Fire Alarm Systems (AL)

Fire Alarm Inspection & Testing Competency Guide (AL)

General Knowledge:

  • Basic Electricity
  • Basic Electronics
  • Fire Alarm System Hardware and Components
  • Fire Alarm wiring configuration and requirements
  • General fire safety

Applicable Codes:

  • Vancouver Fire By-law
  • B.C. Fire Code Regulation
  • B.C. Building Code Regulation
  • Vancouver Building By-law
  • Canadian Electrical Code
  • NFPA 72
  • CAN/ULC-S536-MXX (XX reflects year of applicable code)

Competencies – Technician is able to:

  1. Conduct inspection and testing in conformance with applicable codes.
  2. Communicate with and notify all affected persons or agencies prior to conducting the testing.
  3. Conduct control panel tests.
  4. Conduct fire alarm battery tests.
  5. Conduct voice communication tests.
  6. Conduct annunciator tests.
  7. Conduct ancillary devices tests.
  8. Conduct tests on all automatic and manual initiating devices.
  9. Conduct tests on all audible and visual alarm signals.
  10. Prepare clear and accurate inspection and test reports.
  11. Communicate with the owner or authorized agent.
  12. Communicate clearly with the authority having jurisdiction.

Performance factors – The technician is able to:

  1. Understand and conduct all inspection and testing in conformance with the applicable code requirements.
  2. Notify, prior to the testing of the fire alarm system the appropriate agencies, staff etc.. e.g. Fire Department, residents & central station.
  3. Conduct the required the tests for a control panel test. Some of the tests are, but not limited to, power on indicator, common trouble lamp, trouble silence switch, ground detection lamp and general alarm indication etc.
  4. Conduct the required tests for the battery test. Some of the tests are, but not limited to; battery voltage, battery charging current, terminal clean and inspected, electrolyte level, etc.
  5. Conduct the required tests for the voice communication tests. Some of the test are, but not limited to; power indicator on, trouble tamps, trouble signal, page all-call switch, all-call lamp etc. Also, ensure intelligibility of voice messages throughout the building. Emergency telephones shall be tested for intelligible two way communication, correct indication at the control unit, operating instructions visible and tampering.
  6. Conduct the required tests on the annunciator. Some of the tests are, but not limited to; lamp operation, trouble lamp, power-on lamp, lamp tests, lamp supervision etc.
  7. Conduct the appropriate tests on ancillary devices such as sprinkler tamper and flow switches
  8. Conduct tests on heat detectors, smoke detectors and pull stations etc. in accordance with good engineering practice or the manufacturers test instructions. Smoke detectors shall be tested for operability and the required sensitivity.
  9. Conduct test on all audible and visual signal devices to ensure that the alarm is heard intelligibly throughout the building or seen in the required areas.
  10. Prepare clear and accurate inspection and test reports and maintain the records for the authority having jurisdiction.
  11. Communicate with the owner or authorized agent and make recommendations for deficiencies that need to be rectified.
  12. Communicate clearly with the authority having jurisdiction and advise him of any problems or unsafe conditions in the building.

Note: The above mentioned competencies are to be used as a guideline for the type of work the technician is required to do. For accurate testing references the appropriate code shall be consulted.