Firing Up Safety! The In-depth Guide To Testing Fire Indicator Panels

September 15, 2023
Firing Up Safety

Fire safety is of paramount importance in any building or facility. Fire Indicator Panels (FIPs) play a crucial role in fire detection and response systems. Regular testing and maintenance of FIPs are essential to ensure they function effectively when needed. In Australia, compliance with specific standards is vital to guarantee the reliability of these systems. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to test a Fire Indicator Panel using Australian standards.

Understanding the Importance of Testing

Fire Indicator Panels are the central hub of fire detection systems, monitoring various sensors and devices throughout a building. They alert occupants and emergency services when there’s a potential fire, helping to minimize damage and save lives.

Regular testing of FIPs is essential to:

  • Confirm Functionality

– Ensure that the FIP operates correctly, accurately detecting and signalling fires.

  • Compliance

– Comply with Australian standards (e.g., AS 1851) and local building codes, which mandate regular testing.

  • Early Detection

– Detect and rectify issues before they compromise safety during an actual fire emergency.

  • Legal Requirements

– Adhere to legal obligations, which require building owners and managers to maintain fire safety systems.

Testing Fire Indicator Panels in Australia

Australian standards AS 1851-2012 “Routine service of fire protection systems and equipment.” Is the standard which outlines the frequency and procedures for testing FIPs.

Schedule Regular Testing

– Create a testing schedule based on the frequency outlined in the Australian standard. Typically, FIPs require monthly, quarterly, and annual testing, each with specific tasks.

  1. Monthly Testing:

  • Check the power supply status, including battery voltage and charger operation.
  • Confirm that all indicators and buttons on the FIP are functioning correctly.
  • Verify that communication pathways (e.g., telephone lines or radio links) are operational.
  • Review event logs for any errors or faults.
  1. Quarterly Testing:

  • Test all zone alarms and devices connected to the FIP.
  • Simulate alarms in different zones to ensure the FIP responds correctly.
  • Check the integrity of wiring and connections.
  • Inspect the condition of the batteries and replace them if necessary.
  1. Annual Testing:

  • A comprehensive system inspection.
  • Conduct a full functional test of the FIP, including smoke and heat detectors.
  • Verify the accuracy of any fire alarm reporting
  • Review the FIP’s programming and ensure it meets current building requirements.


– Maintain detailed records of all tests and inspections, including the date, the technician’s name, and any issues found. This documentation is crucial for compliance and audit purposes.

Emergency Procedures

– Ensure that building occupants are aware of the fire alarm and evacuation procedures. Regularly review and update these procedures to align with current Australian standards.

Response Planning

– Develop a plan for addressing any issues or faults discovered during testing promptly. This may involve engaging a qualified technician to make repairs or adjustments.

Regular testing ensures that the system functions as intended, helping to protect lives and property. By following the guidelines outlined in Australian standards and maintaining meticulous records, building owners and managers can uphold their legal obligations and contribute to keeping all occupants FIRE SAFE.


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