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#1 Posted : 25 March 2020 16:36:49(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

During this current COVID-19 virus spread, our company have shut down offices and people are working from home. I normally ensure that the fire alarm and detection system is tested and recorded weekly in each location but due to the non-essential travel ban it will not get done.

I appreciate that each company sets its own schedule for testing but wondered what would happen if a fire should occur (unlikely i hope during periods of non-occupation) ?

Detection should still happen but how do i stand legally and with insurance company if there are no records of testing for however this lockdown lasts?

Thanks, Phill.

#2 Posted : 25 March 2020 16:52:24(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user

It's essentially an amendment to the fire risk assessment that you can provide a justification for, just as you would justify the previous testing frequency.

I've recorded that testing has been suspended with the reason, in case anybody asks.

#3 Posted : 25 March 2020 16:56:23(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user

The weekly alarm test normally just tests that the sounders operate, these are no longer relevant when the building is unoccupied and it is only the detectors (which are normally tested less frequently) that are relevant (provided the alarm system is connected to a monitoring centre).

#4 Posted : 25 March 2020 20:51:49(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

The vast majority of fire detection systems are required by law (as determined by a fire risk assessment) for life safety reasons. There is no legal requirement for such a system when the building is totally unoccupied. 

Indeed, it is possible to turn the system off if the premises is being left empty for a long period, as long as no other premises (joined or above for example) rely on it to raise the alarm.

If the system is not connected to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), or to any device that alerts others remotely of an activation (the vast majority of systems), there will be no reason to bother your insurance company

If the alarm is monitored by an ARC, it might be useful to at least let them know in writing (email) you are not testing it due to national emergency restrictions. 

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