How Often Should You Have Your Fire Safety System Inspected?

Jul 12, 2020 | Fire Systems Inspections

fire alarm inspection in Philadelphia
Fire safety systems include but are not limited to alarms, sprinklers, and extinguishers. How often you should get each of these inspected depends on the types and ages of the systems you use, as well as the jurisdiction in which your business exists.

Cities, counties, and states sometimes each have their own fire codes and inspection requirements. OSHA plays a role, too, with its own fire safety rules including equipment inspection standards. Using professional fire alarm companies in Philadelphia like Keystone Fire Protection helps you navigate the patchwork of regulations, so you stay compliant — and more importantly, so these systems protect your workers. Forget the hassle and headache of remembering when your systems are due for inspection. We’ll handle it for you.

Alarms

Building owners or occupants can inspect weekly for easy to spot problems like leaks, cracks, warning lights, and obstructions blocking alarms. Building maintenance personnel can check power supplies. Alarm tests performed trained individuals as well as regular fire drills must follow the frequency required by your local fire authorities. It is also necessary to report tests and drills to the local fire department so they are aware there is no real emergency.

A fire systems company should inspect alarms at least annually. This inspection covers a host of details depending on the type of alarm system, like inspection of control panel(s), tests of all associated devices like smoke detectors and heat detectors, warning systems operations, batteries and power, and much more. A great fire systems company will keep track of your inspection requirements and call you to schedule your next inspection or test.

Sprinklers

Generally, sprinkler systems need quarterly inspections, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and an annual inspection too. Some jurisdictions only call for an annual inspection, but your fire systems professionals can help you set the schedule you need.

Weekly checks on sprinkler gauges help ensure you do not miss any potential system issues. It’s as easy as looking to see if the needle on the gauge indicates your system is still properly pressurized. Quarterly, your fire protection company should inspect water flow alarms, gauges, the control valves, backflows and more. The annual inspection is a more intensive examination of pipes, braces, fittings, hangers, sprinkler heads, and everything the quarterly inspections examine, too. Every five years, the system needs an internal inspection to ensure pipes are not corroded or blocked inside.

If your building experiences weather extremes, especially severe cold, consider scheduling more inspections to avoid a freeze break. In the event of flooding, there is a chance meter pits will flood where backflows are located, and they will need to be pumped out. Additionally, any pumps that take suction from a pond or reservoir may need to have the debris cleaned from the screens around the suction. Lastly, sprinkler drains that lead to outside drains could also be clogged with debris after flooding subsides; it is important to check and clean when necessary. On another note, if you inherited an old sprinkler system, get it checked when you move in, not when the next quarter rolls around.

Fire extinguishers

Commercial grade fire extinguishers are only as good as the service and maintenance you provide them. Occupants can run basic weekly and monthly checks for exterior damage, broken seals, leaks, or gauges showing unusual readings. It really is as simple as it sounds – just look at the extinguisher to see if there is any visible damage. If you or someone else used the extinguisher recently to put out a fire, call your fire protection company right away for a refill and recharge.

Professionals should inspect and test extinguishers annually. Depending on the type of extinguisher – foam, wet or dry chemicals, water, wheeled units, etc. – inspection and testing frequencies vary. Key services include hydrostatic testing, and five, six, or 12-year internal maintenance (depending on the cylinder).

Call in professionals if you renovate or alter your office or warehouse layout. You might need more extinguishers or a change in extinguisher locations to adhere to fire and workplace safety codes. Keystone offers loaner service and we can recharge most units right at your facility, saving you time and money.

Keystone Fire Protection Co. offers comprehensive fire protection services in Montgomery County, PA – where we are headquartered – and throughout the tri-state area. If you’re looking for fire alarm inspection in Philadelphia or other surrounding areas, contact us today.

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