Month: May 2016

Standpipes: How to perform your weekly maintenance check

NFPA 25, Standard for the inspection, testing, and maintenance of water-based fire protection systems, requires that a standpipe system be visually inspected on a regular basis.

 

If your building or facility has multiple levels or a large area such as an enclosed shopping mall then you may have a standpipe system. This water based fire system is an integral part of your building’s fire and safety design as it can supply the building’s sprinkler system and allows firefighters to hook up fire hoses directly on the level where a fire is occurring.

There are different types of standpipes, some may have water in them while others are dry and need to be hooked to a water supply for use; some  standpipes have enough pressure from the water supply to work on their own, while others need the help of a fire department pumper truck.

Pictured above is one example of a stand pipe with a 2 ½” hose vale. These vales should be checked weekly for damage, leaks, or missing caps.

 

What you need to do:
No matter what type you have, it is important to inspect your standpipe weekly for:

  • Signs of physical damage or leakage.
  • Make sure all control valves are in place.
  • Check for dry rot on the hose and cap gaskets.
  • Check for proper labels on equipment.
  • Make sure equipment is accessible – not blocked by boxes or other items.
  • Gauges on dry, pre-action, and deluge valves for standpipes should be inspected for normal air and water pressure; automatic standpipes can be inspected monthly.

Prevent Problemsstandpipe hose
The most common problems found with standpipes are related to housekeeping – keep your standpipes in good working order by keeping the area around the standpipe and valves cleaned and painted in order to prevent corrosion. Standpipes are commonly in need of maintenance for leaking valves, missing caps or handles, and damaged devices – all of which you will be able to see on your weekly checks so it can be fixed right away, before the problem escalates!

Your weekly checks should find any emergency maintenance problems, your required semi-annual and annual inspections will test the system thoroughly for issues you would not be able to see in your weekly checks. At the semi-annual inspection, your alarm devices, valve supervisory devices, and supervisory signal devices will be tested. In addition to these, the annual inspection will test the hose nozzles, hose storage devices and main drain.

Every 3 to 5 years, inspections will include a pressure test on hoses; testing of control valves, pressure-reducing valves and system flow; dry standpipe system piping, hydrostatic test; and a full flow test. Your inspector will lubricate and operate all valves and hose connections to ensure everything is working properly and they will remove the hoses from racks to reload them in order to keep them in good working order.

Read more about Standpipes, the different types, required inspections, and more in our Standpipe Systems Ebook. A1 is a leading expert on the latest technology in life safety. To find out more information or to ask a question, click here or call us at 1-800-859-6198.

Greg Lane