5 Signs You Need A Fire Sprinkler Inspection
Updated: Mar 28
When a fire breaks out, how would you know your sprinkler systems are working properly? A fire sprinkler is a fire protection equipment that discharges water flow once sufficient heat is detected.
The primary reason why fire sprinklers are so effective is that it's an automatic system meant to protect your building from fire.
To ensure its efficiency and functionality, a fire sprinkler inspection is a must!
Read on to find out if your sprinkler systems are due for inspection, testing, or maintenance.
5 Telling Signs That You Are Due for a Sprinkler Inspection
Your home or office space is due for fire sprinkler inspections when you see the following signs:
1. The sprinkler system is leaking
Fire sprinklers may leak due to human or manufacturing errors. Additionally, improper design or installation can cause leakage as well.
A leaking fire sprinkler poses a danger to your electronic equipment and appliances. It can also make floors slippery, which poses a hazard. If a professional sprinkler repair service is still on its way, what you can do is locate the shut-off valve for your sprinkler system and turn it off to stop the flow of water. This prevents further water from leaking out of the system.
2. The fire alarm devices are rusty
The tip of the sprinklers is easily visible, making it susceptible to rusting. Rust and corrosion can also cause valves and other components to malfunction, which can prevent the system from activating or cause it to activate incorrectly.
Rust can also produce blockages and reduce the flow of water through the system, making the fixture less effective in controlling or extinguishing fires.
To identify rust, check the color of your alarm devices and see if it has turned orange.
3. Trigger functions are not working properly
A fire sprinkler discharges water whenever it detects fire heat, such as when a predetermined temperature has been exceeded. However, in some circumstances, the system activates automatically without indications of fire.
Automatic activation of fire sprinklers without any indication of fire may cause panic among the people near it.
In addition, the electronic equipment may also get wet and cause a short circuit.
4. Malfunctions resulted in a fire hazard
A fire sprinkler is a part of the security system that extinguishes fire. In every system, there is a risk of malfunction. It is also possible that the problem comes from the sprinkler itself.
A dangling fire sprinkler system on your ceiling means it is exposed to the elements. It is vulnerable to physical damage due to its lack of protection.
If the fire sprinkler systems malfunction, it will result in unnecessary panic and may put your people at risk for injuries.
Additionally, it may push you to replace the system, which is more expensive than preventing malfunctions from happening.
5. You're unsure of when your system was last inspected
If you're not sure when your fire sprinkler system was last inspected, it's a good idea to schedule an inspection as soon as possible.
Regular inspections are essential to ensure your system is working properly and to identify any potential issues before they become a problem.
How Often Should Sprinkler Systems Be Tested?
The National Fire Protection Association suggests that sprinkler systems should be tested periodically to ensure that they are functioning correctly and will be effective in case of a fire.
The frequency of testing will depend on several factors such as the system’s type and age, as well as the local fire codes and regulations. Here are some general guidelines:
Annual inspections: Annual fire sprinkler inspections should be done by a qualified professional to check for leaks, corrosion, and any other signs of damage. They should also verify that all components are in good condition and are working correctly.
Quarterly inspections: In addition to the annual fire sprinkler system inspection, some local regulations may require quarterly testing of sprinkler systems. This testing may include checking the water pressure and flow rate, testing the alarm system, and verifying that all sprinkler heads are free of obstructions.
Full flow test: A full flow test is conducted on sprinkler systems at least once every five years. This test involves activating all sprinkler heads to ensure that they are working correctly and that there is the adequate water pressure and flow rate to supply the sprinklers.
After any changes or modifications: Sprinkler systems should be tested after any changes or modifications to the system, such as adding or removing sprinkler heads or replacing components.
[Related: 5 Best Practices To Maintain Your Sprinkler System]
How Much Does It Cost To Test a Sprinkler System?
Generally, the cost of annual inspections can range from $1,000-$1,250 annually for a small office or home.
The cost of inspection of a sprinkler system can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the system, the complexity of the system, and the location of the property. Here are some factors that can affect the cost of testing a sprinkler system:
Size of the system: The larger the sprinkler system, the more time and resources will be required to test it. Larger systems may require more technicians to complete the testing, which can increase the cost.
The complexity of the system: Some sprinkler systems are more complex than others, with additional components such as pumps, backflow preventers, and fire alarm panels. Testing these additional components requires additional time, resources, and budget.
Location of the property: Testing in urban areas may be more expensive due to higher labor and equipment costs, while testing in rural areas may be less expensive.
Frequency of testing: Some jurisdictions require sprinkler systems to be tested regularly, such as annually or bi-annually. More frequent testing can increase the overall cost of maintaining a sprinkler system.
How Often Do Fire Sprinklers Need To Be Inspected in Arizona?
In Arizona, a fire sprinkler system must be inspected and tested annually per the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 25 Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems.
The sprinkler inspection and testing should be performed by a licensed and qualified professional. Additionally, certain types of systems may require more frequent testing and inspection based on the specific requirements of the system and the local regulations.
It is recommended to consult with a licensed professional to determine the specific inspection and testing requirements for your fire sprinkler system in Arizona.
What Is Required for a 5-Year Inspection Under NFPA 25?
The requirements for a 5-year inspection under NFPA 25 will depend on the specific type of fire protection system being inspected.
Here are some general requirements for a 5-year inspection of a fire sprinkler system:
A complete inspection of all components of the sprinkler system including control valves, waterflow alarms, tamper switches, pressure gauges, and sprinkler heads.
Inspection of the condition of the sprinkler heads, including the type and location of the sprinkler heads.
Inspection of the condition and operation of the fire pumps, standpipes, and fire department connections.
Testing of the system's backflow preventer.
A full flow test to determine water flow and pressure.
Get Your Sprinklers Inspected Today!
Do the signs stated above apply to your sprinkler systems? If yes, then it's time for a fire sprinkler inspection!
At B&W Fire Security Systems, we take pride in servicing all our valued customers.
We provide affordable inspection, testing, and preventive maintenance for kinds of fire sprinkler systems. We also offer 24/7 on-call emergency service on all aspects of fire protection equipment.
Contact us and let our team handle all your security and protection needs!
Do you have questions about getting fire sprinkler system inspections? Leave a comment and ask questions or share your thoughts below!