Essential Tips for Inspecting a Fire Sprinkler System

An automatic sprinkler system is the first line of defence in case of a fire in a commercial building. It plays a crucial role in preventing a fire from spreading by reducing the oxygen supply. Most importantly, it goes a long way in protecting occupants and property. However, how do you know that a building's automatic sprinkler system will perform when needed? The only way to guarantee functionality is by conducting regular inspections. This article highlights essential tips for inspecting an automated sprinkler system.

Control Valves -- A control valve is the first inspection point when examining an automatic sprinkler system. The reason is that the control valve determines how effectively the system releases water through the piping to the sprinkler heads. The control valves in a properly functioning automatic sprinkler open and close when the system's sensors detect high temperatures or low pressure. Inspection of control valves also involves testing tamper switches that are installed in the system. Tamper switches make it easy to detect problems within control valves and send a signal to the system's control panel when the valves are partially closed or open. Due to their importance to the functioning of control valves, tamper switches must be inspected regularly in commercial buildings.

Sprinkler Heads and Piping -- A visual inspection of the sprinkler heads and piping is also critical to ensuring that the system performs as required. First, a visual inspection of the sprinkler heads is designed to check for possible clogging. If there is a clog in the sprinkler heads, the chances are high that they will not spread water over the desired distance, reducing the system's ability to suppress a fire. If you find any clogs, clean the affected sprinkler heads thoroughly. You should also inspect the piping for signs of corrosion because rusty pipes are more likely to leak, affecting water pressure.

Water Pressure -- Water pressure is crucial to the effectiveness of a fire sprinkler system. The reason is that sprinkler heads are designed to spread water over a certain distance. For example, if a system experiences low water pressure, the chances are high that it will take a long time to fight a fire. During an inspection, open the fire sprinkler system's main drain, then use a gauge to confirm whether optimal pressure is achieved. Remember to record the readings on a fire equipment inspection report and the annual fire safety statement.

Contact a company that sells fire equipment to learn more.