FIRE ALARM SYSTEM INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS CHECKLISTS

Quick Reference Guide for Inspections Required by Code

Fire Alarm Inspection Checklist – Quick Reference Guide

DAILY

– Visually check principal and remote trouble lights for indication of trouble

– Inspect the primary AC “power on” light or equivalent indicator to ensure its normal operation.

– The central alarm and control facility must be checked daily to ensure that no trouble is indicated on the system. 6.3.2.3. OFC

MONTHLY

** It is recommended that the following tests be completed at time of emergency power generator testing.

– Fire Alarm: One automatic initiating field device (detector, water flow switch) or manual alarm initiating device (e.g. pull station) must be operated on a rotational basis, to initiate an alarm or alert condition. System must be checked for operation.

– Alarm/alert signals must be checked in a minimum of one zone or as may be required by the Fire safety plan for the building to ensure signals (e.g. bells, horns, speakers, strobes, etc.) are audible and function correctly. ULC 5.2.1.A

– Primary annunciator must be inspected to ensure tested device annunciated correctly. ULC 5.2.1.A

– Intended function of all audible and visual trouble signals, including remotes, must be ensured. ULC 5.2.1.B

– Batteries: Stand-by batteries must be inspected to ensure terminals are clean, dry and lubricated and terminal clamps are secure. ULC 5.2.1.C

– Voice Communication when integrated with fire alarm system: At least one firefighter’s handset must be tested on a rotational basis each month for intelligible two-way communication and correct indication at control unit. ULC 5.2.1.D

– Voice Communication when not integrated with fire alarm system and when not regularly used as part of a paging system: Loudspeakers must be operated as an all-call signal to ensure that they function as intended. 6.3.2.5. OFC

– Smoke Alarms: Smoke alarms are devices which detect smoke and give an audible alarm. Test and inspect smoke alarms as recommended by manufacturer. 2.1.3.3.

– The most common recommendations are that battery powered detectors be tested not less than once a week and those other than battery powered (e.g. AC) be tested not less than once a month.

ANNUALLY

The following functions must be tested and confirmed as operable on each control unit and transponder unit:

  • Power “on” visual indicator
  • Common visual trouble signal
  • Common audible trouble signal
  • Trouble signal silence switch
  • Main power supply failure trouble signal
  • Ground fault tested on positive and negative trouble signal
  • Alert and alarm signal operation
  • Automatic transfer from alert signal to alarm signal
  • Acknowledge switch operation
  • Alarm signal silence inhibit
  • Alarm signal silence visual indication
  • Alarm signal, when silenced, automatically reinitiate upon subsequent alarm
  • Alarm signal silence automatic cutout timer
  • Input circuit, alarm and supervisory operation
  • Including visual indicator
  • Input circuit trouble operation
  • Output circuit alarm operation
  • Output circuit trouble operation
  • Visual indicator test (lamp test)
  • Coded signal sequences operate not less than the required number of times and the correct alarm signal operates thereafter
  • Coded signal sequences are not interrupted by subsequent alarm
  • Input circuit to output circuit operation, including ancillary device circuits, for correct matrix operation, as per design and specification
  • Reset Operation
  • Main power supply to emergency power supply transfer
  • Data communications link supervision and operation
  • And control unit interconnection to monitoring station

ULC 6.2.1

The following functions must be tested and confirmed as operable on each control unit as applicable:

  • Input circuit designations correctly identified in relation to connected field devices
  • Output circuit designations correctly identified in relation to connected field devices
  • Designations for common control functions and indicators, cabinets
  • Plug-in components and modules and cables securely in place
  • Record the date, revision and version of firmware and software
  • Fuses in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications, control unit lock
  • And termination points from wiring to field devices secure

UCL 6.2.3.

Power Supplies: Each control unit power supply must be inspected to ensure that it is fused in accordance with the manufacturers marked rating of the system. Also ensure that the power supply is adequate to meet the requirements of the system. ULC 6.3.1.

Each battery must be inspected and tested to confirm operability

Each emergency power generator must be tested to confirm operability with fire alarm system as applicable:

 

Each annunciator must be inspected and tested to confirm operability including the following functions as applicable:

Each remote trouble unit must be inspected and tested to confirm operability, including the following functions as applicable:

  • Input wiring from control unit is supervised
  • Visual trouble signal
  • Audible trouble signal
  • Audible trouble signal silence feature

ULC 6.4.3.

Printers:

Each printer must be tested to establish the following:

  • The operation is as intended
  • The zone of each alarm initiating device is correctly printed
  • Rated voltage is present

ULC 6.5.1.

Field Devices:

Each field device must be inspected to ensure it is:

  • Free of damage
  • Free of foreign substance (ex, paint)
  • Mechanically supported independent of wiring

ULC 6.6.1.1.

  • Each function/feature of the device must be tested while connected to the control unit or transponder. ULC 6.6.1.2.

Manual Pull Stations:

Each manual pull station must be tested by following operating instructions for the station. ULC 6.6.2.1.

Heat Detectors:

Each heat detector must be tested to confirm operability. Note: an open flame must not be used to test the operation of heat detectors. ULC 6.6.3.1.

Each non-restorable heat detector must have the circuits tested by simulating its electrical operation at the wiring connection. ULC 6.6.3.3.

Smoke Detectors:

  • Must be visually inspected for cleanliness. Where required, cleaning must be according to manufacturer’s recommendations. ULC 6.6.4.1.1.
  • Detector sensitivity value must be tested and confirm that it is within the rated operating range and the manufacturer’s recommended test equipment must be used. ULC 6.6.4.1.2.
  • When a detector’s sensitivity is not within the required operating range, it must be cleaned and retested, as per above test, and if it is still not within its rated sensitivity it must be replaced with a compatible smoke detector. ULC 6.6.4.1.3.
  • Sensitivity measurements and/or cleaning date must be recorded on the individual device record after the smoke detector has been reinstalled. ULC 6.6.4.1.4.
  • Must be tested for operation by introducing smoke or simulated smoke to the detecting chamber. ULC 6.6.4.1.5.

 

Remote Indicator Units:

  • Each remote indicator unit providing visual indication from a smoke detector must be inspected and tested to confirm that the visual indication is clearly visible from the direction of travel to the protected area. ULC 6.6.4.2.

Status Change Confirmation (Alarm Verification Feature): Must be inspected and tested to confirm and record that only smoke detectors are affected by the operation of the status change confirmation circuity. ULC 6.6.4.3.

Additional Requirements for Air Duct Type Smoke Detectors: The sampling tube differential pressure in air duct type smoke detectors must be tested to confirm that it is within manufacturer’s specified limits. ULC 6.6.4.4.

 

Automatic Detectors :

  • Each detector must be inspected and tested to confirm operation including the following functions as applicable:
    • Alarm initiation using alarm initiating source recommended by the manufacturer
    • Detector is oriented so as to detect the hazard
    • Test for sensitivity as per manufacturer’s recommendations and record the device location address and sensitivity where applicable. ULC 6.6.7.

Waterflow Detection Devices:

  • Each waterflow detecting device must be inspected and tested to confirm operation, including the following functions as applicable:
    • Waterflow detecting devices, paddle and pressure type, appropriate water flow means
    • And time delay setting shall be recorded in the individual device record.
    • Note: it is recommended that tests be coordinated with sprinkler tests, and it should be noted that more frequent testing of sprinkler system devices may be required by the Fire Code. ULC 6.6.8.1.

Supervisory Devices:

  • Each supervisory switch for shut-off valve must be tested to determine that within two turns of the valve handle, or when the stem of the valve has moved 20% from its normal position it will result in an audible common trouble signal and a visual indication. ULC 6.6.8.2.1.
  • Each low pressure supervisory device must be inspected and tested to ensure the operation of the following functions as applicable:
    • A decrease of pressure beyond the set limit results in an audible trouble signal and a visual indication
    • The low pressure (kPa) setting where the device initiates a trouble signal and the upper pressure setting where the device is no longer activated must be recorded. ULC 6.6.8.2.2.
  • Each low water level supervisory device must be tested by lowering the water level adequately or by simulating its electrical operation at the wiring points of the device to result in an audible trouble signal and a visual indication. ULC 6.6.8.2.3.
  • Each low temperature (air and water) supervisory device must be tested by simulating its electrical operation at the wiring connection points of the device and record the low temperature setting. ULC 6.6.8.2.4.
  • Each low power loss supervisory devices for example on the fire pump and air compressor must be tested by disconnecting the main power supply to the equipment thus resulting in an audible trouble signal and a visual indication. ULC 6.6.8.2.5.

Signal Appliances:

  • Each audible signal appliance and visual signal appliance must be inspected and tested for operation including the following functions as applicable:
    • Proper installation and tightness of shell or housing and evidence of tampering, such as physical obstruction of moving mechanical parts
    • The intelligibility of voice messages must function as intended throughout the area served by the appliance
    • The audibility of the alert signal and/or alarm signal and of voice messages must function as intended throughout the area served by the appliance
    • The visual signal appliance must function as intended and must be clearly visible from all points within the visual alarm area
    • Devices using a combination of signaling principles must be tested to the requirements appropriate to each principle of operation. ULC 6.6.9

Emergency Telephones

Each emergency telephone must be inspected and tested for the following:

  • Clear two-way voice communication
  • Correct audible and visual indication at the control unit when the handset is lifted or activated
  • Operating instructions clearly visible
  • Lockable release mechanism is intact such as break glass, solenoid release, etc and the test that the “system operable” or “system in-use” tone is received on all emote handsets. ULC 6.6.10

Remote Monitoring Connections

Test and verify receipt of the required signals at the remote monitoring company or agency and record the remote monitoring company or agency. ULC 6.6.11.

BASIC FIRE SAFETY GUIDELINES

The Fire Code sets out many requirements, that include the following:

  • Prepare a fire safety plan that is acceptable to the Fire Department and implement plan
  • Train supervisory staff to fulfill duties during alarm or fire in the building
  • Inform occupants of emergency procedures
  • Keep stairways, landings, hallways, passageways and exits (indoor and outdoor) clear of any obstructions at all times
  • Keep fire doors across corridors and stairwells closed at all times.
    • Exception: doors can be open if doors are held open by approved devices that allow doors to close in the event the fire alarm system is initiated.
  • Ensure that exit doors are not locked, bolted or chained against the direction of exit travel
  • Ensure that combustible waste material is not permitted to accumulate in quantities or locations that will constitute a fire hazard
  • Keep access roadways and fire routes clear and accessible for Fire Department use
  • Have a working knowledge of the fire alarm system and how it is reset
  • Maintain the fire protection and life safety equipment in good operating condition at all times
  • Provide alternative measures for the safety of the occupants in the event of the shutdown of part or all of fire protection equipment systems.
  • Perform fire drills on a regular basis.

If you are a property owner or manager you are mandated to ensure that your buildings adhere to the National Fire Code. To help you with your Fire Safety and risk management planning we have put together these handy Inspection Requirements Checklists to help you avoid liability and ensure the utmost safety for all your properties.