Simple Tips and Tests for Maintaining Fire Equipment

When you’re in charge of a commercial facility of any sort, you want to ensure you maintain your fire equipment regularly. Most building owners or business managers know to have the fire extinguishers checked and refilled at least twice per year so they’re functional and ready for use, but there is much more that you should be doing to ensure the safety of your building’s occupants and staff in the event of a fire. Note a few simple tips for maintaining the fire equipment in your building or office and to ensure it’s in good repair and operational.

1. Test your sprinkler system

You may not think to test your sprinkler system regularly, but keep in mind that renovation work, vandalism, and other such factors can interfere with the proper operation of your sprinkler system. A contractor may have capped off certain areas of the sprinkler to do their work and then forgot to remove that cap, or someone may have broken a sprinkler accidentally and never reported this to your maintenance department. Your sprinkler system should be checked every year, and this means noting all the sprinklers in your building to ensure they’re all functional.

2. Test the fire alarms

It’s good to test the fire alarms in your building or office twice per year, and ensure that every single one works. This means pulling the lever of each fire alarm in your building and noting if it can be moved easily or if the lever needs some lubricant and cleaning. It should also be noted if each lever sounds the fire alarm, and if not, you may need to replace the wiring behind the alarm itself. If the wiring has become frayed or bare, it may no longer be connected to the alarm system and will fail to sound the alarm.

3. Check all access points for fire equipment

A fully charged fire extinguisher won’t work for anyone if a staff member cannot get it out of its harness, or if the hammer that is used to smash a window on an extinguisher holder is now missing. The same is true for fire alarms; they won’t work if someone has put a desk or something else in front of a lever. It’s not unusual for office workers to become negligent about blocking fire exits or forgetting to unlock them when the building is occupied. Consider this as part of your testing and maintenance of fire equipment; see how accessible all the equipment is and keep it accessible at all times.