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How Often Should Fire Suppression Systems Be Inspected?

Fire suppression systems are installed in various commercial properties, including offices, schools, and hotels. These systems are designed to suppress fires by releasing a fire-retardant agent to prevent flames from spreading. Regularly inspecting fire suppression systems is a crucial way to help ensure their reliability when needed.

The frequency of inspections for your building's fire suppression system will vary based on the design and usage of the building as well as local codes. Ask your property management company or fire safety consultant to determine how often you should check your building's fire suppression system.

Fire suppression systems must meet specific criteria to be effective and compliant with local fire codes. Regular inspection of these systems is essential to ensure they function correctly and respond if a fire begins. In this article, we will share what the best practices are when working with a fire suppression system. 

Things to Look for When Conducting Fire System Inspections

As you perform your fire suppression system inspection, there are a few things to look for:

Proper System Functioning:

Does the fire suppression system work? Does it activate when it should? Is there adequate pressure in the system? 

System Pressure:

An improper pressure reading can indicate a leak in the system, which should be flagged and repaired as soon as possible. Common problems with system pressure include a lack of pressure and excessive pressure. 

System Maintenance Requirements:

Fire suppression systems have regularly scheduled maintenance requirements, such as checking and testing the equipment. Make sure the system used in your building meets all local codes and standards for fire sprinklers and CO2 systems. 

System Maintenance Records: 

Be sure to check the system maintenance records regularly. The records are where you will find details on the last quarterly maintenance checks, including the date the check was completed and by whom.

Fire Alarm System Inspection

As part of your fire suppression system inspection, you should also look at and test the building's fire alarm system.

Fire alarms are responsible for alerting building occupants of a fire and directing them to exit the building safely. The alarms are also essential for notifying the fire department and triggering the fire suppression system.

To perform your fire alarm system inspection, you should first visually inspect the system to ensure no physical issues or defects. Next, you should verify that the fire alarm system is connected to the fire suppression system (if it's not, you will want to fix it). You can then test the system to make sure it is functioning correctly.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) System Inspection

The CO2 fire suppression system uses pressurized carbon dioxide to put out flames. The system is monitored and activated from a central location to allow quick response and control over all of the systems in the building.

Monitoring and maintenance of CO2 systems are critical for ensuring their reliability. CO2 systems require significant maintenance to remain in good working condition. Check the CO2 system's maintenance records regularly and report any issues or concerns to the property's maintenance team.

Monthly Inspections

Monthly inspections are a great way to help ensure that your fire suppression system is operating correctly and has not been affected by wear and tear over time.

Carbon Dioxide Systems: 

CO2 systems should be inspected monthly to check for leaks, low pressure, and improper flow rates. This can be done by checking the pressure gauge and visually inspecting the equipment and piping.

Fire Sprinkler Systems: 

Fire sprinkler systems should be inspected monthly for low water flow or clogs in the sprinkler heads or pipes. This can be done by visually inspecting the sprinkler heads and piping and checking the water pressure using a pressure gauge.

Biannual Inspections

Biannual inspections are recommended for fire sprinkler systems. A certified fire protection contractor should conduct them.

CO2 Systems: 

Every six months, CO2 systems should be checked for leaks, low pressure, and improper flow rates.

Fire Sprinkler Systems: 

During the biannual inspection, the contractor will verify that the system is installed correctly and has not been affected by wear and tear over time. It's also essential to check the system's documentation to ensure that all maintenance has been completed. 

Semi-Annual Inspections

Semi-annual inspections are also recommended for CO2 systems, and it's crucial to find a certified fire protection contractor to conduct them.

CO2 Systems: 

During the semi-annual inspection, the contractor will verify that the system is installed correctly and has not been affected by wear and tear over time. It's also essential to check the system's documentation to ensure that all maintenance has been completed.

Fire Sprinkler Systems: 

Semi-annual inspections are not generally required for fire sprinkler systems.

Annual Inspections

Annual inspections are the most thorough and complete way to ensure that your fire suppression system is operating correctly. A certified fire protection contractor should conduct these. 

This inspection should include the following: 

  • A visual inspection of the entire fire suppression system, including the detection and control components. 
  • Document verification that all maintenance has been completed.

Key Things To Remember

Fire suppression systems are essential in the prevention of fire. When adequately inspected and maintained, these systems can be a valuable safety tool to help save lives.

Unfortunately, not all fire suppression systems are created equal. Some may not work effectively or may fail to perform their intended purpose entirely. It could be hazardous if you don't know what you're looking for regarding a fire suppression system.

By taking the proper steps, you can ensure that your system is safe and effective and will continue to keep people and property protected from harm. 

To Recap:

  1. Ensure the system is working correctly by being tested before each use. Otherwise, it is at risk of failing while in use.
  2. Make sure there are no issues with the system's valves and piping. Any defects could lead to leaks and failure of the system.
  3. Check your system often to ensure everything works well. 

Conclusion

Fire suppression systems are essential safety features in commercial buildings. These systems are designed to quickly extinguish fires by releasing a fire-retardant agent to prevent the flames from spreading.

A professional must regularly inspect fire systems to ensure they are in good working condition. We recommend scheduling an annual inspection with a certified contractor for a thorough assessment, guaranteeing your building and its occupants remain safe in case of fire.

How protected are you?

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schedule a free quote.

✆ 858-531-8473

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