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Understanding Fire Sprinkler Systems and the Need for Maintenance
We have all read about fire deaths too many times during any given calendar year. Witnessing this unnecessary pain and suffering in person or through the news media is truly heartbreaking. Most often these fires originate in mobile or permanent homes causing a large number of deaths and many more disfiguring injuries each and every year in the United States. The larger death tolls occur in nightclubs, motels and factories unequipped with fire sprinkler systems. Our governments, both state and federal, have authored several pieces of legislation mandating that fire sprinklers be installed in most all group A occupancies (an occupancy where 50 or more people gather) of new construction. Additionally, there have been several laws placed on the books addressing nursing homes, schools, and dormitories since the year 2000. While great progress has been achieved with these new sprinkler systems in new and retrofit projects, the required maintenance is often misunderstood or totally neglected.
While administrators are becoming aware of the life safety advantages of these systems, we need to educate them on the significance of regularly scheduled inspections and quickly make service repairs to keep these systems in top working order. With limited staff due to tight budget constraints, many of these companies and institutions rely on their local fire sprinkler companies to partner with them to ensure they are maintaining the systems in accordance with their insurance requirements as well as local authorities having jurisdiction over them.
Understanding your fire sprinkler system is critical to the reliability of any mechanical or electrical fire system. Some of the most frequent system impairments include alarm bells not working properly, systems not being retro-fitted when small architectural projects were completed, deteriorated water supply as discovered through a proper main drain test and most devastating, valves left in the CLOSED position.
Remember, it is the PROPERTY OWNER’S responsibility to maintain their fire systems and the local AHJ’s will typically enforce the annual inspection.
Ahern Fire Protection is a qualified and highly respected leader in the fire protection industry. We’re ready to partner with you to inspect and service your fire sprinkler, fire suppression, and fire alarm systems…. contact us today!