connected to the main fire alarm control panel individually not a loop connection,
Wireless fire alarms usually use the frequency around 800 MHz which you have to check with your local authorities about the availability of using this frequency range.
All of the fire alarm system parts are addressable points; each point is configured individually and programmed to the extreme detail you need.
If you need more information in how to design a wireless fire alarm system and want to know the analysis of the fire alarm wave propagation & fire alarm antenna types, Purchase this fire alarm training course: