How Often does Fire Protection Equipment Need to be Inspected?

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Just because you have installed the proper fire protection equipment does not mean you are adequately protected.  Fire protection equipment is required by local fire codes to be inspected and tested on a regular basis to ensure the equipment is working properly.  

Fire Alarms

The inspection of fire alarms varies depending on the equipment.  Some alarms need to be inspected weekly, some monthly, others quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.  The appropriate inspection schedule can be found in Chapter 14 of the National Fire Protection Association’s National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 72).  Most visual inspections can be done in house according to the prescribed schedule.  More involved inspections can be completed by a company like Marco Protection Systems LLC. which provides fire protection services.  Alarm components such as the control panels, power supply, fuses, and lights should be most frequently inspected.  Monthly, you need to visually inspect batteries. You should contact Marco fire protection technicians for a semi-annual or annual inspection of all components of your alarm. Other fire protection services like testing and maintenance are also important.  You should also check the manufacturer’s published guidelines for the maintenance for your specific device or system.

Sprinklers

Sprinklers system

Fire sprinkler inspection requirements are determined by local code ordinances.  Local code is determined by NFPA 25 which is the standard of inspection, testing, and maintenance of water-based fire protection systems.  In Pennsylvania, codes are created by individual local jurisdictions which can pose challenges for businesses who have multiple sites in different jurisdictions.  Generally, sprinkler systems should be inspected quarterly and annually. Quarterly inspections involve the valves, gauges, valve supervisory alarms, water flow alarms, hydraulic nameplates, and pressure relief valves.  At least annually, you should contact Marco Protection Systems LLC for fire protection services like the inspection of your sprinkler hanger, pipes, fittings, spare sprinklers, and all of the quarterly inspected devices (to ensure these inspections were done properly).  Internal inspection of the sprinklers, however, is only required every five years. Internal inspections help ensure there is no blockage in the pipes that would hinder proper activation in a fire emergency.

Extinguishers

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Just like other fire protection systems, fire extinguishers need to be inspected, and parts of the extinguishers need to be inspected at different time intervals.  Monthly inspections can be done in-house, typically by trained individuals or those who are familiar with extinguisher inspections like facilities staff or maintenance managers.  During monthly inspections you should check that the extinguishers are in the right location, easily accessible, instructional labels are legible, seals are intact, and the container isn’t damaged, leaking or corroded.  You are required to keep a written record of each of these monthly manual inspections with the person’s initials who performed the inspection. Annual inspections should be done by a professional like Marco Protection Systems LLC.  A professional will inspect the mechanical parts, physical condition, extinguishing agent, and the expelling function of the extinguisher.  In addition, they will confirm the correct number and spacing of extinguishers, tag and date them, and check for any circumstances that could change the effectiveness of the devices. 

If you are unsure about the correct inspection intervals for your fire protection systems, contact Marco Protection Systems LLC. today. Inspections are only one fire protection service that is required.  Marco’s fire protection experts can also perform regular required tests for your fire protection systems as well.