Fire alarm systems:
Fire alarm systems can be very complex and it is usually not possible for an enforcing officer to check all the cabling, the components, the software and the hardware. However, there are a number of useful things that the enforcing officer can check and these will give an indication whether or not the system meets its objectives and conforms to the design standard.
It is sometimes worth getting the occupier to sound the alarm from one of the manual call points. This can usually be done by use of a small key. If doing this it is essential to let people in the building know that the system is being tested and that the signal is not a warning for them to evacuate. It is also important to ensure that the fire service control (mobilising) room know that a test is taking place so that they know not to send any fire appliances to the building. When the test is complete all parties should be informed that it is over.
The locations of detectors can be checked by inspecting officers. The usual technique is to identify areas that need detection and then check to see if it is there. That is much easier than identifying where detection is installed and then checking to see if it is actually needed in those areas.
Usually any inner rooms should have automatic smoke detection outside them to warn the occupants if there is a fire on their escape route through the access room.