Testing is not only recommended but required on all quick response sprinkler systems, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Quick response sprinklers are those most often used in commercial buildings that cater to multiple tenants or guests. These include schools, hotels, hospitals, and more. Quick response sprinklers have shorter reaction times than standard response units to give people time to evacuate in the event of a fire. If your facility hasn’t undergone a sprinkler inspection in over a year, you could be putting yourself and your occupants at risk. Perform regular check-ups, maintenance, and testing on your sprinkler heads, and have a sprinkler shut off tool nearby so you’re prepared in every emergency.
How to Test Quick Response Sprinklers
To test a quick response fire sprinkler head, it must first be removed from the building. This means calling in a professional testing company. A service associate will come and remove a sampling of sprinkler heads throughout your facility, often from different floors and working environments. These heads will then be taken off-site and tested for compliance. Afterward, new ones will be installed in their place.
It’s good to note that if any sprinklers fail the off-site testing, code requires that all sprinkler heads in that area of your facility be replaced. This is for your own protection and for protecting your occupants should a fire break out. Having old, rusted or corroded sprinkler heads in place, or allowing heads to be painted over or compromised by grease, dust, and debris could mean the difference between life and death. It’s better to have your system regularly inspected and maintained, so you know it will perform well when you need it to.
Testing Prevents Malfunctions
Aside from keeping your sprinkler system in good, working order, routine inspections also help prevent costly malfunctions. Millions of dollar worth of damage occur each year from malfunctioning sprinkler systems in commercial buildings. A malfunction happens when a sprinkler mistakenly activates when there’s no fire. This can happen for several reasons:
- The sprinkler was installed too close to a heating source
- The sprinkler was damaged in construction or remodeling
- The sprinkler was vandalized
- The sprinkler was old and cranky
A sprinkler shut off tool will stop the flow of water from a malfunctioning sprinkler easily. It can stop thousands of dollars in water damage in the time it takes to pull a trigger. Have one nearby on every floor of your commercial property in the event a sprinkler activates in a non-emergency.For more information on purchasing and using a sprinkler shut off tool, contact us today. We’re the Shutgun experts.