When you hear about fire extinguisher safety, two of the terms that will come up are fire inspections and fire tests. These are both critical pieces in a comprehensive fire protection plan and, despite similar names, they are two different and necessary checks on the functionality of your system.

According to the National Fire Protection Association Standards (NFPA), these inspections and tests must be performed by licensed fire protection technicians.

Here are the differences between fire inspections and fire tests, and why both should be incorporated as regular parts of your fire safety maintenance.

What are Fire Inspections?

Fire inspections are routine inspections of your fire extinguishers and fire protection systems to make sure everything is functioning as it should be. These are done as frequently as weekly and monthly, and they are typically visual checks that make sure all elements of your fire protection system are in place and ready to operate, that water and air pressure systems are set correctly, that there are no leaks, and that all pipes, gauges, and other critical pieces of the system are clear and free of obstructions or damage.

Want to learn more about what a visual inspection includes? Contact us to walk you through the process, the most important steps, and how to ensure that you have a plan to thoroughly check your system on a consistent basis.

What are Fire Tests?

Fire tests are not done as frequently as fire inspections, but they are another key element in prioritizing your safety. Typically, fire tests are performed quarterly, semi-annually, and annually to make sure all of the components of the system are functioning properly. This includes running a test of the entire system to make sure alarms are emitting the correct sound and all fire extinguishers, sprinklers, and other fire fighting systems are ready to activate.

Fire tests are performed by licensed fire protection professionals who must be certified in running these types of regular tests.

Why Do You Need Both Fire Inspections and Fire Tests?

While fire inspections are a necessary part of ensuring that your fire protection system is working, and they are often helpful in catching areas that have been damaged, come loose, or aren’t in action-ready condition, inspections alone are not enough.

Because inspections are primarily visual, the tests go deeper with a licensed fire protection professional who can ensure that not only does your system have all the right parts, but they’re working just as they should. Fire extinguishers and fire protection systems don’t have a definite expiration date, so conducting this routine testing, inspection, and maintenance is the best way to keep you and your workplace safe. Both of these processes should be documented each and every time to ensure you stick to a schedule.

Need a partner to help you manage the correct testing and inspection schedule? Contact us today. Fire protection is too important to leave up to chance.

Information posted in our blog is merely for educational and informational purposes. While the information has been verified to the best of our abilities, we cannot guarantee its total accuracy, and it should not be considered legally binding advice. This blog is not intended as a substitute for professional advice, and should you decide to act upon the information, you do so at your own risk.