Winter is coming! Cold weather can cause fire protection systems to freeze up, burst, and cease to function properly. As the cold weather arrives, it’s time to remind everyone the importance of ensuring that their systems are functioning correctly and prepared for the cold months ahead. Read on to know what steps to take to winterize a fire sprinkler system.
Inspection and Testing
Before the weather gets too cold, a building’s fire protection system should be inspected and tested to make sure it’s functioning properly. If it’s not, proper maintenance needs to be performed to ensure that the system will function in the event it is truly needed.
- Dry Sprinkler Systems: When a dry sprinkler system is inspected and tested, all low points in the system need to be drained prior to freezing temperatures to guarantee that all water is out of the system. More so, special attention should be given to riser or pump rooms, as they are often located on the exterior of a building. These rooms can have their own heat source and need to be checked to make sure temperatures exceed 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wet Sprinkler Systems: Areas protected by wet sprinkler systems should never fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. With this in mind, it is important to regularly check the temperature of the system so that it does not fall below this point.
- Antifreeze Systems: Some fire protection wet systems have an antifreeze solution added to them to prevent freezing. Create reminders for yourself to periodically check the antifreeze levels in the system, as it will dilute over time and lose effectiveness, as well as pay attention to the strict guidelines requiring specific levels of solution in antifreeze systems.
Winterizing Your System Regardless of Location
Cold weather in the winter months can cause a variety of problems with fire protection systems. Even if a building is located in an area with mild winters, the fire protection system should still be winterized. Why? Buildings located in areas with milder winters can actually be more vulnerable to freezing because the precautionary measures are less commonly followed. One cold front can cause problems with an otherwise perfectly functioning system.
Visual Inspections Throughout Winter
Preparing a fire protection system for the winter is essential, but it is even more important to keep up on maintenance throughout the winter. Therefore, visual inspections are one of the simplest ways to ensure that a system is working fine. Look for corrosion, leaks, or any other kinds of problems. If you don’t feel comfortable performing the inspections yourself, contact a professional.
Please contact us at Ryan Fireprotection directly for additional help and advice
on winterizing your building’s fire protection system.