How Building Owners Can Benefit from Inspection, Testing, and Preventive Maintenance Programs

How does performing regular inspection, testing, and preventive maintenance affect your fire protection and mechanical systems?

Mechanical Systems Preventive Maintenance

Planned preventive maintenance will reduce a system’s energy consumption and extend its useful life. Well-maintained equipment also improves indoor air quality and comfort. When you are proactive with your system, you will benefit from reduced operating costs, higher long-term system value, and reduced downtime.

According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the average life expectancy of a light commercial HVAC rooftop unit is 15 years. If you do not perform proper preventive maintenance, lifespan decreases significantly.

All HVAC equipment requires periodic cleaning, inspection, testing, and preventive maintenance. Many building owners perform breakdown repairs only. This can result in increased operating costs, inefficiency, and premature failure of components, or entire system failure. The reliability of the equipment becomes questionable. Having an annual inspection will help identify potential issues before a major repair or failure of a system occurs.

Perhaps the most visible benefit of regular inspection, testing, and preventive maintenance is the long-term cost savings. Proactive planned maintenance is proven to be more cost-effective than “reactive” maintenance. Reactive maintenance can cause damage to the system and end up costing more for repairs – or worse, entire system replacement.

Building owners can also eliminate deferred maintenance, control costs, and greatly reduce the “surprise” of expensive repairs and unplanned downtime. Planned maintenance offers building owners a known annual cost and the peace of mind that comes with expert help.

Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Fire Protection Systems

You must perform periodic inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) of fire protection systems. Approving authorities typically adopt standards created by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Some of the more common ITM standards are:

  • NFPA 10 Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers
  • NFPA 25 Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems
  • NFPA 72 National Fire alarm and Signaling Code

Compliance with approving authorities is not the only benefit that building owners realize from an ITM agreement. An ITM program, in accordance with NFPA standards, provides ongoing verification of proper fire system system maintenance and operation to ensure your life safety systems provide the level of protection they were designed for. This is a comprehensive, three-part program as defined by NFPA 25, 2011 edition:

Inspection – “A visual examination of a system or portion thereof to verify that it appears to be in operating condition and is free of physical damage.”

Testing – “A procedure used to determine the operational status of a component or system by conducting periodic physical checks, such as water flow tests, fire pump tests, alarm tests, and trip tests of dry pipe, deluge, or preaction valves.”

Maintenance – “In water-based fire protection systems, work is performed to keep equipment operable or to make repairs.”

Establish Your Inspection, Testing and Preventive Maintenance Program with Ahern

Ahern provides mechanical preventive maintenance agreements (PMAs) and fire protection system and equipment inspection services for a variety of industries. Our electronic inspection system provides timely, detailed deficiency repair proposals. We offer 24/7 emergency service as well as design and installation capabilities.

As a  multi-trade mechanical and fire protection contractor, we specialize in facility services, construction, pipe fabrication, and prefabrication services. We can tailor a combined planned maintenance program for your mechanical systems, and an ITM program for your fire protection systems. From start to finish, our team of experts will ensure your systems are properly designed and installed to meet your facility's needs.

Take the first step by contacting Ahern today! 

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