classic | mobile
Follow us on:
Follow us on Facebook  Share via Twitter  Share via LinkedIn

Hi-Tech Security Solutions Business Directory

Who maintains your fire detection system?
May 2017, Associations, Fire & Safety

A fire alarm system that is not regularly serviced and maintained will eventually cease to function. This could result in loss of life or huge fire damage costs for your company. Who is responsible?

The building owner/end user

The building owner or end user is responsible and liable for maintaining his fire detection and alarm system.

SANS 10400:2010 T1 General Requirement:

(1) Any building shall be so designed, constructed and equipped that in case of fire… (e) adequate means of access, and equipment for detecting, fighting, controlling and extinguishing such fire, is provided.

T2 Offences states:

(1) Any owner of any building who fails to… (b) maintain any other provision made to satisfy the requirements of sub-regulation (T)1(1)(e), shall be guilty of an offence. The business, or building owner, has the responsibility to designate persons with knowledge of how the fire alarm operates. The designated persons should at least know when there is a problem with the system, how to test alarms, how to reset the system and who to call for service when there is a fault on the system or if it is due for service.

SANS 10139:2012 Part 12 is about maintenance, servicing and routine testing of fire alarm systems.

Daily inspections of the fire system must be done to ensure the panel is not displaying any alarms.

Weekly tests conducted by the user of the system ensures he tests one manual call point to check that the panel performs its functions correctly and ensure all relevant warning alarms operate.

This routine testing of the system provides an opportunity for occupants of the building to become, and remain, familiar with the fire alarm signal that the system produces. The weekly test should be carried out at approximately the same time each week. Instructions to occupants should then be that they should report any instance of poor audibility of the fire alarm signal.

Servicing visits

Service visits should not exceed six months. If a risk assessment shows a need for more frequent inspection and service visits due to environmental conditions or operational use of the building, then all interested parties should agree on more frequent inspection and servicing routine.

If this recommendation is not implemented, it should be considered that the system is no longer compliant with the SANS 10139:2012.

Log book

The responsible person should ensure that the system log book is kept up to date and is available for inspection by any authorised person (e.g. representatives of enforcing authorities and property insurers). All alarms, tests and services shall be recorded in the log book.

If there is no proof of regular maintenance of the fire alarm system or the system log is not maintained, insurance companies may refuse to settle a claim after a fire incident.

The contractor

The onus is on the business or building owner to appoint a competent contractor who is duly registered and certified to carry out the maintenance and servicing of the fire alarm system in accordance with SANS 10139:2012. Maintenance by a competent person ensures that the system will continue to function as originally intended.

The service technician shall conduct a visual inspection to check whether structural or occupancy changes have affected the compliance of the system with the recommendations of SANS 10139:2012 for the siting of manual call points, automatic fire detectors and fire alarm devices.

The log book should be examined to ensure that all faults and incidences have been recorded and appropriate action has been taken. SANS 10139:2012 sets out procedures that are to be followed by the service technician during his service visit.

All devices on the system shall be tested at least once a year to ensure their continued functionality. The standard stipulates how various devices should be tested and serviced and this should be carried out with reference to the manufactures recommendations.

The fire alarm system is also likely to require non-routine attention, including special maintenance. Non-routine maintenance includes:

O A special inspection of an existing fire alarm system when a new servicing organisation takes over servicing the system.

O Repair of faults or damage.

O Modification to take account of extensions, alterations, changes in occupancy or false alarms.

O Action to address an unacceptable rate of false alarms.

O Inspection and test of the system following a fire.

Who should I trust?

Ensure your maintenance contractor can prove a track record for servicing and ask to check his service sheets to ensure he has a full working knowledge of fire detection and alarm systems, as in all industries there are good and bad service companies. Based upon the above guidelines end users are strongly advised to enter into a service agreement upon the completion of any new installation works on their premises with the contract installer involved.

The FDIA has in the past concentrated only on how installations are carried out but are now in the process of investigating the feasibility of registering service/maintenance companies involved in the industry in an attempt to ensure quality service to all end users.

We encourage all end users to only use FDIA registered contractors as they have the capability and mandate to ensure that not only is your fire detection system installed correctly, but it is serviced and maintained as per the required standards and regulations.

Supplied By: FDIA (Fire Detection Installers Association)
Tel: 072 580 7318
Fax: 086 518 4376
  Share via Twitter   Share via LinkedIn      

Further reading:

  • Commissioning of a fire suppression system
    July 2017, FDIA (Fire Detection Installers Association), This Week's Editor's Pick, Fire & Safety, Associations
    The person responsible for commissioning a gaseous fire suppression system will have to go through several key points to ensure the system satisfies the requirements of the relevant standards.
  • Free speech can be expensive
    July 2017, This Week's Editor's Pick, Associations
    Emma Sadleir, a media law consultant spoke at the ESDA breakfast at Securex on the legal and reputational risks of social media.
  • SAIDSA celebrates 50 years
    July 2017, SAIDSA (SA Intruder Detection Services Association, This Week's Editor's Pick, Associations
    The South African Intruder Detection Services Association (SAIDSA) used Securex 2017 as a platform to start its 50th birthday celebrations, and to recognise the winners of its Techman competition. SAIDSA ...
  • Fire-fighting drones
    July 2017, This Week's Editor's Pick, Fire & Safety, Products
    Modern drones stand to offer multi-faceted support in combating forest fires and disaster relief operations.
  • Don’t miss the ESDA exhibition in Windhoek
    July 2017, ESDA (Electronic Security Distributors Association, News, Associations
    The Electronic Security Distributors’ Association (ESDA) is hosting an exhibition in Windhoek, Namibia, on 23 August 2017 at the Windhoek Country Club.
  • ESDA exhibition in Windhoek
    June 2017, ESDA (Electronic Security Distributors Association, News, Associations
    ESDA will be hosting an exhibition in Windhoek on 23 August 2017.
  • New ESDA members
    June 2017, Active Track, Associations, News
    ESDA has welcomed two new members to the association: Active Track and Quantum Design.
  • Fire detection systems for multi-storey buildings
    June 2017, FDIA (Fire Detection Installers Association), Fire & Safety
    High-rise buildings have specific requirements for fire safety, which can mean the difference between life and death.
  • ESDA talks social media
    May 2017, ESDA (Electronic Security Distributors Association, News, Associations
    The Electronic Security Distributors’ Association (ESDA) will be hosting a breakfast event at Securex, focusing on the legal and reputational risks of social media.
  • Co-operation and data delivers returns for SAICB
    May 2017, This Week's Editor's Pick, Security Services & Risk Management, Financial (Industry), Associations
    Data analysis and information sharing among insurance companies is producing sterling results in the fight against fraud.
  • ESDA member breakfast
    Securex 2017 preview, ESDA (Electronic Security Distributors Association, Associations, Conferences & Events
    The Electronic Security Distributors’ Association (ESDA) will again be hosting a breakfast event at Securex, to be held at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand at 7am on 30 May 2017. The guest speaker ...
  • SAIDSA Techman
    Securex 2017 preview, SAIDSA (SA Intruder Detection Services Association, Associations
    SAIDSA will be hosting its third Techman Competition at Securex on Tuesday 30 May 2017, commencing at 10am. 24 SAIDSA-Certified Technicians will compete in the wiring and installation of an intruder alarm ...

Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronic Buyers Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory (HSBD)

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual
    Mobile | Classic

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.