A fire can be devastating. It can destroy property, interrupt business and cause injury or even death. This is what motivates us to take a proactive view of fire protection and take the necessary steps to help prevent or minimize losses caused by fire.
Water-based fire protection systems
Installing a water-based fire protection system is an effective means to help suppress accidental fires and reduce fire losses. Systems range from sprinkler to standpipe and hose systems.
At the heart of any system is the fire pump, which supplies water at the required flow level and pressure.
The fire pump must be inspected, tested and maintained regularly to ensure fast, effective response in a fire emergency. System failure for any reason could lead to potentially catastrophic losses.
Fire pump inspections, testing and maintenance
The responsibility for properly maintaining a water-based fire protection system lies with the owners or occupants of the property. These persons should be familiar with the inspection, testing and minimum maintenance intervals set out in National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 25 for fire pumps.
Summary of Fire Pump Inspection, Testing and Maintenance
|Pump house, heating ventilating louvers
|Fire pump system
|Controller, various components
|Diesel engine system, various components
Always consult a qualified professional to perform the initial fire pump inspections, tests and maintenance tasks. Follow-up testing may be performed by your in-house maintenance personnel, if they are properly trained by qualified personnel.
Inspecting your fire pump is among the easiest and quickest ways to identify a problem, such as a leaky pipe. Weekly inspections include, but are not limited to:
- Checking the condition of the pump house, pump system and electrical system. These tasks can be performed by trained maintenance personnel.
- Starting and running the pump to ensure proper operation and required pressure and flow. Make sure there are no leaks, unusual noise or vibration.
The annual pump test is more complicated and should be performed by a qualified fire pump-testing professional
Preventive maintenance is the key to a successful maintenance program and a properly functioning fire protection system. Through preventive maintenance, every component of your fire protection system is inspected, repaired and maintained in such a way that helps prevent failures.
Keep written records
Always maintain written documentation on all work performed on the pump, driver, controller and auxiliary equipment. Written records verify that a proper maintenance schedule has been followed and help shed light on any problem areas.
Minimize the likelihood of a catastrophic fire
It’s your business, and a loss due to a malfunctioning fire pump can be catastrophic. Nobody knows when a fire will happen, but you can take measures to help reduce the potential damage, including:
- Having written procedures
- Recording test results
- Documenting inspections and maintenance procedures
- Communicating effectively with the appropriate personnel