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Loss Control Insights

Five Sprinkler Maintenance and Care Tips

Ceiling sprinklers reduce losses from fire by 1/3 to 2/3

“Your sprinkler system is your first and best line of defense against fire,” notes Dejmal. “Taking time each month to visually check that system will help make sure it’s ready for action 24/7.”

What Should You Check?

  1. Sprinkler control valves

    To ensure maximum performance, all sprinkler riser control valves and water supply pit valves should be accessible, open and protected. Check to make certain the tamper switch, which is monitored by an alarm company, is locked and in the open position.
  2. The condition of sprinklers and piping

    A quick way to tell if sprinkler heads and pipes are ready for action is to look for leaks. When sprinklers are above ceiling tiles, look for water stains on the ceiling. If sprinklers are exposed, look for moisture on the floor.
  3. Sprinkler clearance

    There should be a minimum of 18 inches of unobstructed space below the sprinkler head for it to work properly. Some special sprinklers require 36 inches of clearance. Check with the manufacturer for your system’s clearance requirements.
  4. Fire department connections

    Fire departments will need quick access to exterior connections for your sprinkler system. Make sure those connections are visible and accessible.
  5. Proper System Function

    You should test all your systems regularly. Let all electric-driven fire pumps run for at least 10 minutes. Run all diesel-driven pumps for at least 30 minutes weekly. You should also have your sprinkler system inspected by an outside contractor annually.

Sprinkler systems on new construction typically cost $1 to $2 per square foot. Conducting monthly checks will not only maximize the return on your sprinkler system investment but also reduce the likelihood of property losses in the event of a fire.

Count on EMC® for these sprinkler system resources:

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