In a recent article from NFPA, it states, “three out of every five fire incidents where sprinklers fail to operate, the system has been shut off.” This is especially troubling because this can be easily fixed by added checks to the system.
Not all valves are supervised, so it is very important to make sure that after inspections or any other work, the valves are turned back on. Both contractors and staff have a part in making sure the valves are ready in case of an emergency.
For valves that are not supervised NPFA has certain allowances. “In lieu of electronic supervision, NFPA 13 also permits valves to be locked, sealed, and tagged to prevent unauthorized closing.” Seals must be checked weekly and locks monthly to assure no one has tampered with them.
The overall message of the article is that whether a valve is supervised or not, a visual check is truly the best way to assure that your system will work when it is called upon. Protegis Fire & Safety is equipped to help with your valve and sprinkler needs.
1 NFPA – In Compliance | NFPA 13 – Monitoring the status of a sprinkler system by Brian O’Connor