3 Simple Steps for Fire Sprinkler Maintenance [2020 Update]
When they are regularly inspected and maintained fire sprinkler systems can be trusted to provide protection in case of emergency.
On the other hand, when regular maintenance is overlooked or delayed the chance that an emergency could be devastating multiplies exponentially.
Read on to find out why maintaining your fire sprinkler system is crucial for when an actual emergency arises.
Why Maintenance for Your Fire Sprinkler is so Important
The security of your building and its occupants depend on functional fire protection systems.
The maintenance requirements for fire sprinkler systems include having scheduled inspections from a local licensed fire protection service company.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) emphasizes that regular maintenance and inspections of a fire sprinkler system will increase its longevity.
It will also ensure that it is ready in the event it needs to activate. Here are the 3 simple steps for fire sprinkler maintenance:
Step 1 - Have Your Fire Sprinkler System Inspected Regularly by The Professionals
Not only is it mandatory to stick to a schedule for commercial and home fire sprinkler inspections, but it will also save you money in the long run.
Keep your system up-to-date and ready for use in the case of an emergency. Here are the components that need to be inspected, and the frequency they should be checked.
Gauges in systems that have air and water pressure must be examined weekly. Control valves must be free from leaks. They must also be locked, sealed, labeled, and in an open position.
It is necessary to check gauges on wet pipe systems for normal water pressure and any signs of damage. Alarm valves need to be externally inspected, as well.
Alarm devices and hydraulic nameplates need to be looked at every three months to remain in compliance with codes.
During the complete annual fire sprinkler inspection, you must have a licensed technician check all of the components.
Having the fire sprinklers checked every year increases the chances of detecting an issue that does not usually show up in monthly or quarterly inspections.
How Much Does a Sprinkler Inspection Cost?
Some municipalities and states require inspections by a licensed professional. The cost of hiring a technician and fee of the inspection depends on the size and needs of the building.
Regular inspections and maintenance for sprinkler systems can cost between $1000 to $5000 a year, but neglecting it could cost you in the multiplied thousands.
It’s best to contact your local trusted fire protection service company for an estimate.
Step 2 - Don't Ignore Problems - Keep Your Sprinkler Systems in Good Repair
The NFPA requires that you maintain your sprinkler suppression systems are in good condition at all times.
That means staying on top of necessary repairs and replacements. These components age at different paces and may need to be replaced at separate times.
During an inspection, a licensed professional will test and calibrate the gauges - which can last many years if maintained properly.
Sprinkler heads will have differing lifespans based on the materials used to manufacture them. The type of sprinkler head is also a factor in how long they will last.
Your professional fire protection company will have all the specifications on each component’s lifespan.
Control valves are responsible for controlling the amount of water that is released by the sprinklers and supplying the entire system with water from the water main.
It is critical that these valves are inspected to ensure they are open and without defects.
While you can trust the professionals to fully inspect your system and direct you on any necessary repairs, there are some helpful things you can do to make sure things run smoothly between checkups.
Carefully remove dust coatings from sprinkler heads.
Make sure fire sprinkler heads are appropriately covered if you are planning to paint an area and uncovered as soon as possible to resume protection.
Remove high objects from beneath sprinklers that would block the water from reaching a fire.
Step 3 - Ensure Ongoing Monitoring of Your Fire Systems
We believe the best fire protection systems are only as good as the monitoring company you use.
An alarm monitoring company is vital to ensure you are notified if there is a problem with your system. Besides monitoring your property for smoke, heat, and fire, tamper alarms are installed on valves and other parts of the system
This allows each critical piece of the system to be monitored for trouble.
Without appropriate monitoring, you might be unaware of problems like a main water valve that has been closed, rendering your sprinkler system useless in the event of an emergency.
There are also alarms installed to monitor if water begins to flow which could be an indicator that a sprinkler head has been activated or tampered with.
Committed to your safety
Use these simple steps to make sure your fire sprinklers are maintained and in good working order when you need them.
If you have a fire sprinkler system our team would love to hear from you to answer any questions or to plan an inspection for your building.
If you don't know the condition of your system, schedule an inspection and we will gladly help you protect your property!