A Complete Guide to User Sprinkler Inspection & Checks

A satisfactory sprinkler system maintenance regime including a thorough review of hazard is critical to the continued dependable performance of all sprinkler systems. Find below a comprehensive maintenance regime of weekly and monthly checks for a user from Technical Bulletin 203: 2018: 1 (TB203).


BACKGROUND

TB203 replaces TB203:2014:1 and should be applied in place of BS EN 12845: 2015 – clause 20 ‘Maintenance’ and clause 21 ‘Third party inspection’.


TB203 has adopted the same headings and structure as BS EN 12845 Clause 20 ‘Maintenance’.


GENERAL

A responsible person and a substitute shall be appointed, who after they have been given the necessary instructions, shall ensure that the system remains in working condition. There details shall be displayed in the sprinkler valve room.


The responsible person shall ensure that a programme of inspection and checks is carried out and keep records, including a logbook, which shall be held on the premises.


The responsible person shall arrange for the test, service and maintenance schedule to be carried out under contract by a sprinkler servicing contractor.


Any alarm receiving station(s) shall be notified of any system tests which will result in

the transmission of an alarm. The alarm receiving station(s) shall be informed immediately that the test procedures have been completed.


After an inspection, check, test, service or maintenance procedure the system, and any automatic pumps, pressure tanks and gravity tanks shall be returned to the normal operational condition.



USER INSPECTION & CHECKS


WEEKLY ROUTINE

Each part of the weekly routine shall be carried out at intervals of no more than seven days.


1. CHECKS

The following shall be checked and recorded:

  • all water and air pressure gauge readings on installations, trunk mains and pressure tanks;

  • all water levels in elevated private reservoirs, rivers, canals, lakes, water storage tanks (including pump priming water tanks and pressure tanks);

  • the correct position of all stop valves which control the flow of water to the sprinkler system(s) from the water supply, up to and including the installation control valves stop valves but excluding the water undertaker’s stop valve on a town main supply to the system.

2. WATER MOTOR ALARM TEST

Each water motor alarm shall be sounded for no less than 30s.


3. AUTOMATIC PUMP STARTING TEST

Tests on automatic pumps shall include the following;

  • water pressure on the starting device shall be reduced, thus simulating the condition of automatic starting;

  • when the pump starts, the starting pressure shall be checked and recorded;

  • check that there is cooling water flowing through open circuit cooling systems

  • check diesel pump oil pressure;

  • fuel and engine lubricating oil levels in diesel engines shall be checked;

  • check the correct operation of any automatic ventilation louvres.

4. DIESEL ENGINE RESTARTING TEST

Immediately after the pump start test, diesel engines shall be tested as follows:

  • the engine shall be run for 30 minutes, or for the time recommended by the supplier. The engine shall then be stopped and immediately restarted using the manual start test button;

  • the water level in the primary circuit of closed circuit cooling systems shall be checked. Oil pressure (where gauges are fitted), engine temperatures and coolant flow shall be monitored throughout the test. Oil hoses shall be checked and a general inspection made for leakage of fuel, coolant or exhaust fumes.

5. TRACE HEATING AND LOCALISED HEATING SYSTEMS

Heating systems to prevent freezing in the sprinkler system shall be checked for correct function.


6. REMOTE CENTRAL STATION ALARM CONNECTION

The equipment for automatic transmission of alarm signals from a sprinkler installation to a fire and rescue service or remote manned centre shall be checked for:

  • continuity of the connection; and

  • continuity of the connection between the alarm switch and the control unit, if the circuits are continuously monitored.


MONTHLY ROUTINE

Each part of the monthly routine shall be carried out at intervals of no more than one calendar month in addition to the tasks identified in the weekly routine.


1. BATTERIES

Check the electrolyte level of all battery cells, (including diesel engine starter batteries and those for control panel power supplies) and carry out all other maintenance procedures specified by the battery manufacturer. Check the battery charging voltage and make sure it has not changed. Report any changes to the sprinkler service contractor.


2. WATER STORAGE TANK SECURITY

The access ladder to all sprinkler water storage tanks shall be checked for correct housing and security and any tank ball valve covers shall be secured and locked.


YEARLY ROUTINE

Third Party Inspection

The sprinkler system shall be periodically inspected at least once a year by a third party. The inspection report shall assess whether the system is in accordance with this standard, with regard to maintenance, operation and adequacy for the risk involved. Where appropriate a list of deviations shall be issued for action. The criticality of each action shall be indicated.


Inspections should be undertaken by an independent third party (eg not the system owner, building occupier, system installer or service and maintenance provider). Inspections undertaken by insurers for their commercial and underwriting purposes cannot be assumed to fulfil the intent of this requirement.



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