DANGER: Need for Clear Communication of Deficiencies in Fire Alarm Systems.

(Posting Date: 12/01/11)

We have received a number of complaints from members of the Fire Service indicating that they have been receiving fire alarm system service documents which included major omissions and errors.
This naturally leads to them questioning the validity of the balance of the service work performed on that project.

When performing service and maintenance, repairs or verification, part of the job is to provide accurate detailed reports on what work was conducted and any deficiencies found.
If there are deficiencies, it is imperative that you make the client aware, in writing, of the deficiencies and of their impact on the life safety of the building before you leave the premises.
The report needs to be clear, detailed and written in a manner that can readily be understood by the client without the need of an interpreter.
Until you advise the owner or his representative in writing of the issue and the impact on life safety, the service company could find itself liable for damages should a problem occur which could be in any way tied to the part of the fire protection system which was not working.

The following letter was received from the Chief of Fire Prevention in Toronto which details some of the issues and concerns expressed by his department.