Fire sprinklers are safety systems that are put into place in the event of a fire. They have pipes with sprinkler heads that are designed to spray water if a fire occurs. The heat from a fire will break a glass tube or melt a solder plug which then causes the water in the line to be released. These systems are popular because the sprinkler heads nearest the fires will be the only ones that go off.
If you have a fire sprinkler system in your business, it is important to understand how it works and what professionals must do to test it. Just as fire hydrants need regular fire flow testing to ensure they are working correctly, fire sprinkler systems do as well.
The control valve is vital to a sprinkler system because it controls the amount of water getting through. If it is partially or fully closed, the correct amount of water might not reach the problem area. Because of this, there is a sensor that alerts the building owners and the fire department if the valve is even partially closed. Inspectors close the valve and make sure that the sensor is working. They then place a tamper seal on the valve to ensure that it is in the correct position when they leave.
The system has a gauge built into it to ensure that the system has adequate water pressure. The inspector checks this gauge by opening the main drain of the system. In addition to checking water pressure, opening the main drain and checking the gauge tells the inspector if there are blockages in the pipes.
The system has something called an inspector’s test built into it. This test allows the inspector to simulate an activating sprinkler, which sends a signal to the fire alarm panel within 90 seconds. If the signal doesn’t reach the panel, the inspector knows there is an issue with the system.