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10 Tips For Maintaining Your Fire Sprinkler System

Fire sprinkler maintenance is crucial because it gives your home a much-needed layer of protection against fires. According to an NFPA study, when sprinklers were present, flame damage was confined to the room of origin 97% of the time, in contrast to 74% of the time for fires where sprinkler systems were not present. Even if the chances of a fire are very low, it's important to schedule maintenance for your fire sprinkler system to keep it fully functional. Here are the top ten tips you need to know about.

Schedule Regular Physical Inspections

Have you taken a closer look at your fire sprinkler system lately? We recommend that you start by performing a physical inspection and checking to see if anything is amiss. You'll be surprised at how a simple inspection can alert you to potential problems that may prevent your system from working as it should. For instance, you may notice that there's a blockage that shouldn't be there or that there are items hanging from the sprinkler heads that can cause damage and need to be removed. If you're not sure what to look for, you can call a professional for help.

Check The Control Valves

If your sprinkler control valves are non-electric, then they should be kept open at all times. Non-electric control valves differ from the electric ones, which automatically turn on when a fire breaks out. If you keep your non-electric sprinkler control valves closed at all times and the unexpected happens, your sprinkler system will literally be useless. So it's essential to always double-check if the control valves are fully open. If you have electronic control valves, you don't have to worry about this step, but you do need to test the valves regularly to check up on their performance.

Remove High-Height Objects

When a fire sprinkler system is in action, it should be able to distribute water efficiently. But this won't happen if there's something blocking the sprinkler head, whether it's furniture, equipment, or stacked objects. While this is not a maintenance measure per se, it's all part of ensuring that your fire sprinkler system works as it should. Sometimes, it's easy to overlook how objects are positioned in various spaces. So once in a while, walk around and inspect the area beneath sprinklers to make sure there are no high objects that can interfere with the spray of water or which can become potential fire hazards.

Ensure Adequate Water Pressure For Sprinklers

Without adequate water pressure, you can't fully rely on your sprinkler system to protect your property. That's because when the water pressure is low, the sprinklers won't be able to distribute enough water spray throughout the room. That's why you need to check the water pressure to make sure it's effective against a real-life fire. If you notice low water pressure problems with your sprinkler only while other water fixtures in your home are not experiencing this problem, you might want to check that the system's valves are open, not closed.

Purchase Extra Sprinkler Heads

When it comes to maintaining the smooth operation of your sprinkler system, you should always be prepared. For instance, make it a rule to always keep extra sprinkler heads around, preferably more than five. That way, if the existing sprinkler heads get accidentally damaged, you can always quickly swap out the damaged ones. This ensures that your fire sprinkler system is always in protection mode with no gaps in between where you're busy looking for replacement sprinkler heads at the store. When stocking up on sprinkler heads, be sure to buy the exact same ones you have that match the system.

Ensure Nothing Obstructs Flow Of Water From Sprinkler Heads

Sometimes there may be nothing at all wrong with your sprinkler heads that a little cleaning won't fix. For instance, over time, it's normal for sprinkler heads to acquire a layer of grime which can end up impeding the flow of water. Sprinkler heads that are located in the kitchen can also acquire a layer of grease that can end up obstructing the flow of water. If the room's ceiling was painted any time in the past, check to see if the sprinkler heads were also painted (ideally, this should never happen). To avoid any issues, make sure you remove the dirt, grease, paint, or grime coating the sprinkler heads.

Be On The Lookout For Fire Sprinkler System Failure

While you may not be equipped to diagnose fire sprinkler problems, you should be aware of the conditions that create potential issues. For instance, do you know that freezing temperatures can lead to frozen pipes in your sprinkler system? This can create cracks that damage the system. Similarly, corrosion and faulty installation can contribute to the failure of your fire sprinkler system, and you should take steps to prevent them from happening. This is why maintenance of your sprinkler system is so important. It helps prevent and highlight issues that can potentially cause your sprinkler system to become ineffective.

Check The Efficacy Of Your Fire Sprinkler System

When doing maintenance work on your sprinkler system, it may be necessary to activate it so you can confirm if it's operating effectively and as expected. Some property owners only find out that their system is ineffective when it's too late. An ineffective fire sprinkler system doesn't do much to stop the spread of a fire throughout the building since it's inefficient at dispersing water. That means the fire will cause more damage than it was supposed to, and this can be very costly for you. So always be aware of any lowered efficacy on the part of your fire sprinkler system.

Familiarize Yourself With Your Fire Sprinkler System

Do you know the location of your fire sprinkler shutoff valve? If you do, then that's a good start. Keep in mind that your fire sprinkler system also has other components that require maintenance. For best results, you should be familiar with all these components. To begin with, there are the gauges, sprinkler heads, and valves. If any of these parts require replacement, you should contact a professional to upgrade the system and keep your building safe and protected from the risk of fire.

Schedule Annual Professional Inspection

While you should make an effort to perform your own physical inspection of the sprinkler system, you should also ensure that it's inspected by a qualified and experienced contractor. This inspection should take place at least once a year. Typically, the contractor will perform a thorough examination of the entire system and perform maintenance on all the major components, such as the sprinkler heads and valves. The contractor may also perform an internal assessment that checks for and removes blockages in the piping. The inspector will also evaluate the system to determine if there are any defective parts or any parts that need to be replaced.

As you can see, there's a lot you can do to keep your fire sprinkler system in the best condition possible. If your property is protected by a properly functioning fire sprinkler system, this will go a long way towards minimizing the risk of damage and fatalities. There are many other benefits of installing a fire sprinkler system and ensuring that it's properly maintained. If you would like to know more about fire sprinkler systems, get in touch with our experts. You can also get in touch to find out more about our services related to fire sprinkler systems and how they can benefit you.