Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Fire Alarm & Systems Cheat Sheet

Fire safety systems and equipment maintenance, similar to homeowner’s insurance or car insurance, often feel like something that doesn’t have a significant return on investment in the moment.

However, without proper maintenance and testing your fire suppression system may not work in the event of a fire, leaving you facing hundreds or thousands of dollars in damages, and putting yourself and your employees at risk. Poorly-functioning fire safety systems can often mean the difference between a small, localized fire and a catastrophic one that endangers lives.

But how often should you be scheduling maintenance and servicing? Below is a brief overview of how often you should be scheduling appointments with your Bison Fire Protection technician:

Fire Alarm System Maintenance

How often: Annually, unless your building houses flammable materials or performs hazardous operations.

What we check for: Annual inspections generally encompass your entire fire suppression system, which includes:

?     Your alarm panel

?     Testing communications between the fire department and/or third-party monitoring

?     Your backup batteries are fully functioning

?     Individual components such as pull stations, smoke detectors, heat detectors, etc.

Sprinkler Systems

How often: Annual inspections except for unique, higher-risk circumstances

What we check for:

?     That your valves between the water main and sprinkler system are working

?     Appropriate air pressure in the dry system

?     Visually inspect the sprinkler heads to make sure they aren’t corroded or clogged

?     All your pipes are properly supported

?     Drainage is working properly

?     Water flow testing for your fire pump

Fire Hydrants

How often: Annually (are you sensing a theme here?). If you are on a municipal property then your hydrant will usually be inspected by your municipality, but we will inspect hydrants located on private property.

What we check for:

?     The valve is working properly

?     The hydrant isn’t leaking

?     That no dirt or silt is in the water

?     Chlorine levels in the water

Gas or Chemical Fire Suppression Systems

How often: Bi-annually.

What we check for:

?     No dents, cracks or corrosion on the tanks

?     Test the tank pressure

?     Make sure that the nozzles are clear of debris and un-corroded

?     Testing all the electrical and mechanical components

Fire Extinguisher Inspection

How often: Annually. Every six years the extinguishers should also be pulled apart and be checked internally as well.

What are check for:

?     That the containers haven’t been dented or damaged

?     Pressure inside the tank is at the right levels

?     The extinguisher is properly supported

Emergency Lighting

What we check for:

?     That emergency lights are able to operate via battery for 30 minutes - two hours.

?     Check the batteries for corrosion, damage, and double-check their shelf life

?     Inspect fixtures for cracks and corrosion

?     Ensuring that wiring converters are functioning properly

Want more information?

Your local Bison Fire Protection technicians are always happy to answer any questions you may have about your fire alarm system, and can advise you on how frequently specific areas should be tested, upgraded, and replaced entirely.

For more information about fire alarm systems, and how we can help you stay safe in the event of a fire, give us a call at (204) 237-3473.

Posted by Rob Read at 10:09 AM

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