What Inspections Do my Sprinkler Systems Require?
BC Fire Code Section 6.4 and NFPA 25 require periodic testing of sprinkler systems throughout the year. These include:
- Check system gauges to ensure they are within acceptable ranges. (A loss of 10% pressure from previous readings should be investigated).
- During freezing weather, check the sprinkler room to ensure it is adequately heated. (Maintain a minimum temperature of 40° F / 4.4° C). Note: if the sprinkler room has a low temperature alarm, only a weekly inspection is required.
- Inspect control valves and trim.
- Check water supply valves, including post indicator and roadway valves, to make sure they are open.
- Check sprinklers to ensure they are not damaged or blocked by storage and have not been painted or otherwise impaired. Note: An 18” (457mm) clear space must be maintained below standard sprinklers to assure adequate discharge pattern.
- Check pipes and fittings. (Look for signs of water or air leakage).
- Inspect control valves. (If locked or supervised).
- Check the supply of spare sprinkler heads.
- Check alarm devices to make sure they are free from damage and that the electrical connections are secure.
- Activation of supervisory devices.
- Activation of waterflow devices.
- Determine dry sprinkler priming water level (If applicable).
Inspect fire department connections to ensure they are:
– Visible and accessible.
– Couplings or swivels are not damaged and rotate smoothly.
– Plugs or caps are in place and not damaged. (If caps are not in place, inspect interior for obstructions).
– Identification signs are in place.
– Check valve is not leaking.
– Automatic drain valve is in place and operating correctly.
Inspections Carried out by qualified technicians or fitters
- Functional test of wet sprinkler systems. (Flowing water to confirm correct operation).
- Functional test of dry sprinkler systems. (Partial trip of the system to confirm correct operation).
Visual inspection of system.
– Ensure the system is free from corrosion and obstruction to spray pattern.
– Ensure the pipework is in good condition, is free of mechanical damage and not subject to external loads.
– Check for physical damage and painted sprinkler heads.
– Check proper orientation of sprinklers. (Upright, Pendant, Sidewall).
- Verify supply of spare sprinkler heads for proper number and type and that a sprinkler wrench is provided.
- Drain dry system low points before each winter.
Every Three Years
- Full flow trip of any dry sprinklers from the inspectors test point. (For systems that cover freezers, a pressure test may be conducted instead).
Every Five Years
- Internal inspection of sprinkler pipework.
- Internal inspection of valves. (Verify all components operate correctly, move freely and are in good condition).
- Hydrostatic test of Siamese connections.
Other Periodic Testing
- Sample testing of sprinkler heads by a certified lab is required at different times depending on the type of head. This may be 5, 20 or 50 years.
inspection of sprinkler heads
Outside of the annual sprinkler inspection, the sprinkler heads have code requirements for testing. The standards set forth by the NFPA vary depending on the type and age of sprinkler heads.
Sprinkler Head Testing
Fraser Valley Fire Protection offers a thorough sprinkler head testing service that involves a certified fire protection professional removing a small sample of sprinkler heads from your building. These sprinkler heads are sent to a testing laboratory to ensure they meet NFPA 25 standards.
To comply with NFPA 25, a minimum of four sprinklers or one percent of every type of sprinkler in the building, must be tested. If the building has various types of sprinklers, such as dry, wet or pre-action, at least one percent of each type is tested.
Our service includes replacing the removed sprinkler heads with new ones. However, if any of the tested sprinkler heads fail the laboratory test, we will replace every sprinkler head in the area sampled, as required by NFPA regulations.
Trust Fraser Valley Fire Protection for dependable and thorough sprinkler head testing services.
Types of Sprinkler Heads
- Quick response: This is the most common type of sprinkler head. Following installation, fast-response sprinkler heads need not be tested for 20 years. After the initial test, these heads are tested every ten years.
- Standard: This type of sprinkler head is tested 50 years after installation and every ten years following the first test.
- Dry pendent: These sprinkler heads are every ten years.
- Extra high: These sprinkler heads need to be tested every five years. This is not a common sprinkler head and is often used in ovens or heat-treating areas.