ILSM for Fire Alarm Testing?
by Brad Keyes, CHSP, on Mar 22, 2021 12:00:00 AM
Q: Recently, I have been instructed to fill out an Interim Life Safety Measure (ILSM) assessment each month when conducting fire alarm system testing with our contractor. I have been asked to include the ILSM, fill out a fire watch decision grid, and send out a notice to all departments. I am curious how other organizations are handling this. I understand there is an impairment of more than 4 hours, but that is only involving the central station dialing; The fire alarm and/or sprinkler system are still functioning. Our contractor carries a radio and I call out points as I receive them and he keeps me informed of his location. In 5-years I have had 2 actual alarms come in while testing, both times I placed the system back to normal (turned off the speaker/strobe bypass), called our Security Dispatch, who in turn called the fire department to investigate the alarm. What does the code say regarding this? Again, I understand the impairment of more than 4-hours in a 24-hour period. If I were to only test 4-hours per day I wouldn't get anything completed, we tested over 1,400 fire and/or sprinkler system related devices last month.
A: The straight forward logic is simple: The fact you are by-passing the fire alarm system from communicating to the monitoring station, you have effectively impaired the system. As long as the system is impaired for 4 hours in a 24-hour period, you must complete an ILSM assessment. But the compensating measures for the impairment would be to post someone at the fire alarm panel to do exactly what you did when those two (2) actual alarms came in. I don’t see the need of any other actions or compensating measures.
Whoever told you to make an ILSM assessment was correct. Continue to listen to that individual.