Regular fire sprinkler testing is a must for any property or business owner looking to ensure the safety of their premises and personnel - but how often should it be done? In this blog post, we will outline the requirements for testing these valuable life-saving devices—so that your fire suppression equipment is always ready in case of an emergency.
The National Fire Protection Association and the FDNY have imposed strict regulations for NYC buildings, known as NFPA25. However, these regulations can be challenging to understand; as a result, violations are frequently handed out.
In order to meet the required standard for fire protection systems, various inspections are performed monthly, quarterly, annually, and every 5 years and range from visual inspections of gauges to testing sprinkler control valves and water flow, to testing for obstructions.
How often should fire sprinkler systems be inspected and tested?
FIRE SPRINKLER INSPECTIONS
Inspections, Testing, and Maintenance are performed in accordance with NFPA25
Visual Inspections of Main Components
- System in Service
- Supply Pressure
- System Pressure
- Inspect Gauges, Control Valves, Signage, Alarm Valves, Alarm Trim Valves,
- Inspect Retard Chamber and Alarm Drain Not Leaking
Testing and Maintenance
- Fire Pump
- Suction Pressure
- Discharge Pressure
Fire Pump & Dry Valve Inspections
- Fire Pump ( in service, indicator light, jockey pump, jockey pump valves +)
- Dry Valve ( water pressure, air pressure, gauges, alarm connections, and opening devices)
- Suction Pressure
- Discharge Pressure
Once every three months, you’ll need to have more extensive inspections carried out which incorporate water flow alarm devices, valve alarm devices, control valves, signal devices, hydraulic nameplates, and fire department connections. Our quarterly inspections include the monthly visual inspections in addition to:
Inspections and Tests
- Water flow alarm
- Water motor
- Connections/bypass connections
- Drainage before flow testing
- Supply water gauge reading ( initial, residual, and static)
- The system returned to service
- Alarm panel clear
- Swivels/coupling undamaged and swivels smoothly
- ID's signs in place
- The check valve is not leaking
- Ball drip positioning
- Clapper is in place and operational
- The Interior has been inspected
- The alarm panel is clear
- The tank support structure is free from damage
- Tank ladders are ok
- Standpipe hangers and bracing attached tightly and undamaged
- Standpipe and standpipe piping is free of damage, leakage, mechanical damage, and external loading
- Inspect standpipe hose connections and hose racks
- Operate & lubricate the control valve
- Test tamper switches
Every year there should be a complete test of your fire sprinkler system. Our technicians will physically check every element of your system, from water flow and fire pump tests right through to alarm tests and trip tests of dry pipe, deluge, and pre-action valves.
This is where inspections will move on to looking at the pipework and fittings, hangar/seismic bracing, signage, and the sprinklers themselves. Annual tests and inspections include the monthly visual inspection, semi-annual inspections, and quarterly inspections in addition to:
- Hangers and seismic bracing
- Check piping for ( corrosion, leaking, alignment, and free of external loading)
- Check sprinkler heads ( leakage, corrosion, foreign materials, paint, physical damage, orientation, obstructions,)
- Glass bulbs are full of liquid
- 6 spare sprinklers are located in the sprinkler room
- Wrench is available
*Before the temperature drops, we assess the risk of winter hazards:
- The building is secure and pipes are not exposed
- Adequate heat is provided to the system
- Temperatures of 40 degrees F or higher can be maintained
FIRE SPRINKLER TESTS
Annual Flow Tests
If your building has more than 32 sprinkler heads you must have a Flow Test performed and reported (to the FDNY) annually by a Fire Suppression Contractor or LMP. This test ensures that if your system should become activated, there will be adequate water pressure to the uppermost section of the sprinkler system to provide fire protection. The minimum water pressure must be 15 PSI at the test station.
*The Fire Department will notify you by mail that you must schedule a test.
Additional Annual Tests...
MD Test WM #1 & 2
Fire Pump Full Test
Dry Pipe Valve Trip Test ( with and without FDNY)
Standpipe Flow & Hydrostatic Tests
Sprinkler Hydrostatic Tests
FDNY 5-Year Flow Test
FDNY 5-Year Flow Test
Once every five years, the FDNY must witness your flow test. The Fire Department will notify you by mail that you must schedule a test. Please send us a copy of the notification so we can help you schedule your test with the FDNY.
In order to conduct this test, the building must have an Inspector Test Valve installed on your sprinkler system. This allows the Fire Department to measure the water pressure in the sprinkler system.
- It must be located on the uppermost floor of the building, in a public hallway, directly after the sprinkler head furthest from the building’s entrance.
- It is identifiable by pressure gauges, a hose valve, and a small white sign stating, "Inspector’s Test Valve".
- This test requires a small bucket and a hose.
Violations and Local Law
Fire protection is an essential element in your overall safety and security plan. Making sure you have the right fire sprinkler system, as well as choosing a reliable fire protection company to help with required inspections, will ensure your property remains safe.
There are myriad local laws and building codes that apply to fire sprinkler systems, ranging from correctly painting fire sprinkler piping systems, and control valve handles to conducting regular tests, to maintaining careful records of the fire sprinkler system inspection testing, and maintenance.
During the inspections, we check for damages or alterations to your sprinkler system and confirm whether or not it is operating properly and that all components are undamaged.
Each month we email you a copy of the inspection, photos of your system, and easy-to-understand proposals detailing how to fix any issues if we encounter them. Your information is kept on file and your account can be accessed anytime via our online portal.
FIRE SPRINKLER SERVICES
Quix Plumbing Service offers monthly fire sprinkler inspection and testing services. We can also assist with violation removals, repairs, fire pump testing, FDNY testing, and winterization of your fire sprinkler system.
Our services are billed annually, this way, you can budget for the service and know that your fire sprinklers will be well-maintained. When your contract is up for renewal, a Quix representative will reach out to you two months in advance with the option to renew or discontinue service.