NFPA10.4.4* Testing Frequency. Testing shall be performed in accordance with the schedules in Table 10.4.4, except as modified in other paragraphs of 10.4.4, or more often if required by the authority having jurisdiction.

Table 10.4.4  Testing Frequencies

Component

Initial/
Reacceptance

Monthly

Quarterly

Semiannually

Annually

Table 10.4.2.2 Reference

1.

Control Equipment — Building Systems Connected to Supervising Station

 

 

 

 

 

1, 7, 16, 17

 

 (a) Functions

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

 (b) Fuses

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

 (c) Interfaced equipment

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

 (d) Lamps and LEDs

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

 (e) Primary (main) power supply

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

 (f) Transponders

X

—

—

—

X

—

2.

Control Equipment — Building Systems Not Connected to a Supervising Station

—

—

—

—

—

1

 

 (a) Functions

X

—

X

—

—

—

 

 (b) Fuses

X

—

X

—

—

—

 

 (c) Interfaced equipment

X

—

X

—

—

—

 

 (d) Lamps and LEDs

X

—

X

—

—

—

 

 (e) Primary (main) power supply

X

—

X

—

—

—

 

 (f) Transponders

X

—

X

—

—

—

3.

Engine-Driven Generator — Central Station Facilities and Fire Alarm Systems

X

X

—

—

—

—

4.

Engine-Driven Generator — Public Fire Alarm Reporting Systems

X (weekly)

—

—

—

—

—

5.

Batteries — Central Station Facilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 (a) Lead-acid type

—

—

—

—

—

6b

 

  (1) Charger test (Replace battery as needed.)

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

  (2) Discharge test (30 minutes)

X

X

—

—

—

—

 

  (3) Load voltage test

X

X

—

—

—

—

 

  (4) Specific gravity

X

—

—

X

—

—

 

 (b) Nickel-cadmium type

—

—

—

—

—

6c

 

  (1) Charger test (Replace battery as needed.)

X

—

X

—

—

—

 

  (2) Discharge test (30 minutes)

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

  (3) Load voltage test

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

 (c) Sealed lead-acid type

X

X

—

—

—

6d

 

  (1) Charger test (Replace battery within 5 years after manufacture or more frequently as needed.)

—

X

X

—

—

—

 

  (2) Discharge test (30 minutes)

X

X

—

—

—

—

 

  (3) Load voltage test

X

X

—

—

—

—

6.

Batteries — Fire Alarm Systems

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 (a) Lead-acid type

—

—

—

—

—

6b

 

  (1) Charger test (Replace battery as needed.)

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

  (2) Discharge test (30 minutes)

X

—

—

X

—

—

 

  (3) Load voltage test

X

—

—

X

—

—

 

  (4) Specific gravity

X

—

—

X

—

—

 

 (b) Nickel-cadmium type

—

—

—

—

—

6c

 

  (1) Charger test (Replace battery as needed.)

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

  (2) Discharge test (30 minutes)

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

  (3) Load voltage test

X

—

—

X

—

—

 

 (c) Primary type (dry cell)

—

—

—

—

—

6a

 

  (1) Age test

X

X

—

—

—

—

 

 (d) Sealed lead-acid type

—

—

—

—

—

6d

 

  (1) Charger test (Replace battery within 5 years after manufacture or more frequently as needed.)

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

  (2) Discharge test (30 minutes)

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

  (3) Load voltage test

X

—

—

X

—

—

7.

Power Supply — Public Fire Alarm Reporting Systems

—

—

—

—

—

—

 

 (a) Lead-acid type batteries

—

—

—

—

—

6b

 

  (1) Charger test (Replace battery as needed.)

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

  (2) Discharge test (2 hours)

X

—

X

—

—

—

 

  (3) Load voltage test

X

—

X

—

—

—

 

  (4) Specific gravity

X

—

—

X

—

—

 

 (b) Nickel-cadmium type batteries

—

—

—

—

—

6c

 

  (1) Charger test (Replace battery as needed.)

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

  (2) Discharge test (2 hours)

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

  (3) Load voltage test

X

—

X

—

—

—

 

 (c) Sealed lead-acid type batteries

—

—

—

—

—

6d

 

  (1) Charger test (Replace battery within 5 years after manufacture or more frequently if needed

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

  (2) Discharge test (2 hours)

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

  (3) Load voltage test

X

—

X

—

—

—

 

 (d) Wired system — voltage tests

X (daily)

—

—

—

—

7d

8.

Fiber-Optic Cable Power

X

—

—

—

X

13b

9.

Control Unit Trouble Signals

X

—

—

—

X

10

10.

Conductors — Metallic

X

—

—

—

—

12

11.

Conductors — Nonmetallic

X

—

—

—

—

13

12.

Emergency Voice/Alarm Communications Equipment

X

—

—

—

X

21

13.

Retransmission Equipment 
 (The requirements of 10.4.9 shall apply.)

X

—

—

—

—

—

14.

Remote Annunciators

X

—

—

—

X

11

15.

Initiating Devices

—

—

—

—

—

14

 

 (a) Duct detectors

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

 (b) Electromechanical releasing device

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

 (c) Fire extinguishing system(s) or suppression system(s) switches

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

 (d) Fire–gas and other detectors

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

 (e) Heat detectors (The requirements of 10.4.4.4 shall apply.)

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

 (f) Fire alarm boxes

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

 (g) Radiant energy fire detectors

X

—

—

X

—

—

 

 (h) System smoke detectors — functional test

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

 (i) Smoke detectors — sensitivity testing in other than one- and two-family dwellings (The requirements of 10.4.4.2 shall apply.)

—

—

—

—

—

—

 

 (j) Single- and multiple-station smoke alarms (The requirements for monthly testing in accordance with 10.4.5 shall also apply.)

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

 (k) Single- and multiple-station heat alarms

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

 (l) Supervisory signal devices (except valve tamper switches)

X

—

X

—

—

—

 

 (m) Waterflow devices

X

—

—

X

—

—

 

 (n) Valve supervisory switches

X

—

—

X

—

—

16.

Guard’s Tour Equipment

X

—

—

—

X

24

17.

Combination Systems

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 (a) Fire extinguisher monitoring device/systems

X

—

—

—

X

21a

 

 (b) Carbon monoxide detectors/systems

X

—

—

—

X

21b

18.

Interface Equipment and Fire Safety Functions

X

—

—

—

X

22, 23

19.

Special Hazard Equipment

X

—

—

—

X

17

20.

Alarm Notification Appliances

—

—

—

—

—

15

 

 (a) Audible devices

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

 (b) Audible textual notification appliances

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

 (c) Visible devices

X

—

—

—

X

—

21.

Exit Marking Notification Appliances

X

—

—

—

X

16

22.

Off-Premises Transmission Equipment

X

—

X

—

—

—

23.

Supervising Station Fire Alarm Systems — Transmitters

—

—

—

—

—

18

 

 (a) DACT

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

 (b) DART

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

 (c) McCulloh

X

—

—

—

X

—

 

 (d) RAT

X

—

—

—

X

—

24.

Special Procedures

X

—

—

—

X

25

25.

Supervising Station Fire Alarm Systems — Receivers

—

—

—

—

—

19

 

 (a) DACR

X

X

—

—

—

—

 

 (b) DARR

X

X

—

—

—

—

 

 (c) McCulloh systems

X

X

—

—

—

—

 

 (d) Two-way RF multiplex

X

X

—

—

—

—

 

 (e) RASSR

X

X

—

—

—

—

 

 (f) RARSR

X

X

—

—

—

—

 

 (g) Private microwave

X

X

—

—

—

—

26.

Public Fire Alarm Reporting System Transmission Equipment 

—

—

—

—

—

—

 

 (a) Publicly accessible fire alarm box

X

—

—

X

—

8a

 

 (b) Auxiliary box

X

—

—

—

X

8b

 

 (c) Master box

 

 

 

 

 

8c

 

  (1) Manual operation

X

—

—

X

—

 

 

  (2) Auxiliary operation

X

—

—

—

X

 

 

Exception:

Devices or equipment that are inaccessible for safety considerations (e.g., continuous process operations, energized electrical equipment, radiation, and excessive height) shall be tested during scheduled shutdowns if approved by the authority having jurisdiction. Extended interval shall not exceed 18 months.

10.4.4.1  If automatic testing is performed at least weekly by a remotely monitored fire alarm control unit specifically listed for the application, the manual testing frequency shall be permitted to be extended to annually. Table 10.4.4 shall apply.

10.4.4.2*  In other than one- and two-family dwellings, sensitivity of smoke detectors and single- and multiple-station smoke alarms shall be tested in accordance with 10.4.4.2.1 through 10.4.4.2.6.

10.4.4.2.1  Sensitivity shall be checked within 1 year after installation.

10.4.4.2.2  Sensitivity shall be checked every alternate year thereafter unless otherwise permitted by compliance with 10.4.4.2.3.

10.4.4.2.3  After the second required calibration test, if sensitivity tests indicate that the device has remained within its listed and marked sensitivity range (or 4 percent obscuration light gray smoke, if not marked), the length of time between calibration tests shall be permitted to be extended to a maximum of 5 years.

10.4.4.2.3.1  If the frequency is extended, records of nuisance alarms and subsequent trends of these alarms shall be maintained.

10.4.4.2.3.2  In zones or in areas where nuisance alarms show any increase over the previous year, calibration tests shall be performed.

10.4.4.2.4  To ensure that each smoke detector or smoke alarm is within its listed and marked sensitivity range, it shall be tested using any of the following methods:

(1)     Calibrated test method

(2)     Manufacturer’s calibrated sensitivity test instrument

(3)     Listed control equipment arranged for the purpose

(4)     Smoke detector/fire alarm control unit arrangement whereby the detector causes a signal at the fire alarm control unit where its sensitivity is outside its listed sensitivity range

(5)     Other calibrated sensitivity test methods approved by the authority having jurisdiction

10.4.4.2.5  Detectors or smoke alarms found to have a sensitivity outside the listed and marked sensitivity range shall be cleaned and recalibrated or be replaced.

Exception:

Devices listed as field adjustable shall be permitted to be either adjusted within the listed and marked sensitivity range and cleaned and recalibrated, or they shall be replaced.

10.4.4.2.6  The detector or smoke alarm sensitivity shall not be tested or measured using any device that administers an unmeasured concentration of smoke or other aerosol into the detector or smoke alarm.

10.4.4.3  Test frequency of interfaced equipment shall be the same as specified by the applicable NFPA standards for the equipment being supervised.

10.4.4.4  Restorable fixed-temperature, spot-type heat detectors shall be tested in accordance with 10.4.4.4.1 through 10.4.4.4.3.

10.4.4.4.1  Two or more detectors shall be tested on each initiating circuit annually.

10.4.4.4.2  Different detectors shall be tested each year, with records kept by the building owner specifying which detectors have been tested.

10.4.4.4.3  Within 5 years, each detector shall have been tested.

10.4.4.5*  For testing addressable and analog-described devices, which are affixed to either a single, molded assembly or a twist-lock type affixed to a base, testing shall be conducted using the signaling style circuits (Styles 0.5 through 7). Analog-type detectors shall be tested with the same criteria.

10.4.5 Single- and Multiple-Station Smoke Alarms. In one- and two-family dwellings, smoke alarms and all connected appliances shall be inspected and tested in accordance with the manufacturer's published instructions at least monthly.

10.4.6 Household Fire Alarm Systems.

10.4.6.1 Testing. Household fire alarm systems shall be tested by a qualified service technician at least every 3 years according to the methods of Table 10.4.2.2.

10.4.6.2 Maintenance. Maintenance of household fire alarm systems shall be conducted according to manufacturer’s published instructions.

10.4.7 Replacement of Smoke Alarms in One- and Two-Family Dwellings. Unless otherwise recommended by the manufacturer's published instructions, single- and multiple-station smoke alarms installed in one- and two-family dwellings shall be replaced when they fail to respond to operability tests, but shall not remain in service longer than 10 years from the date of manufacture.

10.4.8 Battery Replacement.  Where batteries are used as a source of energy, they shall be replaced in accordance with the alarm equipment manufacturer's published instructions.

10.4.9 Circuits from Central Station. Tests of all circuits extending from the central station shall be made at intervals of not more than 24 hours.

10.4.10 Public Fire Reporting Systems.

10.4.10.1  Emergency power sources other than batteries shall be operated to supply the system for a continuous period of 1 hour at least weekly. This test shall require simulated failure of the normal power source.

10.4.10.2  Testing facilities shall be installed at the communications center and each subsidiary communications center, if used.

Exception:

If satisfactory to the authority having jurisdiction, those facilities for systems leased from a nonmunicipal organization that might be located elsewhere.

10.4.11* In-Building Emergency Radio Communication Systems.  In-building emergency radio communication systems shall be inspected and operationally tested in accordance with the manufacturer's published requirements by the local fire department, building owner, or a designated representative.

10.5 Maintenance.

10.5.1  Fire alarm system equipment shall be maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s published instructions.

10.5.2  The frequency of maintenance of fire alarm system equipment shall depend on the type of equipment and the local ambient conditions.

10.5.3  The frequency of cleaning of fire alarm system equipment shall depend on the type of equipment and the local ambient conditions.

10.5.4  All apparatus requiring rewinding or resetting to maintain normal operation shall be rewound or reset as promptly as possible after each test and alarm. All test signals received shall be recorded to indicate date, time, and type.

10.5.5  The retransmission means as defined in Section 8.3 shall be tested at intervals of not more than 12 hours.

Exception:

If the retransmission means is the public switched telephone network, it shall be permitted to be tested weekly to confirm its operation to each public fire service communications center.

10.5.6  As a part of the testing required in 10.5.5, the retransmission signal and the time and date of the retransmission shall be recorded in the central station.

10.6 Records.

10.6.1* Permanent Records. After successful completion of acceptance tests approved by the authority having jurisdiction, the requirements in 10.6.1.1 through 10.6.1.3 shall apply.

10.6.1.1  A set of reproducible as-built installation drawings, operation and maintenance manuals, and a written sequence of operation shall be provided to the building owner or the owner’s designated representative.

10.6.1.2*  For software-based systems, a copy of the site-specific software shall be provided to the owner or owner’s designated representative. A copy of the software shall be stored in non-volatile non-erasable, non-rewritable memory and shall be stored on-site.

10.6.1.3  The owner shall be responsible for maintaining these records for the life of the system for examination by any authority having jurisdiction. Paper or electronic media shall be permitted.

10.6.2 Maintenance, Inspection, and Testing Records.

10.6.2.1  Records shall be retained until the next test and for 1 year thereafter.

10.6.2.2  The records shall be on a medium that will survive the retention period. Paper or electronic media shall be permitted.

10.6.2.3*  A record of all inspections, testing, and maintenance shall be provided that includes the following information regarding tests and all the applicable information requested in Figure 10.6.2.3: 

(1)     Date

(2)     Test frequency

(3)     Name of property

(4)     Address

(5)     Name of person performing inspection, maintenance, tests, or combination thereof, and affiliation, business address, and telephone number

(6)     Name, address, and representative of approving agency(ies)

(7)     Designation of the detector(s) tested, for example, “Tests performed in accordance with Section __________.”

(8)     Functional test of detectors

(9)*   Functional test of required sequence of operations

(10)   Check of all smoke detectors

(11)   Loop resistance for all fixed-temperature, line-type heat detectors

(12)   Other tests as required by the equipment manufacturer's published instructions

(13)   Other tests as required by the authority having jurisdiction

(14)   Signatures of tester and approved authority representative

(15)   Disposition of problems identified during test (e.g., owner notified, problem corrected/successfully retested, device abandoned in place)

 

10.6.3 Supervising Station Records. For supervising station fire alarm systems, records pertaining to signals received at the supervising station that result from maintenance, inspection, and testing shall be maintained for not less than 12 months. Upon request, a hard copy record shall be provided to the authority having jurisdiction. Paper or electronic media shall be permitted.

10.6.4 Simulated Operation Note. If the operation of a device, circuit, fire alarm control unit function, or special hazard system interface is simulated, it shall be noted on the certificate that the operation was simulated, and the certificate shall indicate by whom it was simulated.

10.7 Mass Notification Systems.

See NFPA 72 Annex E.

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