Expert fire panel testing for Melbourne buildings

In the event of a fire It is critically important that building occupants are warned and can safely exit the premises before the fire spreads.

Fire alarm systems come in various configurations, but at the centre of each network is the fire indicator panel; the ‘brain’ of the system, it works out what to do based on the situation at hand, and tells building occupants – and emergency services – how to respond.

How do fire indicator panels work?

The fire indicator panel is at the centre of a building’s alarm system and monitors the detection devices. Several different fire detection devices are commonly used in alarm systems, and include smoke detectors, heat detectors, flame detectors and manual break glass points.

When an alarm signal is communicated to the panel, it activates notification tools – often both local and remote. The local building alarm is designed to warn occupants and allow an evacuation to take place, while a remote notification will often be sent via a monitoring provider to emergency services. This ensures a prompt and suitable response to any incidents.

There are two main types of  panels. One is the conventional panel which consists of 1 or more circuits, connected in parallel. The other is addressable panels which deliver specific information such as the exact location of a fire – or even record conditions that could lead to fire. The latter is considered more reliable and provides more information for effective emergency management.

Routine testing of indicator panels is crucial

As a building owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your building complies with the Australian Standards 1851 Code of Practice. A compliant fire safety system with a suitable alarm panel is important – and so is its maintenance.

According to the Australian Standards, fire alarm panels are required to be checked monthly, and then undergo more rigorous testing annually. The annual testing requires at least 50% of the smoke detectors to be manually tested.

Essential Safety Solutions can provide all the necessary checks required to ensure your building remains compliant, and we’ll also make sure you have the correct paperwork. Evidence in the form of a logbook may be requested by your insurance company or WorkSafe in the event of an emergency, so it’s critical to ensure the finer details are adhered to.

Remember, fire indicator panels are quite complicated systems. We recommend that you should never touch them, unless instructed to do so by a qualified fire service technician or the Fire Brigade. In Victoria, it’s now an offence to damage or interfere with a fire indicator panel if it transmits the signal to emergency services (i.e. if it’s a monitored automatic alarm system) without reasonable excuse. Therefore, it’s always best to leave it to the experts to ensure the panel is functioning correctly.

Book an inspection with Essential Safety Solutions

Effective functioning of a building’s fire indicator panel is integral to carrying out a successful emergency evacuation and protecting people inside the building should the need arise. Don’t leave it to chance – trust Essential Safety Solutions to carry out your monthly and annual fire panel testing.

For more information regarding our indicator panel testing service, get in touch today by calling 1300 151 056 or send an email to