Is the annual inspection of your vehicle suppression systems coming up soon? Fire Systems, Inc. has been servicing, repairing, and installing vehicle suppression systems for over three decades. As experts in the field, Fire Systems techs are professional, efficient, and highly knowledgeable.

Here are some ways that you can prepare for your annual inspection, and what you can expect from your Fire Systems technicians.


Before the arrival of the tech, it’s helpful to notify your vehicle operators of when the tech will perform the inspection. It’s also helpful to have operators clean their equipment of mud or dirt as best they can. This helps techs conduct their inspection.

At each inspection, our technicians will go over the operation of the system with each operator to make sure they know what to do in case of a fire. For this reason, it’s helpful to ask your operators if they have any questions about the operation of the system prior to the tech’s visit so they can get all questions answered while the tech is on-site. We can also offer training on the vehicle systems during the inspection visit.

One tech will arrive on-site for the inspection. They will first go see the contact person to let them know they are on-site and of the duties to be performed while on-site. The tech will then get any necessary information from them; i.e. what equipment to start on first, if any vehicle systems require repairs, etc.

Visual inspection  

To begin the inspection, the tech will open all doors, take out all floor plates, and perform a quick visual inspection to see how the system was installed and if it’s still installed properly. There are four or five different types of vehicle suppression systems, with the two most common being Amerex and Ansul. Each system is installed differently, and as a result has different inspection procedures. The tech will note the system type to ensure proper inspection techniques are performed.

System differences

It’s helpful to note the differences in systems to better understand the inspection process of your vehicle suppression system.

Ansul systems feature cylinder(s) filled with either dry chemical powder or a wet chemical agent and a cartridge filled with pressurized gas (nitrogen). The cartridge is mounted near the cylinder tank so when the system is activated, the cartridge is punctured and releases pressure into the tank that thereby releases the dry chemical or wet chemical to suppress the fire. Because vehicles are constantly vibrating, there is a risk of the powder becoming packed in the tank.  The pressure from the cartridge fluidizes the powder, so it flows better through the discharge network.

Amerex systems are designed with pressurized cylinders. The gas and dry chemical are already combined, unlike the Ansul system where the gas and chemical are separate.The Amerex system operates more like a fixed fire extinguisher with a pressure gauge so you can easily tell if the tank is charged.

Both systems have a means of manual actuation, one electric and one pneumatic. Both systems also use hydraulic hose as a means of discharging the agent on the fire.

Inspection procedures for all vehicle systems

All vehicle suppression systems require the following steps for a proper inspection of your system.

  1. Inspect the general appearance of the system components checking for mechanical damage or corrosion.
  2. Check to make sure the components are securely fastened, and all hose fittings are tight.
  3. Remove all cartridges, install safety caps and check weight to make sure they are full.
  4. On cartridge operated units, remove fill caps and check that the agent tanks are filled to the proper level.
  5. On systems with stored pressure, inspect the gauge to make sure the pressure is in the operating range and undamaged.
  6. Inspect o’rings for elasticity and damage. Replace if indicated.
  7. On cartridge operated systems inspect bursting disc for damage and replace if necessary.
  8. Inspect discharge network to make sure hoses are properly secured and undamaged.
  9. Inspect nozzles to make sure they are positioned properly; caps are in place and nozzles are undamaged. Replace caps as required by manufacturer.
  10. Purge discharge network to make sure lines and nozzles are unobstructed.
  11. Pressurize actuation network to make sure all discharge/control heads operate as intended.
  12. Make sure detection network is properly secured and undamaged. Use end of line device to test the detection circuit ensuring that a signal is received at the control panel.
  13. Make sure manual release devices are in working order.
  14. Inspect control panel to make sure all circuits operate as intended.Replace battery if required.

Addressing repairs & inspection reports

The most common repairs for vehicle suppression systems are worn hoses, damaged detection wire, and damaged components.

If we find items that need repair during an inspection, we will report our findings to the contact onsite. We stock repair parts on our service vehicles and are almost always able to make the necessary repairs while we are onsite.

After the inspection we will provide a detailed inspection report for each system.  If there are items that could not be repaired during the inspection visit, we will provide a comprehensive quotation for the necessary repairs.  We maintain an electronic copy of all inspection reports and make them available to the customer upon request.

Why Fire Systems, Inc.?

Regardless of the type of vehicle fire suppression you have Fire Systems, Inc. has the knowledge and expertise to keep it in operating order and protect your assets and employees.

For over 30 years now, Fire Systems, Inc. has been recognized as the most competent company in the southeast for vehicle fire suppression installations and service. Our lead technicians have extensive experience working with all types of vehicle systems.

Call Fire Systems today at 770-33-7979 or visit our website for more information.