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#1 Posted : 19 February 2024 16:11:41(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

Hi, looking for some advice on the above.

In a large and complex building how freqently should cause and effect elements of the fire alarm testing be conducted ? Monthly or annually ?

We test the alarm weekly but the FRA has identified the case and effects elements need to be tested also.  Would it be approroiate to test a quarter of the building's cause and effect quarterly, therefore each area is taested annually but there is a test carried out each quarter ?

Thanks for the assistance. 

#2 Posted : 19 February 2024 17:17:31(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

That is an interesting one and something I am not sure about in terms of what BS5839 says. Its clear that the C&E system will need to be tested and if you can do it silenty it might be easier Why not ask the good folk at this forum for advice - but do come back and share what you have decided http://firealarmengineers.com/forum/index.php

Good luck

thanks 1 user thanked Messey for this useful post.
peter gotch on 19/02/2024(UTC)
#3 Posted : 20 February 2024 17:29:21(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user

First of all I should say I have no expertise in this area.  But I have a question.

I've only heard of cause and effect testing being required as a one-off after a change, for example when a new system has been installed or an existing system has been extended or altered.  Because after it has been done once, the findings remain valid unless something changes.  Is that incorrect?

#4 Posted : 20 February 2024 19:35:25(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

To be honest, I cannot recall what the relevant BS says about testing a C&E program. But one I was involved with was so complex, it had to be monitored an tested regularly 

I designed a C&E (with others) that dealt with a phased evacuation with a staff search/time delay across 18 floors split into 36 evacuation zones.

There were 6 different voice alarm messages that were broadcast to the 36 zones as decided by which head had activated (heat, sprinkler or smoke) and where the head was located . 

The C&E had to deal with progressing the evacuation when an additional head was operated or if another floor became involved. The operation of a manual call point also progressed the phased evac, but only in some areas.

Linked to the alarm system the C&E had to deal with 24 lifts (6 of them fire-fighter lifts), 3 commercial kitchen extracts, 6 pressurised staircases, forced atrium venting, fire door closers, mag lock releases, automatic illuminated directional signs, beacons and goodness knows what else including a complex BMS system

We also has a water mist and several inergen systems feeding the C&E

It wasamongst  the most difficult days of my fire safety career trying to determine the various permiations and I  nearly had  a breakdown working on the biggest paper spreadsheet I have ever seen. I literally went home with a splitting headache several times, especially after I got it wrong and it failed on the first three trials.

We had a sophisticated monitoring system that kept an eye on the C&E software 24/7 but even then we did six month silent C&E tests 

So perhaps you need to risk assess how complex the C&E is and develop a testing regime to suit


thanks 2 users thanked Messey for this useful post.
Kate on 21/02/2024(UTC), thunderchild on 21/02/2024(UTC)
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