A well-functioning fire sprinkler system can help protect the building your business occupies, your employees and customers, and even the inventory and equipment within your business. The problem is that a commercial fire sprinkler system will be ineffective if it is not properly maintained.
To help you ensure that your business’s fire sprinkler system is reliable, we will explain everything you need to know about maintaining it.
Not only will we explain why regular maintenance is so important, but we will also outline tasks you should complete on a monthly and yearly basis to keep your commercial fire sprinkler system running.
Before we dive into how you should maintain your system, it is beneficial to explain why doing so is so important.
For starters, testing and maintaining your fire sprinkler system is a way to guarantee that you can rely on your system to function properly in the event of a fire. Once you are confident that your system will run as designed, you can develop evacuation drills accordingly.
Maintaining your working fire sprinkler system at the appropriate times can help you avoid leaks. Since commercial fire sprinkler systems consist of pipes and various fittings, they are susceptible to leaks. While a small leak may not seem overly serious, it can lead to corrosion issues over time.
Given enough time, a leaking fire sprinkler system could also cause serious water damage. Pooling water can also pose an injury risk to employees and other personnel due to slips and falls.
When fire sprinkler systems are allowed to fall into disrepair, there is always a chance that they will be triggered accidentally. Improper installation of the system and damage to the temperature sensors could trigger a misfire. When this occurs, the sprinkler system could cause significant damage to inventory, equipment, and the building itself.
Now that you understand why it is so important to maintain your fire sprinkler system, we can get into some of the monthly and yearly maintenance tasks you should be performing.
1. Visually Inspect the System
At least once per month, visually examine the system. Start with the sprinkler heads to make sure they are undamaged and unobstructed. Look for signs of rusting and excessive debris buildup, and ensure that they are not blocked in any way.
2. Test All Alarms
Since most fire sprinkler systems communicate with smoke alarms and pull stations, you must check to ensure that every part of your fire alarm system is functioning correctly each month. This can be a part of monthly fire drills if your business is operating in an industry with a high risk of fires.
3. Inspect All Control Valves
Check that all control valves are not leaking or corroded. Depending on the manufacturer of the sprinkler system, you may need to lubricate the valves on a monthly basis.
4. Check the Pressure
During monthly maintenance, you should check pressure gauges to ensure they remain within the manufacturer’s recommended range. If the pressure is too low, it could be a water supply issue or another issue with your fire suppression system.
5. Install Fire Sprinkler Head Guards
If you are running a business in an industry where mechanical operations could put your sprinkler heads at risk of damage, installing head guards is a good idea. Learn more by reading What Is a Fire Sprinkler Head Guard & How Do They Work?
As expected, your annual sprinkler system maintenance tasks must be more comprehensive. The following are just some of the ways your fire suppression system should be maintained; however, the manufacturer of your specific system may recommend further steps.
1. Schedule a Professional Inspection
Your fire protection system should be assessed and maintained by qualified professionals at least once per year. During their inspection, they will cover everything from the water pressure to the quality and condition of the piping. If the fire sprinkler inspection uncovers anything that needs to be repaired or replaced, they will explain the next steps.
2. Sprinkler System Flushing
A flush of your commercial sprinkler system is essential to help clear any debris or sediment that could be building up in the piping and fittings. After your system has been professionally inspected, you will be informed whether or not this step is necessary.
If you are performing the monthly and yearly tasks outlined above, you can remain confident that your commercial fire sprinkler system can be relied upon in the event of a large-scale fire.
That said, even well-maintained systems can suffer from occasional misfires due to faulty sensors or human error. Unfortunately, when this occurs, your business could suffer severe water damage.
Given that a single sprinkler in a commercial fire sprinkler system can release 60 gallons of water in a single minute, the structural damage and damage to your inventory and equipment can be severe.
This is where the Shutgun comes into play. The Shutgun is an affordable, user-friendly tool that can be used to shut off an activated fire sprinkler in seconds.
Rather than waiting for fire safety professionals to arrive to shut your commercial fire sprinklers off, the task can be completed in seconds, which could protect your business tens of thousands of dollars in water damage.
Learn more about the Shutgun and order your own by clicking below:
No matter what type of commercial fire sprinkler system your business relies on, it is always important to maintain it properly and regularly. Not only will this extend the lifespan of automatic fire sprinkler systems, but it can also help ensure their reliability and effectiveness.
Follow all of the monthly and yearly tasks we outlined above, as they will help you address any issues before they can cause your commercial sprinkler system to fail, misfire, or leak.
If you want to learn more about fire sprinklers, we recommend reading How Does a Fire Sprinkler System Work?