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When Should I Have My Fire Safety System Inspected and Tested?

The Houston, Texas (TX) fire code requires that all fire sprinkler, fire alarm and fire extinguisher systems be regularly inspected by a licensed fire safety services contractor. The code outlines different requirements for each type of fire safety system.

Fire Alarm System Inspections and Testing

Fire alarm systems need to be inspected, tested and tagged annually. Testing must include all smoke detectors, manual pull devices, annunciators, visual indicators and strobes, control units, voice/alarm communications systems and any other devices that are a part of the fire alarm system.


  • Flame or heat detectors must be tested according to the manufacturer’s guidelines
  • Hazardous vapor release detection systems must be tested according to the manufacturer’s guidelines
  • Automatically locking doors must be tested semi-annually to ensure failsafe operation

Fire Sprinkler System Inspections and Testing

Fire sprinklers should be inspected monthly and quarterly in accordance with NFPA 25. Written records of all monthly and quarterly inspections must be maintained.

Fire sprinklers should be tested and tagged annually. During testing, it is important to check for valve seizure, broken seams, leakage or other issues with the valves.

Dry Chemical Fire Suppression System Inspections and Testing

Dry chemical fire suppression systems should be inspected and tested every six months. Written records must be maintained. When testing a fire sprinkler system, be sure to check the valves for seizure, leakage, broken seams or any other problems.

Clean Agent Fire Suppression System Inspections and Testing

Clean agent fire suppression systems must be inspected and tested at least every six months or according to the manufacturers’ guidelines and NFPA 2001.

  • If you have a Halon fire suppression system, you are only required to have annual inspection, testing and tagging in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines and NFPA 12A.

Portable Fire Extinguisher Inspections and Testing

Portable fire extinguishers must be inspected and tagged annually by a licensed fire protection services company. Inspection and tagging of portable fire extinguishers should be done in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements.

Kitchen Fire Suppression System Inspections and Testing

As of January 1, 2008, all commercial kitchen fire suppression systems must meet UL 300 standards. All kitchen fire suppression systems with vent hoods installed in commercial kitchens must be inspected and tagged every six months and after every activation of the system. Inspections must meet manufacturer’s guidelines and NFPA 17 and 17A codes.

In addition, all commercial kitchen vent hoods, exhaust fans and exhaust ducts must be cleaned and inspected by approved personnel as often as necessary to prevent excessive grease accumulations. At Kauffman Co., we’re able to provide vent hood inspections and repair to help you ensure you’re up to code.

Fire Pump Inspections and Testing

The two different types of fire pumps, diesel and electrical, have different requirements when it comes to inspection and testing procedures:

  • Diesel fire pumps must be dry tested weekly. The pump must run without water for 30 minutes and the results of the test must be recorded.
  • Electrical fire pumps must be tested weekly for 10 minutes. Results must be recorded.

Failure to follow the fire code guidelines for fire safety systems inspections can result in penalties, including fines worth several hundred dollars. Don’t get caught in violation of code – if you need fire safety inspection, call Kauffman Co. today!

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