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Batteries – More Important Than You Think

Batteries – More Important Than You Think

Batteries in Fire Alarm Control Panels, Transponders, Booster (NAC) Panels, Emergency Lights and Diesel Fire Pumps:

The backup batteries in your electronic life safety systems are engineered to allow them to perform their intended functions in the event of a power failure. They can keep your systems functional for a day (24 hours), or a weekend (60 hours), depending on the system design. During that backup period, they should retain enough power to allow the system to sound an emergency evacuation, or to light the way to safety. In the case of diesel fire pumps, the batteries, just like in your car or truck, supply the “cranking” power required to start the pump engine when called upon. We all know what happens when your car battery fails – you’re stuck!

Emergency Exit Sign
Emergency Exit Sign

Do you know how many and what type of batteries are in your life safety systems? How about their locations? Do you know the life expectancy of each? Are you sure that they are all properly charged, ready and able to perform their duty? If any of them were not, or were approaching the end of their lifespan, wouldn’t you want to know before an actual emergency so that you could have them replaced to avoid even the possibility of their failure? An experienced and reliable testing and inspection services provider like Protegis Fire & Safety can be your assurance that you don’t ever have to ask or answer these questions. Yearly battery testing is recommended, as an integral part of regularly-scheduled inspections of your life safety systems, to ensure the protection of your people and property against the danger of fire.

The worst time to find out that your life safety system is unable to perform its designated function is during an emergency. Protegis installs, inspects, services and monitors systems (with batteries!) at locations throughout the United States.

Monitoring Sprinkler Pressure Gauges

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The results obtained from sprinkler system testing are only as valid as the instruments used for measurement. Old, damaged, or faulty water or air pressure gauges are likely to produce inaccurate test results and result in an unreliable system that may fail when you most need it. Although fire protection companies can perform regular inspections and provide maintenance services, the property management team should be instructed in the periodic visual inspection of pressure gauges to ensure proper operation in the event of a fire activation. This important preventive maintenance check will allow your company to be proactive when a deficiency is found.  When inspecting your sprinkler pressure gauges, be sure to refer to previous inspection reports or inspection tags to verify the recorded pressure. This procedure should be scheduled daily, as well as after any power outage that affects your building.  System components from the point of connection, including control valves, backflow preventers, and pressure-reducing valves, should also be regularly inspected and tested for proper operation.

In the event that any sprinkler system gauges are found to be impaired, or if your gauges show evidence of a reduction in water supply pressure, local administrative procedures for notifying your fire sprinkler service provider should be followed immediately.

Whenever an impairment is found, you will want your fire protection service company to take the proper steps to resolve the issue in a timely manner. Should you have an emergency or need a repair to your system, you can trust Protegis Fire & Safety to be ready to meet your needs at any time, day or night.

Reduce fire damage and asset loss by 97%

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A single sprinkler controls a fire 90 percent of the time, saving a majority of a home or company’s possessions.1 Also, the average fire loss in a building with a sprinkler system is $2,166 as opposed to $45,019 without the protection.2

Sprinkler systems reduce fire damage by up to 97 percent.

When properly maintained and inspected, fire sprinkler systems are among the most essential investments you will make in ensuring the safety of your facility. Trusting that your systems will optimally perform in the event of an emergency depends upon finding a fire protection company upon which you can rely to professionally install, service and inspect your fire sprinkler systems. When you work with Protegis Fire & Safety, you get the full-scale capability of one of the most established and experienced fire protection companies in the United States.

Notes:
1. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
2. Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition

The Importance of Testing Your Fire Pump

A fire pump is an integral component of a total fire protection system.  A fire protection system at a facility may include automatic sprinkler systems, standpipes, hose stations, and/or fire hydrants.

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The purpose of a fire pump is to provide or enhance the water supply pressure from public mains, suction tanks, gravity/elevated tanks, lakes, and other bodies of water.

The building owner or a representative (e.g., management company) is responsible for the maintenance of the fire pump.  Fire pumps should be inspected, maintained and tested per the manufacturer’s specifications.  If the manufacturer’s specifications are unavailable, refer to the standard for the maintenance of fire pumps NFPA 25 (Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems) or contact the Protegis Fire & Safety’s Automatic Sprinkler Systems Inspection, Maintenance, and Testing Department.

A comprehensive maintenance program is generally broken down into three components:  inspection, maintenance and testing.

Inspection.  A visual examination of the fire pump to verify that it appears to be in operating condition and is free of physical damage.  Examples include:

  • Heat in pump room is minimum 40 degrees F (70 degrees F for diesel engines)
  • Pump suction, discharge, and bypass valves are open.
  • Controller pilot light (power on) is illuminated.

Protegis also offers maintenance that is performed during this inspection.
Examples include:

  • Lubricate pump bearings
  • Clean pump room louvers
  • Clean coolant strainer in coolant system

Testing.  A procedure used to determine the status of the fire pump and auxiliary equipment by conducting periodic physical checks.  Examples include:

  • Conduct a routine churn test as required by NFPA 25
    (run pump without water flowing)
  • Conduct an annual full-flow performance test
  • Operate alarm, supervisory, and trouble signals

Measures should be taken during an impairment to ensure that increased risks are minimized and that the duration of the impairment is limited.  NFPA 20 provides a trouble-shooting checklist to help in identifying causes of pump problems.  Qualified personnel, such as Fireguard, must make the necessary repairs and adjustments to ensure proper pump operation.

Understanding the proper selection, installation, and maintenance of a fire pump can make the difference between business as usual and a catastrophe at a facility. Let Protegis Fire & Safety be there for you for all your needs. We are your one stop shop for all commercial fire protection needs. Our services range from the installation of fire protection systems in new construction projects to retrofits, to service, testing and inspection of fire sprinkler systems, fire pumps, fire alarm systems, fire extinguishers, kitchen hood systems and emergency lights.

UL 300 Fire Suppression Systems

UL 300 Fire Suppression Systems for Restaurant Kitchens

UL 300 Compliance

It’s time to take a radical stance on restaurant fire safety.

Automatic fire suppression systems for commercial kitchen hoods—called “restaurant systems” in the fire protection industry—have been required to comply with Standard UL 300 since 1994. Older non-UL 300 systems are not designed to handle fires in modern kitchens, and keeping one of these systems in place typically costs more than upgrading to a modern model. Despite these facts, a dwindling handful of commercial kitchen operators continue to hold onto their old systems. With 7,600 restaurant fires occurring annually in the US, that’s a poor bet to take. Click below to learn more.

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