Regular maintenance can help all manner of systems and equipment perform better and last longer. All equipment and components within fire and security systems should be serviced and maintained to ensure they work effectively in the event of an emergency. It’s not enough to simply install fire and security measures; systems must be inspected and maintained for compliance, to meet obligations, save money, and, importantly, save lives.
A fire and security maintenance plan plays a crucial role in the organisation and scheduling of maintenance works. In this guide, our fire and security experts, who also provide servicing and maintenance works to a wealth of solutions, explain maintenance plans and their contents.
What Is A Fire and Security Maintenance Plan?
A maintenance plan is generally a document that outlines inspections and servicing done to assets to keep them in proper working order. By planning and documenting periodic works, it ensures maintenance is regimented and sustained over time. Therefore, a fire and security maintenance plan concerns the upkeep and documentation of maintenance of fire and security related assets/systems.
A fire and security maintenance plan may contain:
- Documentation of regular inspections, servicing and maintenance
- Documentation of any issues found and their resolutions
- Schedule of regular works (likely split into daily, weekly, quarterly and annual jobs)
Fire and security maintenance plans are often offered by fire and security providers, such as Sovereign Fire & Security, which outline various maintenance plans offering differing levels of maintenance. For example, a small security system may only require annual inspection by the installer, whereas a large scale, complex system may be advised to receive quarterly inspection.
Regulations and guidelines denoting inspections and servicing may differ according to the exact piece of equipment, as will be explained below, but generally inspections and maintenance plans should be carried out by ‘competent persons’. The most competent persons are industry experts with experience and specialised knowledge.
Preventative Maintenance vs Corrective Maintenance
Maintenance ensures the upkeep of assets, but this can be before or after an issue or damage occurs. Preventative maintenance describes the anticipation of issues that may occur and adjusting to prevent said issues occurring, helping to reduce costs and risk of system failure down the line. Corrective maintenance, on the other hand, describes the repairing and replacing of elements when an issue or fault is found.
Maintenance plans help to identify issues for corrective maintenance, as well as highlight areas for improvement under preventative maintenance. Periodic maintenance prevents factors that can negatively affect components, such as build-up of dirt, vandalism or damage, aging, errors and so on.
Fire Maintenance Plan
All equipment associated with fire and life safety systems should be regularly maintained and recorded within the plan. Fire maintenance plans should cover smoke detectors, fire alarm systems, fire extinguishers, safety doors, emergency lighting and more within all fire systems, including aspirating air, conventional, and gas suppression fire solutions.
Fire system maintenance falls under the responsibility of the ‘Responsible Person’, usually the building owner or manager, as part of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 under article 17 – see here. To remain compliant, fire equipment and devices within a premises should be “in efficient working order and in good repair” through a “suitable system of maintenance”, evidenced by a fire maintenance plan.
Fire maintenance plans denote what checks, inspections and maintenance should be undertaken for each asset at certain periods – daily, weekly, quarterly, and annually – and include records of servicing. Each asset within a fire system will have its own maintenance requirements, some of which are below, but all maintenance, checks, and inspections should be recorded.
Fire alarms should be tested weekly by a competent person (e.g. the building manager) and documented in the fire log book. It is recommended tests occur at the same time each week so building users are familiar with the routine testing.
According to BS 5839, the British Standard for fire alarm and detection systems, fire alarms should be inspected by a professional at least every six months.
Emergency lighting should be regularly tested and maintained, with daily visual checks to ensure the lighting is working effectively. The relevant standard is BS 5266, the code of practice for emergency lighting of premises.
Fire extinguishers should be regularly checked with a brief visual examination, ideally monthly by the responsible person or other competent person, to check for damage or loss of pressure, looking at the pressure gauge, headcap pin and seal.
An expert should inspect fire extinguishers annually, and fire extinguishers should be replaced every five years.
Other aspects to consider within a fire maintenance plan include the visual display on control panels, batteries, and break glass points which could be part of a bi-annual inspection or regularly checked by the responsible person.
Security Maintenance Plan
Similar to a fire maintenance plan, a security maintenance plan lists the security assets, schedule of required maintenance and inspections, and records of previous maintenance and corrective measures.
Security maintenance plans should cover all aspects of security systems including CCTV, cybersecurity, intruder systems, alarms, panic systems, perimeter security, access control technology and so on. The periodic inspections and subsequent adjustments, calibration and cleaning of these components keeps security systems working at optimum for best security protection.
Annual servicing is usually recommended but in-house checks should occur regularly to ensure the upkeep of technical standard. Adjustments and cleaning can hugely improve image quality and capture.
Intruder alarms are usually inspected annually, however twice annual inspection is required for police approved monitoring systems.
The maintenance of access control technology depends on the type of access control as well as installer/provider recommendations. Access control maintenance generally involves the checking of power supplies, cleaning, review of functionality of physical parts, performance analysis, and full testing.
Fire and Security Maintenance with Sovereign Fire and Security
We are experienced fire and security experts with a range of maintenance plans to keep you and your building users safe, even if we did not provide or install your system!
We regularly service and maintain a huge number of fire and security systems. With a range of industry leading product partners and as holders of various certifications, we are familiar with a vast array of components and systems. View the systems we service and provide on our dedicated servicing and maintenance webpage.
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