Wireless Fire Alarm Maintenance Requirements
Are you carrying out the required maintenance to keep your wireless fire alarm fault free?
Many businesses and residential properties have taken advantage of the many benefits going wire-free and installed a wireless fire alarm, as opposed to wired. If the system equipment is certified to EN54-25 and installed by a fire alarm wireless specialist to the manufactures recommendations, the system will give you many years of fault operation and protection.
However, while the servicing and maintenance of a hard-wired system is similar to a wireless with regards to the period of time between inspections, the detection, and sounders that need to be tested, the control panel etc, there are a few important additional points to observe when maintaining a wireless fire alarm to ensure the system is serviced and maintained correctly.
Faults or Activations should be logged in the Fire Logbook
Any faults or fire alarm activations should be listed in the fire log book and reported to the fire alarm maintenance company straightaway if the user does not know the reason for the fault of activation. Reporting a false alarm or fault ensures that the issue is investigated and rectified as soon as possible. Not doing so, may result in the batteries in the sounders draining down earlier than stated by the manufacturers due to the excessive false alarms.
It is important that the maintenance company is approved by the manufacturer of the equipment. This will involve the maintenance company having undertaken the necessary training, and having access to the programming software, updates, equipment parts and download interface leads.
The most important bit of advice to give to the owner of a wireless fire alarm is you must make sure the batteries are replaced within the time stated by the equipment manufacturers. This is usually 5 years for a detector and 3 years for a sounder. However as technology is improving, the battery life within the devices is also increasing. One of the leading wireless manufacturers has just brought out a detector with a battery life of 10 years.
The fire alarm company maintaining the system should make a note of when the system was installed, or the last time the batteries were changed. As the replacement date approaches, they will inform the client of the required replacement and organize these works during the maintenance visit.
Checking the Radio Signal Strength.
To ensure that all the radio signal strengths have remained within the manufacturer’s decibel power tolerance, the service and maintenance engineer will download the readings onto their laptop and carry out an inspection of the recorded readings. It would be beneficial to have a copy of the commissioning radio signal strength readings to make the comparison.
As with a wired or wireless system a functional test is carried out on all the devices ensuring correct operation.