The Process: Fire Alarm Inspections


Vermont Life Safety Fire Alarm Inspection

Do you know what is involved when a technician performs an inspection on your building's fire alarm system? Here is the step by step process for an annual fire alarm system inspection provided by Vermont Life Safety.

Alert The Authorities:


When technicians arrive to perform a fire alarm inspection they will first unlock the main panel to access the account number. They will then contact the monitoring station and fire department to put the system into test mode. This is an extremely important step in ensure there are no false alarms and wasted resources. 


There Are Always Two Inspectors:


Once authorities have been notified that inspections and testing will be taking place during a set time, the technicians can begin testing from a certain part of the building. To do the testing and inspecting two technicians must work together. One technician must walk to all fire alarm device locations to test and inspect all pull stations, smoke detectors, horns, and strobes. The other stays located at the main fire alarm panel to observe alarm notifications and either press silence, acknowledge or reset the panel for each device test. The technicians normally start from the farthest point away from the panel and work towards it to ensure they do not miss any devices.

Inspecting & Testing The Smoke Detectors:


To test a smoke detector, the technician uses a special tool. It is an extendable pole with a aerosol can within a cup connected to one end that contains a spray that imitates fire smoke and will cause the smoke detector to activate. The cup is placed over the smoke detector and the technician sprays the can for less than a second. The smoke detector will then activate sending a message and sound to the main panel.


Inspecting & Testing The Pull Stations:


After all smoke detectors are tested and inspected within a floor or area, the technician will move onto the pull stations. To test the pull stations, the technician will pull the handle to activate it. When the alarm notification is sent to the main panel, they will use a key to unlock the pull station and reset the handle into position.



Loud Noises! Testing The Horns & Strobes:


The next step in the process is to test the fire alarm horns and strobes. To do this the technician at the fire panel will reactivate the horns and strobes allowing them to make noise again. Then the other technician will activate another pull station to sound the alarms. The alarm will continue to sound while the technician walks through the building to check each horn and light to make sure they are working properly. He will end his walk through at the panel to silence the alarm.



Checking The Batteries:


One of the final steps is to inspect the fire alarm panels back up batteries. Inside the alarm panel are two battery packs in the event of a power outage. The batteries are tested to ensure they are sufficient for at least one year. If the batteries fail, the technicians will replace them. Batteries within the Notification Alarm Circuits Panel (NAC) are also checked because it is part of the fire alarm system. The NAC is what helps power and connect the detectors, strobes, horns and fire alarm components to the fire alarm panel.

The Fire Alarm Inspection Is Complete:

The process can be extremely time consuming, ranging from one hour up to three days in some cases. Each step is critical and must be done correctly to ensure the entire fire alarm system works correctly in the event of a fire. At the end of the inspection, technicians will send the inspection reports to the state, the building managers and the fire department.

To schedule an inspection or learn more about services and products offered by Vermont Life Safety contact us by phone at 802-434-5335, email at, or fill out contact form on our website. Follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn to see.

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