If you have a home fire sprinkler system, you’re in luck. Having a sprinkler system and smoke detectors reduces the risk of death in a home fire by 82 percent compared to homes with neither. Additionally, reduces property damage — ninety percent of home fires are contained by just one sprinkler.
While home sprinkler systems are designed to be low maintenance, they do need occasional inspection and tests to make sure they will work when you need them. Fortunately, you can do most of it yourself. Here are ten tips to maintain your home fire sprinkler system:
1.Schedule an annual inspection.
Have your fire sprinkler system professionally inspected once a year. A&A Fire Protection inspectors have an installation background and are familiar with proper code standards. If we identify any issues, we follow up with a repair estimate. Below are other do’s and don’ts from the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA).
2. Do not hang anything from the sprinkler heads.
This could trigger the sprinklers or block the flow of water.
3. Look over the system every month.
Check to be sure the sprinklers are not blocked, and nothing is interfering with the head’s spray pattern.
4. Do not paint the sprinkler heads.
When fire heats the sprinkler to 135 degrees, it activates and sprays the area beneath it. Painting a sprinkler can affect its heat sensitivity. This could delay the activation or clog the head, blocking the water flow.
5. Check the water tank monthly.
If your house uses well water, your sprinkler system relies on a large water tank. Look at the water level each month to be sure the tank is full. This will not apply to you if your home uses municipal water.
6. Ensure there’s no damage to the sprinkler heads.
Avoid bumping into the sprinkler heads when moving furniture or remodeling. In areas where heads are exposed, such as in unfinished basements, install head guards.
7. Test your pump.
Some sprinkler systems use a pump to pressurize the water. If you have a pump, turn it on and off once a month to make sure it works.
8. Don’t block the sprinkler heads.
Avoid placing furniture or other objects within 18 inches of the sprinkler heads.
9. Test your water flow device twice a year.
This test will trigger a fire alarm, so inform the fire department. Find the test valve and open it so the water flows. Within a few seconds, an alarm should sound. Close the valve and let the fire department know the test is complete.
10. Don’t expose pipes to cold temperatures.
To reduce the risk of freezing pipes, keep the temperature above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have pipes in your attic, insulate them. Even if you are out of town, set the thermostat at a temperature that prevents freezing pipes.
Maintaining Your Home Fire Sprinkler System
Residential fire sprinkler systems provide years of protection to your home and loved ones. Keep your system ready when it’s needed by performing a minimal amount of routine maintenance.
These steps include making sure sprinkler heads are not painted and the water flow is not obstructed. Never hang anything from sprinklers and be sure the main control valve is on. Once a year, have your system professionally inspected. Complete these steps and rest assured your home is protected.