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Testing

Testing

Testing of fire sprinkler systems is both critical to proper operation and mandated by most local jurisdictions.  Approved Fire Prevention has been performing tests before local Fire Marshals and Fire Inspectors since inception.  The New York City Bureau of Fire Suppression requires mandatory hydrostatic pressure testing on all sprinkler and standpipe systems by a licensed fire sprinkler contractor.  Additionally, local Fire Marshals outside of NYC often require records of testing by a licensed contractor as well as testing witnessed by local authorities (contact Approved Fire Prevention for specific regulations in your jurisdiction).

In addition to testing required by AHJs, the National Fire Protection Associated (NFPA) has strict guidelines for maintaining and ensuring the functionality of fire sprinkler and standpipe systems.  Many fire sprinkler testing and inspection companies use inspectors to perform highly mechanical testing such as dry valve trip tests and fire pump flow tests.  Though these inspectors are typically knowledgeable of code, they are often not equipped with the proper equipment to adequately perform these tests.  All Approved Fire Prevention testing is performed by a team of two skilled technicians, equipped with all tools and materials necessary not only for proper testing, but also to make necessary adjustments and repairs on site.  This added service reduces system downtime and administrative burden while reducing costs by eliminating future service visits.

Like all areas of servicing fire sprinkler systems, documentation and transparency are essential for minimizing risk and complying with local jurisdictions.  Our administrative staff is familiar with all paperwork requirements, including NYC issued violations.  Approved Fire Prevention is your first and only call for understanding, curing and resolving violations.

Below are the basic requirements for sprinkler system, standpipe system, fire pump and water tank testing per NFPA 25.  New York City and surrounding local jurisdictions require property owners to follow codes based on this national standard.  Please note, inspection standards vary for different systems and additional inspection criteria are necessary for auxiliary components and systems.  Please contact our office for a full proposal tailored to your specific property’s needs.

Summary of Sprinkler System Testing

Item Frequency
Waterflow Alarm Devices (mechanical) Quarterly
Main Drain* Quarterly
Waterflow Alarm Devices (vane and pressure switch type) Semiannually
Supervisory Signal Devices (including valve devices) Semiannually
Main Drain (direct supply) Annually (and after operation)
Antifreeze Solution Annually
Gauges 5 Years
Sprinkler (extra-high temperature) 5 Years
Sprinklers (dry) 10 Years
Sprinklers (fast response) 20 Years
Sprinklers (standard) 50 Years

Source: NFPA 25, 2011 Edition, Section 5.1.1.2.

*In systems where the sole water supply is through a backflow preventer and/or pressure reducing valves, the main drain test of at least one system downstream of the device shall be conducted on a quarterly basis.

Summary of Standpipe and Hose Systems Testing

Item Frequency
Waterflow Alarm Devices (mechanical) Quarterly
Main Drain* Quarterly
Waterflow Alarm Devices (vane and pressure switch type) Semiannually
Supervisory Signal Devices (including valve devices) Semiannually
Main Drain (direct supply) Annually (and after operation)
Hose Storage Device Annually
Pressure Control Valve Annually
Hose 5 Years
Pressure Reducing Valve 5 Years
Hydrostatic Test 5 Years
Flow Test 5 Years

Source: NFPA 25, 2011 Edition, Section 6.1.1.2.

*In systems where the sole water supply is through a backflow preventer and/or pressure reducing valves, the main drain test of at least one system downstream of the device shall be conducted on a quarterly basis.

Summary of Fire Pump Testing

Item Frequency
No-Flow Operation (diesel engine driven) Weekly
No-Flow Operation (electric motor driven) Monthly
Full Flow Operation Annually
Fire Pump Alarm Signals Annually

Source: NFPA 25, 2011 Edition, Section 8.1.1.2.

Summary of Water Storage Tank Testing

Item Frequency
Low Temperature Alarms Monthly (cold weather only)
High Temperature Limit Switches Monthly (when heater in operation)
Water Level Alarms Semiannually
Tank Heating Systems Annually (prior to heating season)
Level Indicators 5 Years
Pressure Gauges 5 Years

Source: NFPA 25, 2011 Edition, Section 9.1.1.2.

Reprinted with permission from NFPA 25-2011, Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, Copyright © 2010, National Fire Protection Association, Quincy, MA. This reprinted material is not the complete and official position of the NFPA on the referenced subject, which is represented only by the standard in its entirety.

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