A fully functioning fire sprinkler system is a vital component to an effective fire protection strategy. These dynamic systems are often complex and require regular inspections and maintenance. As a building owner, it’s helpful to know what to expect during a fire sprinkler inspection.
Professional fire sprinkler system inspections
In accordance with the state of Georgia’s Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, fire sprinkler systems should be inspected on an annual basis. There are other intervals required in NFPA 25, but the only inspection required by the state to be conducted by a licensed contractor is the annual inspection.
Assisted living facilities are the only industry required by the state to have quarterly inspections by a licensed inspector. Insurance providers may also require varying inspection intervals.
Only a trained technician licensed to service fire sprinkler systems should work on your fire sprinkler system. If you have a sprinkler system to be inspected by Fire Systems Inc., these are the steps our technicians take during a regular inspection.
Communicate with customer upon arrival
Technicians will arrive on-site and greet the customer. They will ask for the fire alarm monitoring system to be placed on “test” and any audio-visual devices to be bypassed so as not to disrupt normal operation.
The technicians will then ask for access to the riser room. The riser room is the room or closet housing the sprinkler control valves.
Test the control valves
Once the monitoring system and A/V devices are taken care of, technicians will fully exercise all control valves to ensure they are operating properly.
They will also test any tamper switchesthat are installed on the system. The tamper switch will monitor the open/closed position of the control valve and sends a signal to the fire alarm control panel.
Measure water pressure
Next, it’s time to measure the water pressure on the system by opening and flowing the main drain on the system. The main drain is the water flow control valve. It’s typically 2 inches in size and what’s used to drain the system.
Technicians will then measure the water pressure using the gauges installed on the riser while the 2-inch main drain is flowing. The gauge confirms proper water pressure in order for the fire sprinkler system to work properly. This test gives the technicians the residual water pressure reading while a 2-inch outlet is open, which confirms there is sufficient water pressure and no blockages in any of the piping.
These readings are then recorded on the inspection report.
Test alarm devices
After measuring the water pressure, it’s time to test all alarm devices installed on the fire sprinkler system. Called the “inspector’s test,” this step in the inspection process will simulate activation of the sprinkler system and send a signal to the fire alarm panel. There should be no more than 90 seconds for a water flow alarm to report to the fire alarm panel.
The purpose of these steps is to ensure all alarm devices are operating properly and signaling to the fire alarm panel within the acceptable time frame.
Visual inspection of fire sprinkler system
Once the water pressure and alarms have been tested, the technicians perform a visual inspection of all accessible piping and sprinkler heads.
With this inspection, they will look for rusted/corroded piping, painted/loaded sprinkler heads, missing escutcheon plates, missing valve signs/FDC signs, etc.
Inspection tag & report
Once the inspection is complete, technicians will tag your system accordingly based on findings during the inspection. If there are no deficiencies found, the riser receives a green tag. If deficiencies are found but the system is still operable, the riser receives a yellow tag. If the system is out of service/inoperable, the riser receives a red tag.
All deficiencies will be noted on a deficiency report. This report will be reviewed and explained in detail to the customer. The customer will receive a follow-up call with a quote to make all necessary repairs so a green tag can be awarded, and a clean sprinkler report is sent to the customer.
Choosing a fire protection company
The trained technicians at Fire Systems, Inc. are fully certified and licensed to install, inspect, modify, and repair all types of fire sprinkler system. All technicians are Fire Systems’ employees, with no sub-contracting, so we can guarantee the quality of service we are able to provide.
Fire Systems also offers an advanced software system that keeps track of when inspections are due, so you never have to worry about being late on required inspections. We can also provide training in the proper use and maintenance of your system.