How Often Should You Get a Fire System Inspection?

Posted On: December 8th, 2021

An effective fire system will only remain so if it is in good working order. Fire systems are like a chain and are as only as strong as their weakest link. If there is a deficiency or shortfall in the system, it won’t perform optimally, resulting in a highly dangerous situation. The answer is to get a fire system inspection.

How often should you get a fire system inspection? Well, today we are going to tell you everything that you need to know.


What is a Fire System?

A fire system can involve many components. It isn’t limited to alarms or fire suppression devices. Generally speaking, a fire system comprises separate individual parts that are used in combination to make a greater whole. It could include:

  • Alarm systems
  • Central monitoring systems
  • Sprinklers and standpipes
  • Smoke detectors
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Passive fire protection
  • Emergency lighting systems

All of the above need to be in perfect working order. Not only is it responsible to do so. It will be a legal requirement in many circumstances depending on how your business or property is used.

Commercial fire systems can be particularly complex. Here’s all you need to know.


How Often Should You Get a Fire System Inspection?

When you need to get your fire system inspected can depend on many factors, including how your premises are used, which components are fitted, and the age and general condition of these components. It’s good practice to ensure that most fire systems are checked once every year at least.

Here are the areas that could be checked:


Alarm Systems

The NFPA gives full details of fire alarm inspections in NFPA 72, chapter 14.

The frequency with which you should have your alarm system inspected and tested depends heavily on the type of system fitted and its associated components. Here are some areas that you will need to inspect and address:

  • Smoke detectors
  • Activation switches
  • The alarm signals
  • Heat detection systems.

A large proportion of the above can be easily checked visually. The frequency can vary depending on your local fire code, but as a general guide, you should check:

  • Power supplies, fuses, and control panels weekly.
  • Batteries, heat, and smoke detectors bi-annually
  • All components every year as a minimum

Sprinkler Systems

According to NFPA 25, sprinkler and fire suppression systems need to be checked fully once every quarter. Sprinkler systems are a particularly troublesome area. Because of where they are located, they can often be difficult to access. They are also prone to damage and degradation.

Some areas ideally should be checked weekly. This includes checking things such as pressure gauges and ensuring that the system (which is generally closed and not replenished) hasn’t sprung a leak.

An area where you almost certainly need to have your sprinkler system inspected as a matter of priority is if you have just occupied or acquired a building with one fitted. Often inherited systems can be below standard. There is no guarantee that the previous occupants were as conscientious as you!

For more information on sprinkler servicing, we have an expert guide with everything you need to know here.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers aren’t a purchase-and-forget sort of deal. They can often be one of the leading causes of fire code violations.


A few reasons. First, fire extinguishers actually have a ‘use by’ date. This doesn’t mean that they have to be discarded when they pass this date, just reinspected and verified as ‘suitable.’

Another reason is when individuals or businesses have the incorrect fire extinguisher for the environment in which they are to be used. There are different types of fire extinguishers for different situations, and there is rarely a ‘universal’ type.

If you want to know more about fire extinguisher inspection, then be sure to check out our guide.


Fire System Tests

One of the ways you can ensure that your fire system is fully working is to give it a test at regular intervals. Many organizations perform this test once a week to identify any deficiencies so that they can be quickly rectified.

Be sure to inform everyone in the building as to the time and day that fire tests are to be carried out. Suppose you do identify any areas that aren’t working. In that case, these must be fixed without delay, as to do so could literally endanger people’s lives.

Areas to test are not just audible alarms. They can include warning lights, emergency exit lighting, and passive fires systems. These also need to be inspected to ensure that things like fire doors close when they should.

If you have a centralized monitoring system that notifies fire authorities, you should also inform them that you are carrying out a test and also check that they have received signals from your fire protection system.


How to Perform a Fire System Inspection

If the above sounds overwhelming or particularly involved and too much to keep up with, there is a more convenient alternative.

A professional fire protection company will be able to attend to your building or business and expertly carry out every single requirement in keeping with your local regulations.

The good news is that if there are any flaws identified in your system, they will also be able to suggest the best possible solution and even oversee its implementation, giving you complete peace of mind.

Fraker Fire Protection Inc, based in California, can offer expert guidance and consultation about your fire system, including inspections. We can also offer new components, upgrades, and improvements to your existing system to ensure that you are fully protected against fire outbreaks.

With over 45 years of experience and as a Los Angeles Fire Department Reg 4 Certified provider of fire safety equipment, we are ideally qualified to offer advice and guidance on any aspect of your fire protection systems. Talk to one of our representatives, who would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Contact Fraker Fire today! 

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