The Importance of Five Year Inspections

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Is The Fire Sprinkler System in Your Building Five Year Certified?

Fire Sprinkler Systems are very important when it comes to protecting you and your property against fire. Your Fire Sprinkler System should receive Quarterly and Annual Inspections from your fire sprinkler company. Every five years, your Fire Sprinkler System should receive a special Five Year Inspection. This Five Year Inspection is a fundamental item that fire departments and insurance companies look for during onsite visits. During a Five Year Inspection our technicians perform an internal investigation, evaluate hangers, seismic bracing, pipes, fittings, and sprinklers, test valves, replace gauges, and back flush the Fire Department Connection (FDC).

The Inspection:
Internal Piping Investigation

Fire sprinkler piping is at risk of becoming clogged with foreign material. This is why internal piping investigations are so important.  Foreign material found inside your Fire Sprinkler System can cause it to malfunction when you need it most. During an internal piping investigation a technician removes a flushing connection cap at the end of a main line and a sprinkler head at the end of a branch line. Then the technician takes a picture of the inside of the fire sprinkler piping. A more thorough obstruction investigation is required if rocks or debris are found in the piping. During an obstruction investigation our endoscopic camera evaluates how clogged your building’s pipes are. If impassable rocks and debris are found in your system, your property’s main lines, branch lines, and fire sprinkler drops will need to be flushed.

Evaluating and Testing

During Quarterly and Annual Inspections your property’s Fire Sprinkler System receives a visual inspection from the ground floor. A Five Year Inspection is more in-depth. During this inspection we evaluate hangers, seismic bracing, pipes and fittings, and sprinklers. We do this by checking all accessible ceiling spaces. This includes our technicians looking in the attic space above drop ceiling tiles. Another code-based requirement of the Five Year Inspection is testing all check valves and gauges. IFS Technicians will test the check valves inside the piping and ensure that all components are operating correctly. Gauges are tested against a calibrated gauge and any gauge that is not within a 3% accuracy range is replaced.

Back Flush

Back flushing the Fire Department Connect (FDC) is also an extremely important part of your Five Year Inspection. Over time trash and debris can enter through the FDC opening if the caps are not securely in place. When performing a back flush, trash and debris are removed from your system. This work is vital.  Trash and debris stuck in your Fire Sprinkler System will cause the pipe and sprinklers to clog. The trash and debris will reduce or block the water from flowing to the activated sprinkler heads. This will seriously hinder them from protecting your building against fire.

Why Your Property Needs a Fire Year Certification

Fire Departments and insurance companies require all properties with Fire Sprinklers Systems to be Five Year Certified. Fire Departments require this certification because of California State Law Title 19 901 Insurance companies require this certification because it ensures that your property is up to code. A thoroughly inspected fire sprinkler system gives the tenant, the property owner, and the insurance company peace of mind.

-The IFS Team