At the core of Convergint’s Values and Beliefs is the promise to be our customers’ best service provider. Fire alarm and life safety services are designed to help ensure the safety and security of building occupants and maintain compliance with regulatory code and business requirements. The objective is to ensure system performance and reliability without compromising compliance and safety.
While building operations are clearly in a state of flux due to COVID-19, Convergint has received a lot of questions about the continuation or need to provide test and inspect services. Below are a few critical areas pertaining to fire alarm and life safety systems that address these questions.
Code-mandated test and inspection frequencies are defined by the AHJ (local or state), government agency, insurance carrier, etc. Whether outlined in a Convergint contract or stipulated otherwise, maintaining test and inspection frequencies are critical to maintaining compliance, and safeguarding system performance and integrity. Those responsible for these systems should adhere to the expected schedules for inspection, testing, and maintenance, which are vital to their operation. If they are unable to do so, they should contact their local authority having jurisdiction. If test and inspection services are going to be suspended, Convergint’s guidance would suggest it be done solely with the approval of the AHJ. In some cases, AHJ’s will agree to a grace period to get testing done, while many expect normal frequencies and maintenance to continue as planned.
All commercial and multi-occupancy residential buildings should maintain fully operational fire and life safety systems as required by the applicable codes and standards. Like any electronic, electromechanical, and integrated system, fire alarm systems are subject to failures even though the majority of wiring and components are supervised. The purpose of test and inspection service is to identify these potential problems before failure is realized. Visual inspection is equally important to not only ensure the system is operating as intended, but it also provides the opportunity to identify anything that might compromise device or system performance. Equally important, Convergint wants to ensure the systems are ready to perform as expected for first (emergency) responders should the need arise. Regardless of building occupants, critical systems like the fire alarm & life safety system should not be shut down for any reason. In fact, they’re even more important in providing fire and smoke detection when the building is not occupied.
As always, nothing is more important at Convergint than ensuring the safety and health of itscustomers and colleagues. Convergint has been designated an essential business partner as a result of the commercial building services provided. Colleagues who perform the inspection, maintenance, and other responsibilities for these systems are deemed, essential workers. As such, Convergint strives to ensure their safety through the use of applicable personal protective equipment. Additionally, Convergint established a policy named Fit for Duty which is an assessment of field colleagues visiting a customer site that must be completed prior to the beginning of their workday.
More information on Convergint’s overall COVID-19 response plan can be found here. Lastly, Convergint colleagues will comply with all customer guidelines that have been established for entering and working in customer facilities.
While dealing with the pandemic, Convergint wants to ensure the performance of critical building protection equipment. Maintaining test and inspect services will give facilities peace of mind knowing that code compliance, system integrity, and performance reliability are being sustained.