Maintaining Your Fire Sprinkler System in 10 Easy Steps

Sprinkler Blog Photo

Many commercial buildings have fire sprinkler systems to reduce exposure to property loss and save lives if  unfortunately, you have a fire. In addition, a properly designed and maintained sprinkler system may save you money on your property insurance premiums. However, like any system it must be properly maintained so it is there for you when needed.

Your loss control team can set up an easy-to-follow schedule so items are checked as required and your system is ready when you need it.


1. Visually inspect the control valves, ensuring that the valves are open and secured and confirm there are no visible leaks in the equipment.

2. Ensure that all storage is a minimum of 18 inches below the sprinkler heads. If items are too close to the sprinkler heads proper coverage of the area by water will be impeded and the fire may spread.


1. Test the alarms. This needs to be coordinated with the local fire department and  your system’s monitoring company so they are aware that a test is taking place.  Activate alarms by running water through the inspection test valve, and confirm whether or not the alarm sounds.


1. Complete a flow test. This includes testing to ensure water flow and detecting devices are operational, and that a signal is properly triggered when you allow water to flow for 60 seconds.

2. Visually inspect piping to ensure the system is in good operating condition and has not sustained any physical damage.

3. Perform a visual inspection of the fire department connection to be sure the caps have not been removed. If caps are removed the operation of the system can be compromised.

4. Visually inspect all sprinkler heads. You should pay particular attention to heads over 50 years old. Older heads should be replaced, or at a minimum a sample of the heads should be tested by a recognized laboratory. If one of the tested heads fails all heads in the area should be replaced.

5 years:

1. Complete an internal pipe exam. The purpose of this test is to inspect the pipes for the presence of foreign materials that may obstruct the flow of water through the pipes to the sprinkler heads.

2. Test and replace pressure gauges as needed. Gauges need to be tested in comparison to a calibrated gauge. Those that do not test within the standard scale must be recalibrated or replaced.

Last but not least, review National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 25 list of testing and maintenance requirements for your sprinkler system as often as desired.

The Trusted Choice team at Richey-Barrett Insurance is always available to assist you in meeting your risk management and insurance goals. So, before you renew your policy give us a call.

Tags Fire suppression systems, sprinkler systems, property insurance, building insurance, loss control

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