Fire alarm system

Any information is really appreciated

Needing help with our fire alarm system for 6 bed student let.
One shared kitchen on the ground floor

The house is over 3 floors in a residential area

Our fire system and emergency lighting is costing over £700 a year. This is testing and certification

Is this a normal price , it seem very high ?
Could anyone recommend a fire company in the TW20 area to do our maintence and maybe recommend a better system

Also … can I move to a self testing competent person testing system … so I don’t have to depend on a engineers testing ?

Thank you for any information

To my knowledge, you could find someone cheaper, however, you can test it your self as a competent person, as long as long as you have logged it in the book I.E date and time and rough description of what you done to test it, making sure it has worked.

Hope that helps.

Hi Ronnie5

Thank you for your reply - appreciated

Ive been informed by local authority the type of fire alarm installed requires suitable trained person with a qualification to certify, this is the problem I have.
The companies charge a fortune to press the buttons to certify the fire alarm is working.

I am hoping for a recommendation from a landlord with a similar 6 bed, 3 floor, HMO who has a fire alarm installed , that can self test the alarm

It is perfectly possible for you to become knowledgeable enough to be considered a competent person, the question is… Should you.

If you want to do this, you need to be serious about making the effort to be able to do it safely as you are responsible for the lives of others.

You don’t give any details of the fire alarm so I can’t really advise but it should be in your FRA.

For the lights, you need to make a list or better still a plan showing the location of each emergency light.

Every time you or anyone else eg cleaner is in the building, get them to check the light has a green led.

Every month, kill the power to the lights and check that all the emergency lights come on

Once each year you need to kill the power to the lights and time for 3 hours to check that at the end of the 3 hours each light is still on.

All records of these tests must be fully documented and it goes without saying that if any fail, you need to fix them (it is usually the battery). Personally I change the batteries every 4 years even if they don’t fail, because they will and I would rather change them all at once when I have the ladders out.

You can also get self testing light (£25 ish) which removes the need to do any of this, just look for a red light which indicates a fault with the lamp or the battery and the advantage of these is that they test themselves at random intervals so you never have the whole building in darkness.

The process for the fire alarm is very similar, but if you don’t know if you have part 1 or part 6 detectors, you probably don’t have the knowledge (yet) to do it yourself

You can certainly test it yourself, assuming you find out what’s required and are competent to carry it out and it needs to be logged.

Aside from the testing, I believe the system should be serviced by a suitably qualified person every 6-months.

Phone your local fire officer, he will advise you accordingly.

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