As a NYC or Long Island business owner, no doubt you know the importance of a fire alarm test – but is your system tested on a regular basis to ensure that your property, assets and employees are protected to the fullest possible extent should a fire break out?  New York City is notorious for its tall buildings and skyscrapers; however, the structure of many of these buildings put lives and businesses at risk.  If it has been a while since you have had a fire alarm test performed, perhaps it’s time to freshen up on what is (or should be) involved.


Why have a fire alarm test?  It’s the law.  Here are a few other reasons.


Ÿ  If your system isn’t functioning properly, lives are at stake – not to mention your property and business.  A well maintained system means a safer working environment.


Ÿ  It is essential that you meet the requirements of fire inspectors, the local building department and your insurance carrier.  If requirements are not met, your insurance carrier could potentially reject any claim should you fail to have proof of thorough yearly inspections.


Ÿ  Your fire alarm could generate “false” alarms if components are not tested regularly.  This wastes not only your productivity and that of your employees, but wastes fire department resources as well.


Ÿ  If you fail to test your system when it is required, you may be held liable for injuries sustained by employees, tenants or patrons.  In the event of a death, you could be facing a wrongful death lawsuit.


There are many aspects of a fire alarm test, some performed on an annual basis, others on a weekly, quarterly or semiannual basis.  Depending upon your system, sprinkler waterflow and valve tamper switches should be tested, as well as load voltage of batteries, control panels, fuses, LED’s, smoke and heat detectors, strobes, horns, bells, voice evacuation equipment and more.


There is no doubt that a fire alarm test will disrupt the workplace, but this is a small price to pay to protect your property and the lives of all who enter your business.  However, disruption is minimal and it is essential that all components of your system are tested so that requirements are met and your system continues to function properly.  The failure of even one small component could mean that your fire alarm does not work, and that lives are placed in jeopardy.


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