Fire Sprinkler Maintenance Tips

Fire sprinklers are an essential element in all public buildings and businesses, but they are rarely used. To stay operational, your facility requires regular fire sprinkler maintenance and inspection. Not only is it required by law to have a functioning fire protection system in your business, but you will be very glad you kept up with your fire sprinkler maintenance when you do need it. A fire protection system that does its job decreases the likelihood of injury and property damage.

We have a few suggestions on how you can keep your fire protection system in great shape.

Remove Coating from Sprinkler Heads

Never paint over sprinkler heads. This could potentially block water flow and interfere with the heat sensor. Save your heads from accidentally being painted by gently covering them while the area is being painted. You will have to remember to remove all protective coverings when finished. Dust and debris can also be a problem for heat sensors. If you work in an old building or are renovating, dust may be more of a problem for you. Dust can cake onto your sprinklers and interfere with the heat sensors like paint. Make checking for dust a regular part of your fire sprinkler maintenance routine. The key is to be extremely careful when vacuuming or dusting off the sprinkler heads. It is better not to touch the heads directly and use a special vacuum attachment.

Move Anything Blocking Sprinkler

Move any obstructions away from the path of the fire protection systems. This includes things like tall furniture, décor, and other high objects. Large objects impede the flow of water and it cannot reach all areas of the room. You must maintain 18 inches of separation vertically from the sprinkler deflector to the top of an obstruction using control mode sprinkler heads. Where ESFR sprinklers are utilized, maintain 36 inches of clearance from the deflector to the top of the storage. Storing products within these thresholds has the potential to block the spray from the sprinkler and shorten the range that sprinklers can be effective. Part of your fire sprinkler maintenance is it be sure and declutter now and then.

Keep Control Valve Open

One major thing you need to keep track of with your fire sprinkler maintenance, is whether the control valve is open. It always needs to be open for it to do its job. It controls the water flow to the system. If it is closed, your sprinklers will not get any water and essentially be useless. Keeping track of those authorized to touch the valve will help limit the number of people who can accidentally leave it off. It is also a good idea to lock your fire protection systems control areas to prevent any tampering.

Have Sprinklers Inspected

One of the more obvious fire sprinkler maintenance measures you should be taking to maintain your system is to get regular inspections and maintenance. Certified professionals should look at your system at least once a year. The NFPA has standards that all fire protection systems must meet. Every five years your fire protection system should undergo an internal pipe inspection and replace the gauges. Every twenty years, change sprinkler heads and go through batch testing.

At Valley Fire Protection and Plumbing we can help you with any repairs, 5-year internal pipe inspections, or 20-year batch testing you may require. Give us a call!

By: Tom Hartel
I acquired my expertise by directing day-to-day operations of the business for over 20 years. Continuous hard work helped me become a nationally recognized speaker and expert on fire protection, fire sprinklers, special hazards, and plumbing systems. In this blog, I share my knowledge that will hopefully help you make better decisions for your projects.

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