Fire Sprinkler Specialists Lic#874589

Annual Fire Sprinkler System Inspection.

Fire Sprinkler Inspection

When was the last time you had fire sprinkler inspection? Fire sprinklers are a critically important part of every fire protection system, but they need regular inspection in order to ensure that they will be able to keep you protected at all times.
Annual Fire Sprinkler Inspections
The NFPA requires that you have annual fire sprinkler inspection in order to keep your building safe. In addition, you should have fire sprinkler inspection every time you:

  • Add a backflow preventer or water meter to your building’s plumbing system
  • Significantly change the occupancy, layout or use of your building
  • Face changes in public water supply, such as a water shortage
Fire Sprinkler Inspection Process
The first thing that gets checked during a fire sprinkler inspection is the coupling alignments of all the pipes in the fire pump. There are a variety of things that can throw off the alignment, from thermal expansion to regular equipment maintenance. Misaligned couplings that go unchecked for too long could cause premature failure of your fire pump and possible disruption of service when the fire sprinkler is going off.

The next step of the fire sprinkler inspection process is a check of the circulation relief valves. The circulation relief valves prevent the pump from overheating when operating at shut off conditions. This part of fire sprinkler inspection is extremely important – it doesn’t take long for the fire pump to overheat during testing, and overheating can be devastating to your pump.

The next step of the fire sprinkler inspection is a test of the tamper and flow switches. Tamper switches send a signal to the fire alarm monitoring company, alerting them if the fire sprinkler is going off. Flow switches are the parts of your fire pump that start the water flow and trigger the alarms in the event of a fire.

The final step of the fire sprinkler inspection involves actually flowing the water.  Typically, there are long hoses attached to an outside manifold that help measure the flow of water (and the pressure at which the water flows) when the pump is pumping.  Depending on the building size and the size of your fire pump – there can be an incredible amount of water kicked out onto your front lawn or street area.  But that’s what has to happen to ensure that your fire pump can really crank out the water when called upon to do so.

How to Keep Your Sprinkler Safe Between Inspections
Between fire sprinkler inspections, there are a number of things you can do on your own to keep your fire sprinkler safe:

  • Never paint your fire sprinkler heads
  • Never hang anything from your sprinkler heads
  • Never stack anything within 18 inches of your sprinkler heads
  • Always report damage to your fire sprinkler system to a certified fire protection company
  • Always make sure your control valves are in the open position (the NFPA recommends that you check this once a week, but really, if you don’t touch them you’ll be fine)