Fire sprinkler systems are a long term investment. When installed properly, they can serve your family for several decades ranging from 30 to 50 years. For the systems to reach their set lifespan while still performing optimally, you will need to carry out proper care and maintenance for the whole system. This has to be done on a regular basis while also taking care not to undertake actions that could impair the functioning of the fire sprinkler system.
What Not Do With A Sprinkler System
- You should not paint the heads of the fire sprinklers. If you want sprinkler heads that match your ceiling and wall colors, buy decorator sprinklers that come with custom colors.
- You should also not hang objects from the sprinklers heads
- You should not obstruct or cover the sprinklers
- In case you have stacked items in the room, they should not be close to the sprinkler heads. Stacked items should be at least 18 inches below the heads.
Actions You Should Conduct As Maintenance
- Ensure the fire sprinkler control valve stays open by checking the tamper switches everyday
- Know the location of your fire sprinkler shut off valve
- Ensure your system in evaluated periodically to see if it is due for upgrades
- Finally, ensure you conduct regular scheduled inspections as directed in the installation manual or as advised by various fire sprinklers associations and bodies.
Here is a fire inspections checklist to start you off and ensure you are keeping the condition of the fire sprinklers in top shape. Every part should be inspected at least once every year but regulation authorities and insurance providers may demand they be checked on a more regular basis. The inspection can be divided into monthly, quarterly and annual inspections.
They should be checked to ensure they are in their normal position closed or open. They should also be properly sealed and locked, free from physical damage and accessible.
For wet pipe gauges confirm they are in good condition and the normal water supply pressure is attained and maintained. For dry pipe gauges, the gauges on the supply side of the pipe valve as well as the one on the quick opening device should indicate the same pressure and this should indicate that the normal water supply pressure is being maintained.
- Inspect the water flow alarm and supervisory alarm to ensure they are not physically damaged.
- Inspect connections to the fire department to ensure they are visible and not physically damaged.
- In case of a hydraulic sprinkler system, check the hydraulic nameplate to ensure it is properly attached and easily visible.
- In case where relief valves and pressure reducing valves are present, ensure they are in good condition.
In annual inspections everything inspected in quarterly inspections is repeated. Aside from these, other things inspected include:
- Perform a main drain water flow test
- Inspect sprinkler heads, piping and fitting