Testing a Fire Alarm System

When it comes to fire alarms, for them to work effectively you need to know they are fully functional at all times. The only way to ensure this is to regularly test the fire alarms. However, there are other admin duties and certain actions needed to be taken that all form part of a safe fire alarm system in your premises.

Appointing a responsible person

  • The person who is responsible for the premises must carry out a weekly test of all fire alarms, keeping in line with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
  • Someone also needs to supervise the testing of the alarms. They should have the authority to authorise any work that needs doing, in order to make sure the alarm is fully functional at all times.


A log book should be kept at all times to keep track of:

  • Dates and times that the alarm was tested or went off (whether false or not)
  • Dates and times of the faults and how they were resolved
  • Dates of servicing
  • Dates and times when disconnected
  • Dates of any alterations that were made to the system

Testing a fire alarm

To carry out a thorough test, you will need:

  • A call point triggering device
  • Enabling keys to the fire alarm panel. This will allow you to cancel the alarm once it has been tested.
  • The log book to log the date, time and location of the test.
  • Authorisation codes to go offline, so that emergency fire services are not alerted.
  • Contact the Monitoring Station/UCL Security Control to make sure they have received the signal. If no signal was received then action will need to be taken to check the line and make any necessary repairs.

To test your alarm, you should:

  • Isolate any systems or plants.
  • If you have more than one FA panel (fire alarm panel), check they are all activated and the sounders are functioning well throughout the building.

Once the alarm has been sounded, but before the system is reset, check that:

  • As part of the fire alarm activation, all doors release Electromagnetic Door Security Locking Systems.
  • Doors with Electromagnetic Hold Open Devices are released and the fire doors are closed, fully shut.
  • Fire Alarm Activated Do Not Enter signs operate
  • The deaf page transmitter is connected to the FA panel with vibrating pages.

And finally, once all this has been done, make sure the Fire signal has gone back to Monitoring Station/UCL Security Control Room. Also, report any non-functioning devices, or sounders, bells, doors etc. and make sure that the necessary repairs are carried out.

Cheshire Fire

As your leading supplier and installer of fire extinguishers, fire alarms and fire safety equipment throughout the Cheshire region, please feel free to contact us if you’d like more information about our services and how we can keep you and your premises safe.