The Human Element in Fire Sprinkler Monitoring

Sprinkler Head in Facility

In a recent article from NFPA, it states, “three out of every five fire incidents where sprinklers fail to operate, the system has been shut off.” This is especially troubling because this can be easily fixed by added checks to the system.

Not all valves are supervised, so it is very important to make sure that after inspections or any other work, the valves are turned back on. Both contractors and staff have a part in making sure the valves are ready in case of an emergency.

For valves that are not supervised NPFA has certain allowances. “In lieu of electronic supervision, NFPA 13 also permits valves to be locked, sealed, and tagged to prevent unauthorized closing.” Seals must be checked weekly and locks monthly to assure no one has tampered with them.

The overall message of the article is that whether a valve is supervised or not, a visual check is truly the best way to assure that your system will work when it is called upon. Protegis Fire & Safety is equipped to help with your valve and sprinkler needs.  

1 NFPA – In Compliance | NFPA 13 – Monitoring the status of a sprinkler system by Brian O’Connor

5-Year Inspections are Essential!

NFPA standards require comprehensive inspections of piping systems every five years. The 5-Year Obstruction Inspection is a thorough examination of internal valves and piping for various types of insidious, flow-limiting buildup. It can uncover hidden signs of such deterioration as Microbially Induced Corrosion (MIC), one of the inherent woes of metal sprinkler pipes which, if not caught early, can cause enough damage to ultimately require the replacement of the entire sprinkler piping system.  You don’t want or need that expense!  Constriction can also be caused by the introduction and accumulation of sediment during construction, or even from nearby municipal water system repairs. The internal inspection of valves includes removing the valve covers to inspect their internal elements – strainers, filters and restriction orifices – for visible evidence of blockage.

Although we hope you’ll never require it, you depend upon your fire sprinkler system to protect your property from the costly ravages of fire.  Don’t wait until you need it to perform to find out that it’s blocked!  Scheduling a 5-year Obstruction Inspection of your system, as required by NFPA-25 standards, is the best way to peace of mind. Protegis Fire & Safety can conduct a 5-year inspection to keep your facility in compliance with code, save you money in the long term by identifying early signs of blockage or corrosion, and assure you that your sprinklers will function when you most need them.  We can also offer you system flushes to help remove accumulated deposits found during these inspections to keep your facility in compliance with code, save you money in the long term by identifying early signs of blockage or corrosion, and assure you that your sprinklers will function when you most need them.  We can also offer you system flushes to help remove accumulated deposits found during these inspections.