Hurricane Emergency Plan

Hurricane Emergency Plan

Hurricane Emergency Plan

Hurricane season is here, and if you own or operate a business in the State of Florida you should always be prepared with a hurricane emergency plan. In this article we cover the two parts of a hurricane emergency plan: emergency preparedness plan and emergency recovery plan.

Emergency Preparedness Plan

Having a hurricane preparedness plan can be the key to safely navigating your business and staff through impending danger, and ensuring a safe and speedy return to normal operations once it’s passed.

Use the following steps to prepare your business for hurricane damage:

  • Monitor forecasts closely to stay updated on storm trajectory and always follow the instructions of emergency management services.
  • Verify that your employee contact list is up to date.
  • Secure your facility and board up any doors or windows.
  • Clean out your floor drains and catch basins and ensure your sump pumps are working properly.
  • Fill fuel tanks on your fire pump and emergency generator, as well as your vehicle.
  • Evaluate your fire protection systems to verify if they are storm ready by contacting a licensed fire protection company to inspect ahead of the storm.
  • Shut off piping carrying gas or flammable liquids in case a pipe breaks during the storm.
  • Shut down production processes safely and turn off the electricity for all non-essential equipment.
  • Evacuate your employees.

Emergency Recovery Plan

After the storm has passed, contact your employees to make sure they are safe.  Organize a recovery team to begin getting your business back on its feet once emergency agencies say it’s safe to return.

Your recovery team should include all of your key team members and trusted vendors: electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and fire protection, as well as general maintenance people for cleanup. Designate a recovery team leader who is responsible for getting cleanup supplies, as well as replacement parts and equipment. Your team leader should assess the damage and create an action plan to address the following:

  • Structural damage to your building.
  • Potential hazards, to include: gas leaks, water leaks, downed power lines, and exposed electrical wires.
  • Make temporary repairs so people can safely access the building.
  • Restore electrical, mechanical, and life safety systems to normal operating condition.
  • Eliminate ignition sources that could start a fire.
  • Establish a procedure for removing storm and, or reconstruction debris.
  • Assess and prioritize damaged contents to see what can be salvaged.
  • Photograph and/or videotape any damage.

Your recovery team will need to perform an assessment of all your electrical, mechanical, and fire protection systems. Your water supply should also be tested for possible contaminants before being utilized for potable purposes.

Restoration of electrical service, and equipment should only be performed by a trained and certified technician.  They should check all equipment to ensure that it has been totally dried and tested before electrical circuits are reenergized.

All fire protection equipment, alarms, and sprinkler systems should be checked for damage, and the fire department should be notified if any of those systems will be out of service.  If life safety systems must remain out of operation you should hire a licensed security company to perform a continual fire watch until all systems are restored service.

Finally, keep your team informed of any unsafe conditions and keep them updated on the progress of recovery operations.

If you would like assistance in evaluating the preparedness of your property or business’ fire and life safety systems or if you need help getting your fire protection systems back in working order after a storm, please don’t hesitate to contact Sprinklermatic Fire Protection Systems, Inc. at 954-327-3686 or service@sprinklermatic.net.


Where Our Clients Go, We Go.

Where Our Clients Go, We Go.

It was said to Sprinklermatic by more than one client, "We needed you in Tampa, but we really need you in Orlando." The company's response to those clients was simply, "Where you go, we go." And as with everything else in Orlando, the results of this expansion have been magical.

Sprinklermatic believes that when you're fortunate enough to build an amazing team of people and base of clients, it's your responsibility to honor, listen to and follow them.

For many years, the company felt that expansion would diminish its brand and capacity. However, what it's found with its Tampa office is that the community, clients and team were requesting this for a reason. By bringing its family culture, customer commitment and education to new communities, Sprinklermatic has been able to attract local talent to each of its offices, we are very excited to announce that Jeremy Cook joins Sprinklermatic as Central Florida Sales & Estimating with over 22 years’ experience in the fire sprinkler industry. His career started in the field and rapidly transitioned through design into sales and operations. This well-rounded history will support our expansion with both the client and the team. Jeremy's work experience and family values are exactly the combination we desire in a team member.

Did you know that Sprinklermatic has a team of more than 275 amazing men and women who service 34 counties and roll trucks 24 hours a day, 365 days a year? Regardless of the size or type of project, the company is here to serve your fire-protection needs. Sprinklermatic has the strength in market to provide design-build solutions across a diverse range of installations, from aircraft hangers to K-12, higher education, health care (ACHA), assisted living, hospitality and high-rise projects.

Sprinklermatic’s history and experience are the pillars of its future in Orlando. Contact Jeremy Cook at Jeremy@Sprinklermatic.net, Robin Collier at Robin@Sprinklermatic.net or Timothy O'Brien at Tim@Sprinklermatic.net, as we would love to interview with you and discuss how we can add value.


Thought Leaders in Construction

Thought Leaders in Construction

In the ever-changing business of construction, it’s said that one must “change or die” or “evolve or dissolve.” While change can often be overwhelming or uncomfortable, at Sprinklermatic, we believe in getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. We stretch and exercise each and every day to better our performance. We are constantly reviewing what we do, how we do it and who we are willing to do it with to achieve the best results with the most efficient efforts. We are aiming to be the best thought leaders in construction we can be.

Sprinklermatic’s forward-thinking team members are continuously challenged to bring forth new ideas in hardware, software and workflow. When people visit our facilities, whether it’s South Florida (Davie), West Florida (Tampa Bay) or our newest location in Central Florida (Orlando), they are often amazed by the video conferencing that is live in all three locations, along with the feel of the open space complemented by privacy through glass partitions.

Each desktop station is equipped with a camera so that Sprinklermatic team members can “find their mirror” in each location. This unique ultra-open workspace allows each team member to add value in a collaborative manner from hundreds or even thousands of miles away at our design office in Ranchi, India. Our 12 fulltime designers who work on some of the largest projects in Florida are equipped with the most up-to-date machines, both desktop and laptop, which have enough horsepower and video speed to work efficiently in our design-build capacity with Navis, Revit and AutoCad. We are constantly training team members on our software to maintain relevance in changing times.

Sprinklermatic’s field personnel are equipped with real-time facial  recognition timekeeping software that tracks performance, productivity and  onsite safety. This tool, along with  project management software and blueprint change management software, eliminates waste by enabling immediate information sharing from concept to  construction, mastering an “as BIM = as  built” delivery.

If you’re an owner’s rep, developer, general contractor or incredible human being seeking a team of thought leaders and change agents in construction, we encourage you to try out our team. Whether it’s two sprinkler heads to be relocated or 20,000 heads to be provided in a design-build LOD 500 IPD delivery, we can support your needs.

If you’re that person who’s curious in nature, enjoys collaborating and loves to be challenged, we will make a place for you. Reach out directly to Robin Collier at robin@sprinklermatic.net or Timothy O’Brien at tim@sprinklermatic.net to schedule a consultation.

 

Design Manager Thought Leaders in Construction
Thought Leaders in Construction - Design Manager Scott Searing works on a 3D BIM model.

 


We Remember What You've Done For Us

We Remember What You’ve Done For Us

The word “thank” comes from the Latin word tongēre. The root tong- means “think.” Loosely translated, the expression might read “I will remember what you have done for me.” And to that we can’t help but think back to where this all started and remember what our mentor George “Gene” Collier did for us, he instilled core values in us and taught us that the most important parts of this company were the team members and the clients, we would be nowhere without them.

So, to the team regardless of seniority or position we say Thank you and we certainly will remember and honor what you do for us and our clients.

President Robin Collier (right) and Helper Timothy O’Brien

What you do every day keeps people safe in the scariest of moments and allows them to make it to safety and preserve their assets. You do this without fail consistently and for the last 32 years that commitment to consistency has allowed us to grow from the corner of a living room in Miami to now four locations in Florida servicing 34 counties.

This organic growth cannot be done without solid roots in each community, you can often hear in our office “You can’t grow a tree without roots.” As we have ventured out to new communities, we have been fortunate to find new team members that have a desire to honor their families, their team members and their clients by providing incredible service with honor and integrity, focusing on a purpose not a project. In allowing those local life safety experts to have the backdrop of Sprinklermatic University and the culture of Sprinklermatic, the team the client and community are stronger and safer together.  Thank you so very much for that!

We are repeatedly humbled by our continued client loyalty; they have over the years encouraged us to become better. Whether it was a safety training requirement or a different insurance policy, whether we liked it or not, it translated into us being a better company and better leaders.

Mentor George “Gene” Collier, 2005

Being in the fire sprinkler business is not glamorous, we don’t get the front page for lighting up the building, the amazing millwork or the glamorous finishes. When we get the front page it means that what we do every day worked when it was supposed to, we honored our team and our client, we followed the codes and standards to insure that the lives and buildings we protect were more important than the recognition. However when we are recognized as being a top specialty contractor, we realize it has very little to do with us and much more to do with the team, and to that we say thank you. “We remember what you have done for us!”

Robin and Tim

 

Sprinklermatic office, 2001

Best Practices Day, Sprinklermatic headquarters, 2018

¡Apreciamos Lo Que Han Hecho Por Nosotros!

La palabra “gracias” viene del Latin “tong re” y la raíz de “tong” significa pensar. Traducido literalmente, la frase puede interpretarse como “siempre recordemos lo que han hecho por nosotros”. Dicho esto, me hace recordar lo que nuestro mentor George “Gene” Collier hizo por nosotros. El nos inculcó los valores fundamentales y nos enseñó que lo más importante para la compañía son su equipo de trabajo y sus clientes, sin ellos nos seremos nada.

President Robin Collier (right) and Helper Timothy O’Brien

Así que, equipo, independientemente de su antigüedad o puesto, les decimos ¡Gracias! Y tenga por seguro que valoramos lo que hacen por la compañía y nuestros clientes. Lo que hacen todos los días mantienen a salvo a muchas personas de situaciones peligrosas y les permiten mantenerse seguros y conservar sus pertenencias. Por los pasados 32 años, ustedes han realizado este trabajo sin fallas y esa determinación nos ha permitido crecer de ser una pequeña sala de estar en Miami a 4 oficinas regionales que sirven a 34 condados.

En nuestra oficina se escucha la frase “Un árbol no puede crecer sin sus raíces” y este crecimiento orgánico no se alcanza sin tener unas raíces sólidas con la comunidad. Desde que nos aventuramos a estas nuevas comunidades, hemos sido afortunados de encontrar nuevos miembros para el equipo que no sólo honran a sus familias, sino también a los clientes al brindarles un servicio increíble con integridad, enfocándose en el propósito en vez de los proyectos. Al permitir que este grupo de expertos locales, quienes cuentan con una capacitación de nuestra Universidad y cultura de Sprinklermatic, es por eso, que nuestros miembros de equipo, clientes, y comunidad están mas seguros juntos. ¡Gracias por eso!

Estamos constantemente agradecemos con la continua lealtad de nuestros clientes lo que no ha alentado a evolucionar a través de los anos. No importaba si estaba relacionando a un adiestramiento o a una póliza de seguro diferente, nos gustara o no, esto nos impulsó a hacer una mejor compañía y ser los mejores líderes.

Mentor George “Gene” Collier, 2005

Estar en el negocio de rociadores contra incendios no es glamoroso. No recibimos el reconocimiento por colocar la electricidad en el edificio, o por colocar un pedazo de madera, o por la calidad del trabajo final. Nuestro reconocimiento significa que lo que hacemos al diario en nuestro trabajo funcionó cuando se suponía. La forma en que honramos a nuestro equipo de trabajo y nuestros clientes que siguen nuestros códigos y estándares para asegurar que las vidas y los edificios que protegemos sean más importantes que el reconocimiento. Por lo tanto, hemos sido reconocido como una de las mejores compañías especializadas de construcción y nos damos cuenta de que esto no lo hubiéramos logrado sin ustedes. Es por eso volvemos a decirles “!Gracias! Apreciamos lo que han hecho por nosotros”.

Robin & Tim

 

Sprinklermatic office, 2001

Best Practices Day, Sprinklermatic headquarters, 2018


BlazeMaster Fire Protection Systems Makes Florida High-Rise Retrofit Trouble-Free with Sprinklermatic ELSS Services

BlazeMaster Fire Protection Systems Makes Florida High-Rise Retrofit Trouble-Free

Adrian Peschi, LCAM, knew that if the retrofit went badly he’d hear it from hundreds of unofficial supervisors – the residents of the high-rise apartment building he manages in Fort Lauderdale.

As general manager of the 338-unit Coral Ridge Towers South, Peschi feared the fire sprinkler retrofit required by state law would disrupt the lives of residents and bring complaints about noise, dirt, blocked hallways and other problems. But thanks to a decision to use BlazeMaster® CPVC Pipe & Fittings and to hire Sprinklermatic Fire Protection Services to install it, the retrofit as problem-free.

“The project in every sense was superb,” said Peschi. “We had good comments from our residents. We were happy with the entire process and it moved along much faster than we thought it would.”

Coral Ridge is one of hundreds of older high-rise residential buildings in Florida complying with new sprinkler requirements. While new buildings three stories or higher have been required since 1994 to have fire sprinklers, that left many older high-rises unprotected. To close that gap, the state legislature set a Dec. 31, 2019, deadline for unsprinklered high-rise buildings (generally 75 feet or higher) to add fire sprinklers.

In place of a sprinkler system, buildings can choose an Engineered Life Safety System (ELSS), which is less expensive and less disruptive to install. This requires:
• Sprinklers in common areas
• One sprinkler head inside the front door of each unit
• Integrated smoke detection and alarm system
• Adequate exits from common areas
• Compartmentalization to contain fires (fire doors, fire walls, etc.)

Peschi said once it became clear that the sprinkler requirement would not be overturned or delayed, his priority was choosing the best contractor for an ELSS. “If we had picked the wrong company and something went awry halfway during the job, we’re the ones who look bad, so we were very concerned about choosing the right company,” he said.

The company first interviewed Sprinklermatic, Southeast Florida’s leading fire safety company. The family-owned business explained to Coral Ridge owners, management and residents what the job required and why using BlazeMaster CPVC pipe would make the retrofit faster, less disruptive and less expensive than using steel. It also recommended a fire engineering company which drew up plans for the work.

“I did not know anything about CPVC, but the more I learned, the more obvious it was that it was the right material for a retrofit,” Peschi said. Though Coral Ridge officials interviewed othercontractors, they kept returning to Sprinklermatic. “We knew they were a company that would help us look good as managers and as a board,” Peschi said.

Work began in summer 2018, and it quickly became apparent that Coral Ridge had made the right choice of contractor and material. “At every junction with this we’ve been pleasantly surprised and impressed,” Peschi said. “The guys are very clean and professional and we work well together.”

Peschi said that during the project, officials from nearby high-rises came over to examine the work in progress and were impressed by the lack of disruption and the speed of the work, both made possible by the selection of BlazeMaster pipe over metal. They’ve also taken note of the lower cost of BlazeMaster CPVC, which means smaller assessments to unit owners.

Sprinklermatic Vice President Timothy O’Brien said BlazeMaster CPVC is superior to other materials.

“It’s a product that we’ve been able to incorporate in multiple sectors – hospitality, residential. Anywhere we can use the product, we do. I find it to be the absolute best product to do fire protection with,” O’Brien said. BlazeMaster pipe is ideal for retrofits because it’s easy to handle; does not require power tools, welding or threading; and does not pose the same worksite fire risk that steel does.

“It’s faster and it reduces the pain (for customers),” said Sprinklermatic President Robin Collier. “The quicker I’m able to get crews in and out, the faster building residents can get back to a normal life – and that’s what they’re concerned about.”

The retrofitting at Coral Ridge is done, but with the 2019 deadline looming, Sprinklermatic is working on other high-rises and using BlazeMaster Fire Sprinkler Systems to stay on schedule and keep managers and residents happy.


Fire Sprinkler Training Facility Sprinklermatic University

Leading and Learning Through Education: Fire Sprinkler Training

Leading and Learning Through Education

The story of Sprinklermatic University – a fire sprinkler training facility and education program. Having celebrated its 30-year anniversary in 2017, the Sprinklermatic team knows that change is the key to success. Born from the field, George “Gene” Collier left behind the message that the future leaders of Sprinklermatic were to lead, inspire and educate if they were to not only survive but thrive in this ever-changing industry. That was made clear by how often he had his nose in any one of the code books. Robin Collier and Timothy O’Brien took that message very seriously as they developed the concept and now reality of Sprinklermatic University, a fire sprinkler training and education facility that is open to anyone who is spreading the word about fire protection, life safety or leadership in construction.

Sprinklermatic University – A Fire Sprinkler Training Facility and Education Program

Having grown up around tradesmen, estimators and fire-protection leaders, one might assume that Collier would have had a great advantage in his training and education in the business.

However, this was not the case, as many can likely relate to the feeling that no one really wanted to ‘teach’ the younger generation. Sprinklermatic University was specifically created to break that mold. The facility, although built under the Sprinklermatic brand, is simply a place where men and women can learn, ask questions and be taught. It is a place where the curious can thrive.

The fire sprinkler training facility is designed for tradesmen, vendors, property managers, engineers and first responders to come together in a safe environment and call on each other, challenge each other and lean on one other to teach, learn and collaborate.

Sprinklermatic University is a private fire sprinkler training and learning facility located in Davie, Fla.

It is used for hands-on orientation, training and education for the fire sprinkler industry and firefighters with the purpose of giving a general overview and introduction to fire sprinklers and fire-protection systems.

The university is unique in that it is the only fire sprinkler training facility that affords students the ability to operate real equipment and actually flow water in a learning environment to practice their craft. It is an approved training provider with the Florida State Fire College and the Florida Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). The facility provides continuing education to firefighters, property managers, NICET and other professional licenses and certifications. Sprinklermatic University is an established fire-protection systems laboratory specifically designed for training purposes, uniting the fire sprinkler industry and fire service personnel in the community.

Read more about Sprinklermatic University as it appeared in the ENR Magazine - ENR 2018 Central Florida Report

ENR 2018 Central Florida Report Thumbnail


How Does A Fire Sprinkler Work?

How Does A Fire Sprinkler Work and How do Fire Sprinkler Systems Save Lives and Property

How Does a Fire Sprinkler Work?
How Do Fire Sprinkler Systems Save Lives and Property?

It is a proven fact that fire sprinkler systems are very important when it comes to fighting fires. They are actually so effective that death and property loss is 65% less in a building with fire sprinkler systems. But the question is how does a fire sprinkler work and how come they are so effective in firefighting?
Their effectiveness is one of the many reasons why we should have fire sprinklers in all commercial buildings. And not only. We should also have fire sprinkler systems in our homes. Imagine if all homes that caught on fire lately had fire sprinkler systems in place. People, property, and fire fighters would be safer.

And this brings us back to our questions: how does a fire sprinkler work? And how does the sprinkler system contain the fire? Does heat trigger a fire sprinkler? Or is smoke the trigger?

We are going to look at the picture of a fire sprinkler to understand what it's made of and what sets it off.

How Does A Fire Sprinkler Work

A fire sprinkler consists of:

  • Connecting Pipe Thread - connection to the water supply
  • Plug - upon activation, this plug frees the water
  • Glass Bulb filled with liquid - this bulb bursts at rated temperatures. The actual temperature depends on the sprinkler head type.
  • Sprinkler Deflector

How does a fire sprinkler work?

In order for a fire sprinkler to work as intended, it has to be part of a fire sprinkler system. To form a system, individual sprinklers are placed on a network of piping filled with water. Because the water is under pressure, we can say the fire sprinklers are always on standby.

Let's examine how fire sprinklers work step by step:

  1. Fire breaks out
  2. The air temperature above the fire raises
  3. When the temperature is high enough, the liquid-filled bulb bursts
  4. The sprinkler plug frees the water
  5. The sprinkler sprays water on the fire. Sometimes the fire is completely extinguished. Sometimes the sprinkler contains the fire, meaning it controls the heat and minimizes the amount of toxic smoke that develops.

Since the air temperature raises fast in a fire, the fire sprinkler is also activated fast. This is why fire sprinkler systems are so effective in controlling a fire. Or assisting fire fighters in combating fires.

Key Takeaways from our review of how a fire sprinkler works

  • Smoke does not activate fire sprinklers
  • Heat from a fire activates a fire sprinkler
  • Only the fire sprinkler closest to the fire activates and sprays water
  • The amount of water discharged by a fire sprinkler is minimal (10-15 gallons per minute). If this was not the case, we'd be trading fire damage with water damage. But that is not how a fire sprinkler works.
  • Fire sprinklers almost always extinguish the fire. If the fire is not extinguished, it is contained until the fire department arrives
  • Unlike what you've seen in movies, fire sprinklers don't all activate at once
  • Fire sprinklers are a great addition in residential buildings as well, not only commercial ones

In Conclusion

Fire sprinklers are effective in extinguishing or containing fire because they react fast after a fire breaks out. They reduce the risk of injury and death because they reduce the flames, heat and smoke of a fire. Fire sprinkler systems give people the time needed to evacuate the building. They reduce property damage because they contain or extinguish the fire before the fire department arrives. Fire sprinklers are one of the best tools we have to fight fires.


fire protection tampa - services provided by sprinklermatic florida

Fire Protection Tampa Florida: Extending Our Services

Extending Our Services: Fire Protection Tampa Florida

Go west young man, Go West!

In a small office in the corner of a home, with a pipe rack and fittings in the garage, Sprinklermatic sprung from its humble beginnings in 1987. With long nights of accounting, estimating, days of turning wrenches and honoring clients, little by little, a formidable brand has been built in the South Florida market, building some of the tallest towers and most complex projects in town. 

The team of now more than 210 members has decided to go west. Our client base of contractors and developers has asked that we push into the Gulf Coast market so we will follow the road map that made us successful some 30 years ago: hard work and humility. It is imperative that our successes on the East Coast transition west, bringing years of experience in leadership to a growing market, and offering design-build delivery methods and knowledge of systems to an area that will soon require multiple zone pumps in its quest for taller structures. Sprinklermatic’s team will be an obvious answer for the coming challenges.

The team, led by Robin Collier in estimating and sales and Timothy O’Brien in operations looks forward to bringing solutions to a new marketplace. We offer training and education on estimating of fire protection as it relates to the most current standards and state requirements, along with best practices in closeout of projects that minimize stretched dates on certificate of occupancy. Sprinklermatic’s goal is to not only deliver our discipline on time but to assist the team in bringing all of the life-safety systems across the finish line in a well-sequenced, collaborative manner. In addition, we maintain a high bonding capacity ($20 million single and $50 million aggregate) with Liberty Mutual and an A+XV A M Rating, with additional job references available upon request.

Fire Protection Tampa Florida offered by Sprinklermatic

Moving West - Fire Protection Tampa, Florida

The obvious concern for all parties pushing west is manpower. Our solution is simple: We will only sign up for what we can do. Our success in South Florida has simply been following through with our word. Sprinklermatic’s goal is to personally come and meet with your team, introduce our highly qualified West Coast team, and determine how we can partner with you in making your next project a success with the same humble, hardworking approach that has given us the opportunity to do so.

For more information, please feel free to reach us at 813 508-2776, Robin@sprinklermatic.net or Tim@Sprinklermatic.net


Echo Brickell Miami - Fire Protection System by Sprinklermatic

Echo Brickell Miami - Fire Sprinkler System Design

Fire Sprinkler System Design for Echo Brickell Miami

Capturing the Imagination at Every Turn with Echo Brickell Miami Project

When a project comes across a fire protection designer’s desk that is 612 feet tall, with 3735 heads, and 3 fire pumps, some guys would one-click a large bottle of Advil from Amazon. This is what Echo Brickell Miami was for the Sprinklermatic fire protection engineering team.

Brian Reynolds design team leader for the Echo Brickell skyscraper in downtown Miami certainly didn’t take that approach. He was super excited to continue his quest to design the most complex fire sprinkler system for Echo Brickell Miami at the highest of heights in Miami. Supported by his team of designers and BIM (Building Information Modeling) team we worked closely with the John Moriarty team to provide multiple iterations of owner units and deliver the best possible fire protection design to the field for installation. With PMG as owner/developer the pressure was on to provide a high level of collaboration to integrate unique features such as automated parking as well as the lobby shark tank.

A big thanks to our entire Sprinklermatic team and the trade partners, Power Design, Olympia Plumbing and Cailis Mechanical for working day and night to bring this design and project to fruition!

Fire Sprinkler System Design for Echo Brickell Building


5-year Fire Sprinkler System Inspection

5-Year Fire Sprinkler System Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance

Under NFPA 25 guidelines, there are several frequencies for a fire sprinkler system inspection, testing and maintenance. One of the most important and overlooked inspections is the 5-year fire sprinkler system inspection. This article will touch on key points about the 5-year inspection and why it’s so important. So let’s dive right into the 5-year fire sprinkler system inspection, test and maintenance.

We must first note who is responsible for the 5-year fire sprinkler system inspection. The building owner or the owner's representative have the responsibility for the inspection. They are also responsible for accessibility to the building and fire sprinkler components.

There are several different types of fire sprinkler system. Each type of system has different requirements for inspection, testing, and maintenance. What we need to determine first is what type of system is in the building. A qualified fire sprinkler contractor can do that for you. Once you know what type of sprinkler system you have, the inspection requirements can be laid out.

We must also note that the building owner must keep all records of fire sprinkler inspection, testing, and maintenance. These records will inform the qualified fire sprinkler contractor of the type of inspection and services needed.

Fire Sprinkler System Components. How They Relate to the 5-Year Fire Sprinkler System Inspection

There are 4 types of fire sprinkler systems: wet, dry, pre-action and deluge systems. These system have several similar components that need a 5-year fire sprinkler system inspection, testing and maintenance.

Gauges

You should replace gauges every 5 years or test them in comparison to a calibrated gauge. In general, it is more cost effective to change the gauges every five years.

Fire Sprinklers

Another common component are the sprinklers. In a fire sprinkler system inspection, we test the sprinklers exposed to harsh conditions and replace them where needed. A qualified contractor can determine these environments.

Sprinklers that need testing and sometimes replacing:

  • Solder-type sprinklers with a temperature rating of 325 exposed to ambient temperatures. Test a sample sprinkler to determine if they still function as they should.
  • Sprinklers in service for more than 75 years. Test a sample sprinkler to determine whether they need replacing or not. In general it is more cost effective to replace such old fire sprinklers.

Private Service Water Main

A private service water main provides water for your fire sprinkler system. It can be underground or exposed piping. Every 5 years, you should perform a flow test on your water main. This test will determine the condition of the piping. A licensed contractor will perform a flow test on a hydrant. They will check the a main drain and the hose and fire department connection condition. They will compare results to previous testing and the original one. This way they'll investigate deterioration of water demand. This testing will determine if the private service water main provides the correct amount of water for your system.

Water Storage Tank

If a storage tank provides water for your system, the 5 year requirements are as follows.

  • Unless you have a non-corrosive protection tank in which case a 3 year internal inspection is required by the standard.
  • Every 5 years you should inspect the interior of the water storage tank.
  • It is not necessary to drain the entire tank
  • NFPA 25 allows certified commercial divers or remote video as an alternative means. D

During this 5 year inspection, the inspector will look for signs of pitting and corrosion. He will also check the tank coating, pin holes, cracks and wall thickness. The tanks that are ring type foundation sand in the middle are inspected for voids beneath the floor.

The inspector will check the heating system piping and components. He will also inspect the anti-vortex plate for deterioration or blockage. This inspection identifies failure points or weakened areas of the tank. The level indicators are also tested every 5 years. This test ensures this component works as intended and your tank has the correct water levels. Failure of this can cause a tank to over flow or you may have an empty tank at some point.

Mainline Strainer

(if applicable)
If your system has one, the inspection team will remove and inspect it for damage and corroded parts. This can affect the flow of demanding water for your water protection system.

The neglect of these items can be damaging and costly. But most of all, it causes your fire protection system to be completely compromised.

Valves

All systems equipped with alarm valves need a 5-year inspection. The inspector will verify the operation of the clapper and the valve seat. He will also look for corrosion or obstruction materials. Any foreign materials can clog up the system, not allowing to function as it should. The inspector will also make sure there is no re-pressurizing of areas where it is not needed. Or the system doesn't release pressure where it is needed.

The inspector will also test pressure reducing, pressure relief, and fire hose valves. This test ensures the system is not over pressurized or under pressurized. This testing information shows if the system is receiving the designed pressure.

Obstruction Investigation

One of the most important parts of a 5 year inspection is the obstruction investigation. This investigation consist of the piping and branch line. The inspector will open a flushing connection at the end of one main. He will also remove a sprinkler towards the end of one branch line. The reason for this inspection is to detect the presence of foreign materials.

MIC (Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion)

The presence of MIC in piping is a serious problem. MIC creates leaks, pin-hole leaks and spreads throughout the entire system. Other common foreign materials are zebra mussels, rust, work gloves and scales. Zebra mussels are present in systems with a natural water supply such as lakes and rivers.


To Conclude
The 5-year fire sprinkler s ystem inspection is important for the performance of your fire protection system. Sprinklermatic inspectors know the importance of the NFPA 25 standard. We also know how neglected components of a system can impair its performance. If a 5-year inspection is not performed correctly, it can cost loss of lives and property damage.
 
Future Articles:
In future articles we will look at the 5 year inspection of standpipe and fire hose.