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Communicating With Fire Alarm Technicians and Scheduling Inspections

Property managers, engineers, and building owners in Texas: this list has been abbreviated for clarity, check with your Authority Having Jurisdiction to verify the testing requirements for your area. Not all of these tests will pertain to every system, and some buildings may have more frequent testing requirements than others.

Waterflow & Tamper Testing – Quarterly – every 3 months

Electronic Door Lock Testing – Semi-Annual – every 6 months

Visual Inspection of Fire Alarm Equipment – Semi-Annual – every 6 months

Automatic Fire Suppression Systems – Semi-Annual – every 6 months (kitchen hood, halon, FM-200, dry chemical, Pre-Action systems).

Fire Alarm System Inspections – Annually

Fire Extinguisher Inspections – Annually

Fire Hose Inspections – Annually – Annually

Fire Hose Valve inspection & exercise – Annually

Fire Pump(s) Flow Test – Annually – Annually

Fire Protection Tank Inspection – Annually

Backflow Preventer Test – Annually – Annually

Fire Alarm Sensitivity – Bi-Annually – every 2 years (varies per system).

Fire Alarm Audibility Test – every 3 years

Dry System Trip Test – every 3 years

Fire Hose Pressure Test – (5 years from manufacture date / every 3 years afterwards)

Water Supply Tanks Flow Test – every 5 years

Standpipe System(s) Hydro Test – every 5 years

Fire Department Connection(s) Hydro Test – every 5 years

Pressure Reducing Valves / Pressure Reducing Devices – every 5 years

Other Inspections:

Fire Damper Tests – every 4 years = mechanical contractor

Stair Pressurization Tests – every 5 years = mechanical contractor

Emergency Power / Lighting – annual load test = Annually

Since beginning my career as an account manager, I have encountered some customers who have been given tickets for not having the proper tests performed or for not having the proper fire alarm permits. I have also encountered customers who have never tested anything, had cobwebs growing on their equipment, and never received a ticket. The important take away is that if there is a fire, your building and occupants will be far safer if your systems operate effectively.

Your authority having jurisdiction is usually your local fire marshal. To locate them and ask them about testing requirements or permitting requirements you can usually perform a quick Google search.

To actually have these tests performed I would recommend using a well established company that will provide you with proper documentation for the tests that they perform. Many well established companies can offer fire alarm, sprinkler, extinguisher, and elevator inspections as a package deal.