Centralised Testing & Maintenance

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It is extremely important that fire safety systems are regularly tested and maintained to ensure they continue to operate effectively. An effective test and maintenance program ensures that the system performs as intended and keeps property and occupants safe from fire.

Testing and maintenance of fire detection systems extend beyond ensuring that they operate efficiently. Regular maintenance also provides the opportunity to discover potential failures (preventative maintenance) and reduce nuisance alarms caused by the build-up of dust and dirt.

Life safety standards recognise the importance of fire detection maintenance and mandate the intervals at which systems should be maintained:

Standards Spot Technology Aspirated Technology
AS 1851 (2012)
  • Semi-Annual (six monthly): Physical inspection
  • Yearly: Check 50% installed base
  • Yearly: Physical inspection of pipe network, smoke transport time test (20% of capillaries)
NFPA 72 (2016)
  • Semi-Annual: Physical inspection
  • Yearly: Alarm response
  • Semi-Annual: Physical inspection of pipe network
  • Yearly: Verify airflow, smoke transport time test
BS 5839.1 (2017)
  • Yearly: Physical inspection, functional test
  • Yearly: Physical inspection, functional test

What are the challenges?

The main challenge we face when carrying out testing and maintenance on fire detection systems is access. With the broad application of different detection types, detectors are often installed in areas where access for testing and maintenance is difficult, disruptive or unsafe such as:

  • Large open areas, such as warehouses and atria, that may require special ceiling access.
  • Hazardous areas that pose safety issues to service personnel.
  • Restricted areas that require approval for access.
  • Concealed areas such as ceiling voids and lift shafts where maintenance will cause disruption to operation.
  • Secure areas such as prison cells that require supervision.

What is the Solution?

Aspirating smoke detectors allow for centralised testing and maintenance, overcoming the access issues presented by traditional point detectors. These detectors use a network of pipes to transport air from the protected area into a centrally located detector. This means that maintenance can be conducted from a safe and easy-to-access location. Not only does aspirating smoke detection allow for centralised testing and maintenance, but it also offers a benefit of other maintenance features:

  • Modular Design
    The modular design of detector units allows filters, fans and other field replaceable components to be replaced from one central location.
  • Benchmark Test Point
    A dedicated Benchmark Test Point allows smoke time tests to validate the system and pipe network to be easily carried out.
  • Pipe Network Maintenance
    Maintenance of pipe networks to prevent sampling point and pipe blockage can be conducted from the detector location.
  • Filter and Trap Replacement
    Inline components such as filters and traps can be installed close to the detector for easy access when servicing.

VESDA-E VEA Aspirating Smoke Detectors

VESDA-E VEA detectors take the centralised testing and maintenance features even further with a host of new features:

  • Automated sample point integrity testing
  • Automated tube network maintenance
  • Automated and quantifiable end-to-end system integrity monitoring
  • Automated testing, maintenance and monitoring of tube network at more frequent intervals to code requirements
  • Centralised smoke testing at detector unit – no need to access sampling points.

VESDA-E VEA aspirating smoke detectors are well suited for applications with restricted access that require interruption-free business operation.

The full system integrity monitoring features of VESDA-E VEA support a performance-based maintenance program, simplifying maintenance and reducing service time and, in turn, can save up to 60% of total cost of ownership when compared to spot technology.


For more information about VESDA aspirating smoke detectors, please feel free to get in touch either by phone on +44 (0) 1329 835 024, by email to sales@eurofyre.co.uk or via the online enquiry form situated on our contact page.

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Mark Redfearn

Posted by Mark Redfearn

Mark is the technical services manager at Eurofyre.

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