Detailed Logbooks are the Key to Maintaining Fire Alarm Equipment

February 25, 2017

Congratulations on the decision to install fire alarm equipment that keeps your business and your employees safe. While having the equipment in place is a major part of the effort, there is still more that needs to be done. Specifically, you need to have a process in place that ensures all that equipment receives a reasonable amount of maintenance and upkeep. This is where the idea of a logbook comes into the picture.

What's the Purpose of a Logbook?

Logbooks serve as permanent records of what has been done to keep your equipment in top shape. The details recorded in each entry provide you and your staff with a running history of when different parts of your fire protection system are checked, the results of those checks, and what was done in terms of repairs after those inspections.

At a glance, it's easy enough to determine when the fire extinguishers were last tested and serviced, and how soon the next routine inspection is due to take place. The same is true for the sprinklers that deploy when heat and smoke is detected. Even things like the smoke detectors found in every room or compartment of your operation are included in the log details.

The logbook can also include access to details about warranties and other protections associated with the equipment purchased from different companies. For example, if you invest in Minimax fire equipment, it's easy to include information about the warranty, what type of inspections will keep the terms and provisions in full force, and when it's time to think about renewing the warranty or the service plan.

Manual or Software Based?

Logbooks have been around for much longer than software. If you prefer, it is possible to maintain a manual book that is updated from time to time. If this is the case, you need to ensure an authorized individual checks the logs on a weekly basis. The goal is to ensure that no scheduled inspections or tests are overlooked.

Another way to go is to make use of a virtual logbook that is kept in cloud storage and has the capability of issuing reminders about upcoming tests or inspections. That same software-based logbook can be programmed to ensure that details about when repairs are completed get recorded. With each log entry including a date and time and even details about who did the work, it's much easier to recreate the time line of what was and was not done if the need arises.

Many fire alarm companies provide suggestions for keeping records. Talk with the company that installed your system and discuss how to go about ensuring every action associated with the equipment is accurately recorded in a log. Discuss the benefits of electronic logs that can be searched with ease and added to when the need arises. Remember that keeping up to date records will ensure you and your employees remain safe.

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