Fire System Inspection Frequency: How Often to Inspect

Written by: Randall Construction | On: May 17, 2020


Fire System Inspection Frequency: How Often to Inspect

Whether you’re a business owner or a property manager, your fire protection system should be inspected per state statutes to ensure that each facet of your system is working. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of fire system inspection frequency.

However, before we jump into an inspection overview, let’s distinguish the differences between inspection and testing.

The Differences Between Inspection and Testing

Though inspection and testing sound the same—I mean, don’t you inspect when you also test and don’t you need to test when you also inspect?—The truth is, though, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, despite them being different altogether.

Inspections involve professionals visually inspecting equipment such as sprinklers and fire alarms for problems like leaks or damages. Whereas testing involves examining whether equipment functions properly. Inspections and tests are often performed according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards. A professional will know the right inspection and testing frequencies to ensure your equipment is running properly.

Fire System Inspection Frequency

In the United States—every minute there are about 4 new fires that require a fire department, an outside property fire occurs roughly every 52 seconds. That’s why it’s so important to have an effective fire protection system, you can greatly reduce the chance of a small fire to turn into a devastating fire.

As your first line of defense against a fire, fire protection systems need to work in adherence with state codes and standards, which is why they need to be inspected routinely. Such systems include:

  • Fire System Inspection Frequency
  • Fire Alarm System Inspection
  • Fire Sprinkler System Inspection
  • Fire Hydrant Inspection
  • Fire Pump Inspection
  • Backflow Inspection

Fire Alarm System Inspection

A fire alarm will alert you to a potential fire and save your life. According to the NFPA, there are around 1,450 deaths each year in houses due to missing or damaged alarms. As a primary part of a fire protection system, all aspects of the fire alarm must be inspected and tested.

A fire alarm system should be inspected semi-annually, as well as annually. All devices both initiating and notification should be tested. Smoke detectors should have their sensitivity checked bi-annually as required by code.

Sprinkler System Inspection

The NFPA and Florida State Statutes require that commercial and industrial facilities have licensed fire protection contractors inspect all sprinkler systems at least 4 times a year. Here are some of the more important milestones to pay attention to with your sprinkler system:

  • Quarterly: inspect gauges and hydraulic nameplate. Test supervisory switches and water flow devices, water flow alarm devices, supervisory signal devices, hydraulic nameplates, signage, and more.
  • Annual: In addition to quarterly requirements, inspect hangers, seismic bracing, pipe/fittings, sprinklers, and information sign. Test antifreeze solution.
  • 3 Year: Full flow system trip of all dry-type fire sprinkler systems and check timing of water release.
  • 5 Year: Internal inspection of all valves and piping.
  • 20 Year: Replace or factory test a representative sample of quick response fire sprinkler heads then retest at 10-year intervals.
  • 50 Year: Replace or factory test a representative sample of standard response fire sprinkler heads then retest at 10-year intervals. Fire sprinklers heads manufactured prior to 1920 shall be replaced.
  • 75 Year: Replace or factory test a representative sample of standard response fire sprinkler heads then retest at 5-year intervals. Fire sprinklers heads manufactured prior to 1920 shall be replaced.

The seasoned professional handling the inspection will look at all elements to ensure that they are functioning correctly.

Fire Hydrant Inspection

A fire hydrant is a primary line of defense against a household or business fire. Like all aspects of fire protection systems, these need to be inspected.

Annually: Inspection and testing by a licensed fire protection system contractor.

Other Fire Protection Systems to Inspect

Based on the National Fire Protection Association standards for inspections, here are some more fire protection systems that should be inspected routinely:

  • Fire door inspections: annual inspections
  • Backflows: annual inspections
  • Fire pumps: weekly, monthly, quarterly, annual inspections (pump tested annually)

About RANDALL Fire Protection

Now that you know fire system inspection frequency and understand the importance of an inspection for fire protection systems, it’s time you reached out to fire protection system specialists here at RANDALL. As professionals, we can let you know in more detail (instead of just this overview) the importance of inspections, and get to work ensuring your fire systems are up-to-date.

RANDALL Fire Protection delivers comprehensive fire suppression inspections and testing. We are dedicated to meeting the highest standards in fire protection system inspections and maintenance. You can depend on us to consistently deliver quality service.

Contact our RANDALL Fire Protection team to learn more about our fire protection system at (407) 464-7776.