Winterizing Your Fire Protection System
As the weather gets colder, the risk of freezing pipes in fire protection sprinkler systems increases drastically. When the water inside the pipes freezes, it expands and pushes against the walls of the pipe with more than enough force to rupture them. If the pipes burst, severe water damage could occur when they thaw. Follow these simple instructions to prevent water damage, expensive repair costs and inadequate fire protection as the weather begins to turn:
- Get your system inspected. Automatic sprinkler components are required to be inspected annually, semi-annually, quarterly, or monthly in accordance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 25. More frequent testing may be required depending on the local authority having jurisdiction. If your wet sprinkler system contains an antifreeze solution, samples should be tested at multiple points throughout the freezing season to verify that the solution has not weakened. Not only will an inspection by a qualified fire protection provider uncover any physical deficiencies with your system, it will also keep you in compliance with all applicable codes so you don’t get fined.
- Keep cold air out. Be on the lookout for areas in your building that could let cold air in and increase your risk of freezing pipes. Broken windows, thin insulation, cracked walls, and exposed roof areas are a few examples. Be sure to keep windows and doors closed when not in use for entering and exiting your building. Areas with sprinkler piping should be above 40 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. Cintas fire protection technicians complete building inspections for facilities with sprinkler systems prior to freezing weather, but conditions may change so it is important to remain vigilant.
- If something does go wrong, contact a repair specialist. It is important to act fast if a problem occurs with your sprinkler system to prevent major damage to your facility. Cintas certified repair specialists are standing by 24-7 to respond to emergencies within 48 hours — much faster than the industry average.
Cintas services all types of fire sprinkler systems — wet and dry. As always, this service is covered by our exclusive Value Inspection Program Guarantee!
Click here for a no-obligation assessment of your facility’s automatic sprinkler system.