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smiling family with domestic sprinklers

How Often Do Domestic Sprinklers Need Testing?

Over the years, we have installed literally ‘hundreds’ of domestic sprinklers and yet the take-up rate for a maintenance contract which includes an annual test is extremely low.

How important is a yearly test for a mains system?

A domestic sprinkler system connected to a mains water supply needs very little maintenance however there are a couple of checks which are essential. In fact the typical type of concealed fire sprinkler head which is the most frequently installed sprinkler head in domestic situations requires nothing more than a visual inspection to ensure that the cover plate is free to release in the event of a fire. These cover plates are often painted when the ceiling is decorated which can delay the activation of the domestic sprinkler.

Another consideration is whether or not the audible alarm associated with the system is functioning correctly.

The most important consideration, however, is to verify that the pressure and flow available from the town main is still sufficient to ensure the system tackles a fire effectively in the event of the domestic fire sprinkler activating.

The pressure gauge never lies! – or does it?

Every domestic fire protection system incorporates a pressure gauge. However, you should never solely rely on the system pressure gauge reading to verify that the system is functioning correctly for the following reason:

Every system also incorporates a non return valve which allows water to pass from the town main into the sprinkler pipe work. This allows the pressure within the system, to build up to that of the town main when it is initially filled. The problem is that should the pressure in the town main be reduced or worse still a valve is closed by mistake upstream, the pressure on the other side of the non-return valve (i.e. in the domestic sprinklers pipework) will remain unchanged because the non-return valve prevents any flow from the system back into the town mains ( or pressure equalisation)

The only way to verify that there are not any hydraulic restrictions in the supply to the system is to carry out a dynamic pressure and flow test

Who should carry out yearly testing?

Some private individuals and organisations which have had home fire sprinkler systems installed in their properties rely on a fire alarm company to carry out the yearly testing even though BS9251 states that testing should be carried out by suitably trained staff

The only way to test a domestic sprinklers properly is to know the dynamic pressure and flow requirements which the system designer had calculated at the time of installation and then to drain a very large quantity of water from the system noting the flow rate ensuring that the dynamic pressure reading at this flow matches the system requirement. This method of testing is called equivalence testing and utilises skills and equipment which the average fire alarm testing company would not possess.


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Mist system was a great solution for our renovation needs and them team at RAD have been great. Always communicated clearly and been on hand to discuss over the phone as needed. Would highly recommend!
09:32 17 Jul 22
I have used RAD for a couple of projects and found them to be good to deal with. They did a pair of 3 storey open plan houses and seven three and four story town houses. The sprinklers were to improve fire safety, allow more flexible space and comply with building regulations. The sprinklers were far more cost effective than the mist type systems and look very discrete when installed.
Paul Jeary
15:50 11 Jul 22
It has been a pleasure to deal with RAD for installation of fire sprinklers at our site is Sevenoaks. They were fast, professional, working to time and quote, which made it easy to work with them.
Katrina Horobin
12:03 29 Jun 22
My requirement was a bit unusual for RAD in that I wanted a mist system in one room of a rented house. I had no drawings or technical back up. RAD were very helpful and repositioned the unit after the initial installation. Luckily with the help of Sonny, the engineer it all worked out very well.
Simon Gurney
16:16 12 May 22
I have used RAD for the last 10 years for all of my housing developments in need of a sprinkler system. Easy process from start to finish and no issues or problems throughout. Always someone at hand to answer a querie and we have a great working relationship with the team at RAD. Would highly recommend.
15:33 12 May 22
Diligent & a very professional team. A joy to deal with. Will certainly be calling on them to help with many more future schemes.
Jason Tema
22:17 08 Jul 19
Great team, fitting sprinklers, saving lives & property... What more could you wish for!!!
Colin P
17:53 01 Jul 17
Excellent company & great service... This company rocks! They sprinkle fires & save lives!!!
Music N Videoz
07:15 16 Dec 16
As somebody who feels that it should be a necessity for all properties to have fire sprinkler systems, I am a big fan of this company. I have used them numerous times to service my home system and they are very knowledgeable. I would highly recommend their service.
Kate Fraser
09:25 30 Mar 15
One look at Rad Fire Sprinkler's website will tell you that these guys know exactly what they are talking about when it comes to Fire Sprinklers and the legislation surrounding fire safety. A very trustworthy company.
Adam Hudson
16:45 15 Nov 13

Our Services Cover London and the South East

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RAD Fire Sprinklers Ltd.
58A St John’s Road
Tunbridge Wells, TN4 9NY

Mon – Fri: 8AM – 5PM

Tel: 01892 680 090

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