What do you need to know about fire sprinkler inspection and testing?
Purpose: To provide insights on how often you should inspect and test your fire sprinklers — and why.
Why should university and Greek housing focus on fire sprinkler inspection and testing?
How often do you inspect and test fire sprinklers?
What happens during a fire sprinkler inspection?
Fire protection is an ultra-important part of any building. Young residents sometimes overlook this feature as they may prefer to discuss an upgraded lobby or enhanced apartment-tech. However, safety is the number one priority of any building, whether it’s vacant or filled with tenants.
We are going to give you insight into the frequency and tasks involved in fire sprinkler inspection and testing. With these insights, you can take proactive steps to keep your university and Greek-life tenants safe.
Fire Safety in College Dorms and Greek-Life Homes
According to data collected between the years 2011 and 2015 by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), “fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 4,000 structure fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and other related properties.” In addition, these fires resulted in an average of 35 injuries and $14 million of direct property damage each year.
Due to the fire-related damage and injury in student housing, NFPA has dedicated the month of September as Campus Fire Safety Month. And, it’s important that you do your job to keep your facilities secure too. Therefore, it’s necessary to ensure that your fire sprinklers are functioning and up to code.
The frequency of Fire Sprinkler Inspection and Testing
In order to keep your fire sprinkler systems functioning properly — and to their best potentials — it is imperative to perform routine inspections and testing. The rules and regulations around these inspections and tests are outlined in NFPA 25, the baseline for inspection, testing, and maintenance of water-based fire protection systems.
Depending on the inspections and tests, fire sprinklers should be examined at these times:
Every 3 years
Every 5 years
What to Expect during a Fire Sprinkler Inspection
An inspection of fire sprinklers is a relatively simple and fast procedure. Essentially, you will need to visually inspect the system to ensure that your sprinklers are in good condition. It is recommended to complete visual inspections on a weekly or monthly basis.
Sprinklers must also be thoroughly inspected and tested various times throughout the year. Most systems should have check-ups during these time increments: quarterly, annually, every three years, and every five years. Fire sprinkler inspections typically include these tests (along with many more):
Inspection of valves, wet and dry gauges, and water flow
Alarm devices and fire department connections
Repair and replacement of sprinkler heads, pipes, and fittings
Supply check of spare parts and sprinkler system tools
After each inspection, it’s essential that you retain all related records for at least a year. This paperwork may be required at your next inspection. And, it’s always a good idea to plan ahead when it comes to maintenance of fire protection systems so that you can count on regular and quality services. Now is the perfect time to organize your 5-year sprinkler inspection.
How do you plan to keep your facility up-to-date with fire inspections and testing?
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To keep your building safe, fire safety equipment, maintenance, and prevention are required. Be sure to stay on top of routine inspections and required maintenance, while always referring to the NFPA’s guidelines. Compliance with these rules optimizes the effectiveness of fire sprinklers in fire emergencies.
Ultimately, your goal is to keep your facility and tenants safe. University housing and Greek homes are impacted by fires. However, with responsible inspection and testing of sprinkler systems, we should be able to minimize the amount of damage and injury caused by fires.