My Building Isn’t Up to Code: What’s Next?

  • April 30, 2022

We all know that inspections are essential for keeping people and property safe. It’s possible that your building might not pass the test at some point. If your building inspection failed due to an improperly maintained sprinkler system, you might be asking, “what’s next?” Repairing and maintaining your sprinkler system will help you pass your next inspection. Still, it’s even more important to plan what you’ll do going forward to keep your equipment in its best-operating shape. Here’s our advice to make sure your building is ready for the subsequent evaluation:

Test Your System Every 30 Days

Most businesses will never experience a fire, yet they must maintain fire protection systems in good working order. You never know when a fire will occur, so you should take steps to be prepared for it. One of these steps should include testing your system regularly. 

If your recent inspection failed, part of the problem might be that you haven’t been running tests once a month. A 30-day trial will help you ensure the system is in good working order. 

Simply open the test valve and wait to hear the alarm to test the system. Call your fire sprinkler system provider for service if you don’t hear the alarm.

Keep Your Valves Open

Make sure you know the location of your fire sprinkler shut-off valve, thus giving you better control over your system if there is a fire. Your fire sprinkler control valves should also remain open. Ask your fire sprinkler service provider during your next inspection if you don’t know where these controls are.

If you notice damage to the valves or sprinkler heads, report them to a service provider, like our team at A&A Fire Protection, immediately. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing your system will work when you need to depend on it.

Avoid Inadvertently Violating Fire Safety Codes

If your inspection failed more than once, you might need to look at the individual sprinkler heads. Either you or someone on your staff may have mistakenly violated the safety codes regarding how sprinkler heads are maintained. Specific actions can inhibit the operation of the sprinklers or damage the heads themselves. 

Avoid painting the heads when painting your company’s ceiling. Hanging items from the sprinkler head or blocking them with tall furnishings also creates potential risk. Ensure that no cloth, fabric, or other materials obstruct the sprinkler heads.

Plan on More than a Quarterly Inspection

If your building isn’t up to code, one reason may be that you didn’t schedule inspections after making changes to your property. For example, you should request a review after changing or adding a backflow preventer or water meter.  You’ll also need a new inspection after altering building occupancy or designed use.

If you undertake a new remodeling project, schedule a building inspection immediately upon completion. New construction is not a time to cut corners. Using a professional fire sprinkler design team makes you feel confident that your building is safe.

Be Ready for Replacements

You should regularly replace certain parts of your fire sprinkler system. Often, these components are the most likely to need an update:

  • Gauges: inspect and replace every five years;
  • Sprinkler heads: replace every 20 to 50 years;
  • Valves: replace every five years.

While these are general guidelines, your fire safety inspection team can determine a more accurate timeline for your system’s components. Some parts may last longer or degrade faster. Our team will work with you to know how often you should reevaluate and replace parts.

Trust Your Fire Inspector

As long as you schedule quarterly fire safety inspections, you can trust that your system will meet code regulations. This process can save you the time and frustration of trying to meet changing codes. More importantly, quarterly inspections will help you maintain a safer and more fire-ready business.

You can learn more about caring for and maintaining your building’s fire sprinkler system by visiting A&A Fire Protection. Our blog posts will help you understand how to keep your system in good working order and provide helpful fire safety information. If your building needs an inspection or fire sprinkler renovation, reach out to our team today.

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