During a lifespan of a building or establishment, it may go through changes that affect the water-based fire suppression systems installed in it. Variations in building additions, occupancy type, hazard type, or renovations and aging can affect fire water demand, while foundation alterations and age can affect the fire water supply. Additionally, variations in prevailing codes and standards can continuously be expected.
Facility owners typically use either NFPA-25 or FM Global data sheets when establishing their drill, testing, and maintenance (ITM) routine. Both sources give guidance on the frequency of ITM-related tasks in excellent detail.
Changes in Facilities
As an establishment undergoes modifications, it’s possible to identify basic types of changes that might cause a water-based fire suppression system to fail regular testing, even if the system was designed correctly to suit the original facility. Changes to facilities that alter the hazard classification, building footprint, or building height are cause for a complete re-evaluation.
The effects of building ageing on water-based fire suppression systems include corrosion, sediment, and scale. These problems are common because of water coming in contact with metallic components. Improved friction loss through oxidation and metal piping of wetted sprinkler head components indicates that components and fire suppression systems have a limited life span.
The results of facility changes may not be instantly evident, mainly when changes are implemented to municipal infrastructure (supply) by the municipality, or when construction improvements are self-performed. When engaged, designated design professionals should be able to know the types of changes that influence the existing fire suppression systems and change them to meet changing demands.
Inspecting the Fire Suppression System
Beyond essential checks, you will require to perform more complicated and time-consuming inspections that guarantee all of the devices of sprinkler systems function. These should occur quarterly, annually, and in multiple-year increments.
Yearly inspections include a full run-through of the system, looking more particularly at the hardware that a sprinkler system hinges on for proper daily functionality. In these inspections, you walk the whole system looking for rusted sprinkler pipes, faulty sprinkler heads, and anything that looks like it could damage the system while going through the same methods you did with the quarterly inspection.
You receive a more extended period in between the more invasive and involved sprinkler inspections. Because they more appropriately evaluate the inner workings and quality of a system, they are only required every three and five years.
Communicating and Connecting with Alarms
For amenities facing a fire threat, notification systems and alarms are possibly the most critical component of fire protection systems because they give the initial alert of risk, and they regularly communicate with other systems like sprinklers. Therefore, it is crucial to provide periodic inspection checks of notification systems, and alarms, especially in combination with sprinklers.
Because most alarm systems work together with sprinkler systems, you should examine how they work in connection with one another. For quarterly examinations, testing should scale outward from weekly checks, monitoring sprinkler systems that are attached to alarms, and making sure they work mutually.
Biannual testing goes even more than quarterly testing by more closely investigating the electrical devices of sprinklers, as well as load voltage and batteries of the alarm system. Yearly inspections add testing and visually examining the alert sounds themselves, the detectors your system applies, voice notification, and any other part that needs electrical development.
The precise nature of these inspections will change under unmonitored and monitored systems, so be sure to discuss with a fire safety expert to establish a facility-specific plan of action for your operations.
For fire extinguishers, OSHA needs maintenance, testing, and regular inspection. The most fundamental of these include visually inspecting compact extinguishers or hoses every month. Beyond that, OSHA mandates yearly maintenance checks on small extinguishers. Stored pressure extinguishers are excluded from these examinations. Still, you should note when you perform this maintenance and have the record ready for review for at least a year after the latest entry or the life span of the container.
For dry chemical extinguishers that need 12-year hydrostatic tests, OSHA calls for maintaining and clearing them every six years. Eventually, it is essential to have a backup plan in place for when you are performing maintenance and if extinguishers are out of order. You will require some kind of alternative and similar means of security.
Do Not Forget Smoke Control
One of the most missed fire safety systems is smoke control, in part because regulation had not been classified until more recently connected to other systems and also because they tend to be out of sight.
Structures with open spaces – like atriums, for example – demand the most advanced smoke control systems. For the most part, they will now have a system in place, but these kinds of facilities need to guarantee that they fulfill building specifications as standards and codes change because updates to codes now require proof and evidence that they operate accurately.