Maintaining Your Residential Fire Sprinklers

sprinkler systemAccording to statistics, 83% of all deaths in the U.S., caused by fire, happen within the home. Installing a sprinkler system, provides protection, saves lives, and restores peace of mind. Unfortunately, many homeowners neglect to maintain their systems; which is the saddest news a fire marshall has to report. If a sprinkler system is in good working condition, it can stop a fire before that fire takes lives.

Here are a few tips on how to keep your sprinkler system in great condition. It is imperative that you perform these tasks quarterly.

● Walk around the home and visually inspect your sprinklers. Check for rust, or any type of corrosion. Sprinklers should not be painted over; so if you’ve recently painted or had remodeling done in the home, make sure that the sprinklers are not damaged.

● Make sure you know how to open the sprinkler system control valves. Familiarize yourself with how your sprinklers work, so that you are not caught off-guard in the midst of a disaster.

● The power to the sprinkler system should remain on. In most cases, there is a separate circuit breaker panel for the sprinklers; so this should be easy to accomplish. It is wise to have a lock on this panel, so no one accidentally opens it.

● Conduct a flow test by opening the test drain valve slowly until fully opened. Within 15-30 seconds you should hear an alarm bell. Allow the system to flow for approximately 3 minutes. Afterwards, slowly close the test drain. Note: If you need to notify your alarm company, do so before beginning this test.

● Check to make sure that your sprinkler pipes are well insulated to prevent them from freezing. The home should always remain at a moderate temperature, even when on vacation.

Just like a car or central climate control, sprinkler systems need regular maintenance to ensure proper functionality and decent longevity. Hire a licensed sprinkler contractor to inspect your system annually to insure your sprinkler system will be there when you need it most.

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