June 8, 2018

Annual Fire Sprinkler Inspections

Most people know they need to check their smoke alarms and change the batteries at least once a year – and if they don’t, that annoying high-pitched chirp is a very vivid reminder to get it done.  There are no noisy sounds or blinking lights on fire sprinkler systems, but experts say it is important to have these systems inspected annually.

“Most home fire sprinklers require very little maintenance, but we highly recommend that a professional inspects and tests these systems once a year to ensure that the equipment is well maintained and ready to work if a fire breaks out,” said David Kurasz, Executive Director of the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board.  “Fire can occur at any time, but research shows that the majority of home fires do happen during the cold winter months. It is important to schedule inspections before the onset of the winter season.”

Sprinklers should be checked both visually and mechanically, and a water flow test should be conducted at least once a year.  Homeowners can do the visual check, but mechanical inspections and water flow tests should be done by a licensed and certified contractor in New Jersey.  The New Jersey Division of Fire Safety provides a list of contractors on their website: http://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dfs/pdf/contractor_certified_december_2016.pdf

The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition recommends these tips for homeowners to follow to protect their sprinkler systems and keep them in working order:

  • Make sure nothing is blocking your sprinklers
  • Keep pictures and large furniture away from sprinklers on walls
  • Hang lamps and plants away from ceiling sprinklers
  • Do not hang anything on sprinklers or pipes — even lightweight items can damage sprinklers
  • Do Not Paint the Fire Sprinkler or the Cover — paint may stop the fire sprinkler from working correctly or working at all
  • Be careful when you are moving large or tall items that might bump sprinklers or exposed pipes
  • Teach children not to touch or play with sprinklers
  • Do not block sprinklers with furniture or fabrics — this can block the spray of the sprinkler head and impede the ability to put out a fire
  • Make a note of the date the sprinkler system was inspected

The National Fire Protection Association has detailed information about the requirements for inspecting home fire sprinkler systems and those in commercial buildings.  For more information visit www.nfpa.org

If you need help locating a licensed professional to do the inspection you can visit the contact the NJFSAB at 1-866-226-6006 or visit www.saveandprotect.org

June 8, 2018

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