Compliance Services Australia

Fire Detection Basics

What is it?

Fire Detection Systems have 2 main components – a Fire Control Panel & Smoke or Heat Detectors.  These systems do exactly what you would expect, monitor buildings for the presence of a smoke and fire and alert occupants and emergency services accordingly.

The most common form of alert is either a fire alarm bell or strobe light adjacent to the main entry of the building. Most Fire Control Panels can also call the Fire Brigade automatically or notify security companies which can then pass on the information to personnel required to deal with these situations.


Fire Detection Systems require regular testing & maintenance to ensure all functions are working correctly. Monthly, Annual, 5 yearly and 20 year testing is required by experienced testers with logbooks to be kept onsite.

A monthly test: Check all functioning equipment. Initiate alarms and ensure brigade connection and warning devices operate.

A 6-monthly test: As above. Includcluding where Special Hazard systems are installed inspecting all signage, local control stations and actuators.

An annual test: As above but include all interface function testing for shut downs, test 20% of all Heat detectors, 50% of all smoke detectors and 100% of all manual call points. In addition, measure sound levels from all occupant warning systems, check battery operation, check that the system still meets the requirements and that no changes have been made to the area that would require additional detection.

A 5-yearly test: The 5 yearly test is more scientific than the other interval tests in that quite a bit of system measuring is required such as impedance of occupant warning system speaker lines, short circuit isolators and power supply testing.

It can be quite common to have false alarms if the Fire Detection System is not maintained correctly. At some sites, due to a number of factors, it may also be necessary to have a regular smoke detector cleaning regime either 6 monthly or annually to prevent false alarms due to dust, debris and insects.

At Compliance Services Australia we can help you ensure your Fire Detection system is operating at peak condition at all times with 24hr service available.

Compliance Services Australia can provide a free no obligation quote of your site for testing requirements as well as provide information and advice of best practices to suit your needs. Contact us today on 03 9559 2777 or email us now.