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How Often Do Domestic Sprinklers Need Testing?

Over the years, we have installed literally ‘hundreds’ of domestic fire sprinkler systems 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 up stream, the pressure on the other side of the non-return valve (i.e. in the sprinkler system pipe work) 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 sprinkler system 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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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

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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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