The National Fire Protection Association produces a series of numbered codes and standards for the life safety industry. NFPA 25 is the standard for the inspection, testing, and maintenance of water-based fire protection systems. Among other things, it details the inspection and testing requirements for fire pumps – a very important component in many automatic sprinkler systems.
A fire pump is a part of a fire sprinkler system’s water supply and is powered by electric, diesel or steam. Fire pumps are typically needed when the local municipal water system cannot provide sufficient pressure to meet the hydraulic design requirements of the fire sprinkler system.
Like any large, sophisticated system, fire sprinkler systems are composed of many sub-components including fire pump(s). If one component isn’t working, it can affect the proper operation of the entire system. Given its importance to life safety and property protection, regular testing, inspections, and maintenance are so critical.
It is incumbent on the building owner to know how frequently fire pump testing needs to be performed. Some owners assume that annual flow testing is sufficient, and no further testing is required. A common mistake system owners make is failing to stay current with changes to NFPA’s inspection and testing standards. The criteria that NFPA uses to establish the frequency for the no-flow testing – or “churn testing” – has changed in each of the last three publications of NFPA 25. The 2014 edition is the most recent version (as per the publication of this post).
Life safety systems are of little value if they are not regularly checked and maintained to ensure code compliance and proper operation. Some companies cut corners on inspections that could cost you in the long run. With Keystone Fire Protection Company, you get inspectors who conduct honest and thorough inspection of your fire pump and other fire protection equipment. Contact us today for more information.