How To Perform Fire Sprinkler Maintenance
As a building and property manager, you have many responsibilities. Tenants expect you to maintain the property to ensure all safety features and utilities work correctly. Fire sprinkler maintenance should be chief among safety checks, according to fire remediation specialists in Bountiful, UT. These checks should include:
- Control valves
- Sprinkler heads
- Water pressure
Additionally, management needs to ensure that tenants know how to work around fire prevention systems. If you are in building management, there are at least five steps you need to take to ensure sprinkler systems remain functional and effective.
The 5 Steps of Fire Sprinkler Maintenance
All systems of fire sprinklers are similar but different. Before you delve into the five steps and self-assessments, check with the manufacturer or manual for your respective system. The following list is meant as a general overview of essential sprinkler maintenance and inspection.
1. Check Control Valves
Non-electric control valves essentially have two positions: open and closed. If the valves are closed, no water can get to the sprinklers, meaning the system is worthless if a fire breaks out. The valves should always remain open. Unfortunately, you never know when someone might mistakenly close the valves with tenants. Therefore, you should get in the habit of checking the valves weekly.
2. Clean Sprinkler Heads
As sprinklers are stationary and open to the environment, they tend to collect dust and debris. In kitchens, the heads can become coated with grease. As management, your job is to ensure the heads remain clean to avoid any impedance if a fire occurs. Additionally, it would be best if you never painted over a sprinkler.
3. Check Water Pressure Quarterly
For a sprinkler system to do its job, it requires adequate water pressure. Unfortunately, checking water pressure is not something most building managers or owners are trained to do. Therefore, you will probably need to bring in a plumbing or fire professional to check the pressure. This is a job that should be performed at least four times per year.
4. Clear Space Directly Under Sprinklers
Tenants will not always know how to work around sprinkler systems, so it is up to the property manager to inform them of what is and is not Ok. One common mistake tenants make is positioning shelving or tall furniture directly underneath the heads or the system. While the location of the furniture might suit the tenant, it obstructs the effectiveness of the sprinkler. Sprinklers are designed to cover a specific area with water. When a piece of furniture is blocking its head, the water will not cover as much of the site as it is supposed to.
5. Call Professionals for Annual Inspections
DIY inspections have their place, but since you are not a professional, hiring a company to assess the system at least once per year is best. The professionals will perform all the routine inspections above and more to ensure your system is operating as it should.
Commercial fire sprinkler maintenance is essential to a functioning and safe facility. When was the last time you had a professional inspection at your building?