Every year fire accounts for the loss of millions of dollars and thousands of lives. Taking the time to ensure your fire sprinkler system is properly inspected can make all the difference. There are some parts of your fire sprinkler system that you can inspect yourself quickly and easily either daily or weekly, and some that need skilled professionals like the team at Bison Fire Protection.
It’s important to know that fires usually start off small but quickly grow exponentially, doubling and doubling again in size. If not managed quickly, fires grow out of hand and become more difficult to control or put out. When it comes to your fire sprinkler system, if you do not maintain it properly it will break down. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to ensure your system is well maintained.
Fire Pump Check. If your sprinkler system has a fire pump, you should be checking it weekly or after operation. This is especially important in the winter to make sure the room your pump and/or sprinkler heads are in is not frozen. Bison Fire Protection has cold temperature detectors on our Siemens fire alarm systems which set off alarms if the room the fire pump or sprinkler head is in gets below a certain temperature. Our team is alerted and can be there quickly before it freezes and becomes inoperable, saving you thousands of dollars in expensive repair bills.
Water Tank Water Supply. If you have a water tank, you need to make sure that your water level is at optimal levels and that it has not frozen. A quick inspection daily may save you the expense of repairing or replacing the entire system.
Fire Pump Check. Every week you should check the fuel in your fire pump and make sure everything is operational. If a system is not properly maintained it may result in cracked gaskets, engine blockage issues, or other costly expenses. This includes turning it on to let it run for ten minutes for electric or thirty minutes for diesel-driven pumps every week.
Reservoir Check. Check the water level in your reservoirs.
Control Valves Check. Visually inspect your control valves and make sure they have not been tampered with or vandalized.
Pressure Gauge Check. Check all pressure gauges for proper pressure on your dry pipe sprinkler systems to ensure that water hasn’t leaked into a dry pressure system. Dry systems are mainly for attics and freezer rooms, and other areas that are not usually heated. If water gets into these systems it will freeze, resulting in pipe ruptures. In addition, when the system warms up the water will freely flow, resulting in more damage. A quick weekly gauge check will save you thousands of dollars in the end.
Creating a log book with the date and gauge reading is a great way to keep track of, and address any changes as they happen.
Water Tank Check. Inspect your water tank heating equipment to make sure everything is working at optimal efficiency. Most maintenance people can check this kind of system themselves, however when needed Bison Fire Protection is available to come in and give you the peace of mind you need with an effective and efficient inspection.
Control Valve Tamper Switches Check. Inspect all control valve tamper switches.
Water Levels Check. Make sure water levels on water heaters are optimal and maintained properly.
Sprinkler System Check. Make sure all devices that lead to alarm systems are free from physical damage. It’s not unusual to see sprinkler systems damaged by moves, equipment, or vandals. A quick visual inspection will help you rest well knowing they’re working and do not need to be replaced.
Fire Department Hose Hookup Check. Check to see that any fire department detection units, such as the hose hookups on the outside of buildings, are clear, free of debris, and covered. If a cover is missing, call the Bison Fire Protection Service Department for a replacement.
Water Tank Check. Make sure all tanks are warm and topped up.
At this point it is important to have a qualified fire sprinkler system company like Bison Fire Protection inspect all your systems and test them to ensure that, in the event of a fire, the proper signals are sent to the Fire Department immediately.
Pre-Action and Deluge Valve Check. This is another inspection that Bison Fire Protection should do to make sure everything is operational and up to safety standards.
Dry-Pipe Valve Check. Ensure that the heating system for the dry-pipe valve room or valve house is working properly and repair any inefficiencies.
Main Drain Test. Bison Fire Protection will test the main drain of at least one of the building’s systems downstream of the device to make sure it has a water supply through the back flow preventor or the pressure reducing device. This must be done by a qualified company like Bison Fire Protection to ensure it meets the fire code.
Inspect-Test-Operate-Maintain Checkup. This annual test of your entire fire sprinkler system is necessary to make sure your system meets NFPA standards and keeps your insurance current. Bison Fire Protection will do the inspection, create the inspection reports, and report any deficiencies, operational problems and make sure they are taken care of for you.
Fire Pump Check. Bison Fire Protection technicians will conduct a thorough flow test of your fire pump system.
Main Drain Test. This is a test of the main drain on each riser to determine if there is a change of water supply and that control valves are operational.
Control Valve Check. This is an inspection to ensure all control valves are operational, that they are free from rust and that they are secure.
Water Hydrant Check. All fire hydrants on your property need to be inspected annually to make sure they are operational and maintained properly.
Stand Pipe and Stand Pipe Hose Check. Bison Fire Protection will inspect and re-rack and exercise (open and close) the nozzles. If necessary, they will be replaced if they have been found to be tampered with or vandalized and their operational effectiveness compromised.
At Bison Fire Protection all our Sprinkler Technicians are Red Seal Certified, and our team follows the latest in safety programs and policies. Our team spends time continuously training to expand their knowledge base to best serve our customers.
Every Three Years
Water Tank Check. Inspect all water tanks for corrosion and make sure they are connected to a non-potable water system for sediment control. If the system is pressurized, a pressurization test will also be conducted.
For water storage tanks or tanks without corrosion protection, recommended inspection frequency is 3 years. All others are inspected every 5 years.
Dry Pipe Sprinkler System Valve Check. With the control valve fully open, Bison Fire Protection will flood the system to make sure it is working. When the test is complete, the system will be drained, dried, and reset. To prevent freezing, we make sure no water remains in the system. We do this by draining and blowing off all low points to remove moisture.
We recommend having this service item in the Fall as well to ensure your system is protected against freeze-ups.
Every Five Years
Sprinkler Head Test. We will inspect all extra-high temperature sprinkler heads, as well as heads exposed to harsh environments
Flow System Check. The flow systems on standpipe systems need to be tested and hydro-statically tested to make sure there are no leaks and to prevent leaks. This 5-year item is for checking pipe integrity of manual standpipe and semiautomatic dry standpipe systems and is subjected to a 2-hour 200lb test with zero tolerance for leakage on interior piping.
Controls, Gauges and Valves Check. Bison Fire Protection will pressure test controls and all pressure-reducing valves. All gauges will also be inspected to make sure they are safe and compliant with code.
Obstruction Test: Internal investigations are conducted on piping, end of mains, valves and trim components as well as check valves to detect foreign organic or inorganic matter that would impede system operating as intended.
Your sprinkler fire alarm system is in place to save the lives of the people who are in your building or frequent your building, as well as the first line responders who come to your aid during a fire. Isn’t it time you speak with Bison Fire Protection about your inspection schedule? Call us TODAY.