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Types of Water-Based Systems:


In general, a fire-sprinkler system consists of a network of piping which provides an adequate water supply from public or private water sources; underground and overhead supply mains; branch-lines and sprinklers heads; with water-control valves, drains, alarm and supervisory devices; and, a monitoring source.


Among the several types of systems are


(1) wet-pipe systems,

(2) dry-pipe systems,

(3) pre-actions systems,

(4) foam/water systems, Deluge

(5) anti-freeze loops.


In cases where normal water supply pressures may be inadequate for cover the floor space, as in high-rise structures, a fire pump may be necessary. Fire pumps are driven by electric motors or diesel engines, as required. In the event of a fire-emergency, the sprinkler system will “automatically” operate when fire temperatures attain the level sufficient to activate the individual sprinklers. First responders and Fire-Fighters must be summoned by on-site personnel, or, an “Off-site” monitoring service, which will dispatch the authorities upon notification to do so by the communications transmitted from the Fire Alarm Control Panel attached to the fire detection and water-flow devices. Heat and or/smoke detection devices will also summon the authorities.  Great southwestern Fire & Safety offers all the services need to inspect each of these systems with one call. GSF will take care of the coordination needed to perform complex inspections that includes fire alarm, fire sprinkler, extinguisher and kitchen hood system suppression systems.

Fire Sprinkler Systems Design/ Installation / Inspection & Testing

  • Pre-Action Fire Sprinkler Systems
  • Fire Pumps
  • Water Storage Tanks
  • Water Mist Fire Sprinkler Systems
  •  Under Ground, Vaults, Backflow Preventers

Great Southwestern Fire & Safety can perform the following services during a scheduled inspection.

NFPA 25, Chapter 4 assigns responsibility for providing inspections and maintenance of any property to the Owner or his delegate. Inspection personnel must also be provided unlimited access to all areas of a property during inspections. Therefore, an essential part of any inspection involves an inspection “appointment.” The Property Owners must be given amply notice in advance of an inspection to provide adequate assistance, escorts, keys or badges to assure a minimum of disruption to the normal business activities.  Consideration must be given to audible alarms, and whether these devices should be tested before or after regular business hours. Planning ahead minimizes any inconvenience that inspections may cause. Let Great Southwestern Fire & Safety help you plan your next  fire protection systems inspection."Because your safety is our Business."

Typical Inspections  


  • Gauges - Dry, Pre-Action & Deluge Gauges on dry, pre-action, and deluge systems shall be inspected weekly to ensure that normal air and water pressures are being maintained.  
  • Gauges - Wet Pipe Systems Gauges on wet pipe sprinkler systems shall be inspected monthly to ensure that they are in good condition and that normal water supply pressure is being maintained.  
  • Alarm Devices -Alarm devices shall be inspected quarterly to verify that they are free of physical damage.  
  • Hydraulic Nameplate-The hydraulic nameplate, if provided, shall be inspected quarterly to verify that it is attached securely to the sprinkler riser and is legible.  
  • Buildings-Annually, prior to the onset of freezing weather, buildings with wet pipe systems shall be inspected to verify that windows, skylights, doors, ventilators, other openings and closures, blind spaces, unused attics, stair towers, roof houses, and low space.  
  • Hangers/Bracing-Sprinkler pipe hangers and seismic braces shall be inspected annually from the floor level. 
  • Pipe & Fittings-Sprinkler pipe and fittings shall be inspected annually from the floor level.  
  • Sprinkler Heads-Sprinklers shall be inspected from the floor level annually.  
  • Spare Sprinkler Heads-The supply of spare sprinkler head and wrenches shall be inspected annually.
  • Alarm Devices-Waterflow alarm devices including, but not limited to, mechanical water motor gongs, vane-type waterflow devices, and pressure switches that provide audible or visual signals shall be tested quarterly.  
  • Antifreeze Solution-The freezing point of solutions in antifreeze shall be tested annually by measuring the specific gravity with a hydrometer or refractometer and adjusting the solutions if necessary.  
  • Gauges- Gauges shall be replaced every 5 years or tested every 5 years by comparison with a calibrated gauge. Gauges not accurate to within 3 percent of the full scale shall be recalibrated or replaced.  
  • Sprinkler Heads-Where sprinklers have been in service for 50 years, they shall be replaced or representative samples from one or more sample areas shall be submitted to a recognized testing laboratory acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction for field service test.  
  • Sprinkler Heads - Extra High Temp Exception No. 3*: Representative samples of solder-type sprinklers with a temperature classification of extra high [325°F (163°C)] or greater that are exposed to semicontinuous to continuous maximum allowable ambient temperature conditions shall be tested.  
  • Sprinkler Heads - Fast Response Exception No. 2: Sprinklers manufactured using fast response elements that have been in service for 20 years shall be tested. They shall be retested at 10-year intervals.


Maintenance

 

  • Obstruction Investigation-Systems shall be examined internally for obstructions where conditions exist that could cause obstructed piping. If the condition has not been corrected or the condition is one that could result in obstruction of piping despite any previous flushing procedures.  
  • Control Valves-All valves shall be inspected weekly.  
  • Alarm Valves-Alarm valves shall be externally inspected monthly.  
  • Check Valves-Valves shall be inspected internally every 5 years to verify that all components operate properly, move freely, and are in good condition. 
  • Preaction/Deluge Valves-The interior of the preaction or deluge valve and the condition of detection devices shall be inspected annually when the trip test is conducted.  
  • Dry Pipe Valves/Quick Opening Devices-The interior of the dry pipe valve shall be inspected annually when the trip test is conducted.  
  • Main Drain-A main drain test shall be conducted quarterly at each water-based fire protection system riser to determine whether there has been a change in the condition of the water supply piping and control valves.  
  • Waterflow Alarm-All waterflow alarms shall be tested quarterly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.  
  • Control Valves-Each control valve shall be operated annually through its full range and returned to its normal position.  Preaction/Deluge Valves-Each deluge or preaction valve shall be trip tested annually at full flow in warm weather and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.  
  • Dry Pipe Valves/Quick Opening Devices-Each dry pipe valve shall be trip tested annually during warm weather.  
  • Backflow Prevention Assemblies-All backflow preventers installed in fire protection system piping shall be tested annually…  Control Valves-The operating stems of outside screw and yoke valves shall be lubricated annually.  
  • Preaction/Deluge Valves-During the annual trip test, the interior of the preaction or deluge valve shall be cleaned thoroughly and the parts replaced or repaired as necessary.  

In accordance with the Texas State Fire Marshals Office adopted National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards,

Great Southwestern Fire & Safety, Inc. provides required annual inspections for all types of “Water-Based Fire Protection Systems.”

The purpose of annual inspections is to ensure, to a reasonable degree of certainty, that systems will operate in accordance with their design requirements in the event of fire emergencies.


NFPA 25 sets the minimum requirements for inspections, testing intervals and maintenance of sprinkler systems. In addition, where certain electronic monitoring devices are incorporated into fire protection systems, NFPA 72 applies to Fire Alarm and Supervisory Devices that are tested during the same intervals in most cases.

Great Southwestern Fire & Safety

Great Southwestern Fire & Safety offers a wide range of superior fire protection services. Here you can find everything from fire sprinkler systems (wet, dry, pre-action, high pile storage and ESFR systems to deluge, standpipe systems, fire pumps, and more). GSF is known for its comprehensive fire protection services. Choose a company that has spent more than four decades providing dependable, cost effective fire protection services to the commercial, and industrial sectors, and rest assured that you are in capable hands. Contact us with any inquiries about Great Southwestern Fire & Safety's services; our experts are standing by to explain the capabilities of our various products and services.

Great Southwestern Fire & Safety's fire sprinkler projects include a thorough on-site evaluation of existing facilities, or a blueprint and specification analysis of new construction projects. Our licensed fire protection consultants and design specialists work closely with owners, architects engineers, insurance companies and government agencies to develop a system that meets code requirements. They balance all design criteria with protection objectives, code compliance, budget requirements, and owner concerns.


Fire Sprinkler Systems Design

After consulting with our customers, our project design department works to determine the best fire suppression system configuration for your project. Our state-of-the-art CAD and BIM capabilities allow GSF to coordinate the sprinkler system with all building components. Design and fabrication methods meet tight deadlines and maintain "fast track" installation schedules. Great Southwestern Fire & Safety's CAD systems are compatible with those used by architects and engineers thereby allowing us to utilize current, accurate drawing data to achieve an integrated, comprehensive and consistent design.

  • Our services include: Building Information Modeling (BIM) - three-dimensional, real-time, dynamic building modeling for increased productivity in building design and construction.
  • Fire Protection Systems Design - conceptual design, detail engineered construction documents, system calculations.
  • Code Consulting - fire protection and life safety code compliance consulting.
  • Site Surveys - review of existing facilities for retrofit installation or to verify compliance with current codes as required for system upgrades or modifications.
  • Hydraulic Calculations - ensures adequate flow in accordance with the required design for effective fire control

Identifying the systems:


Although all sprinkler systems are designed to achieve the same purposes and share similar features, such as pipe and sprinklers, special differences may be applicable, depending upon the location of the system.


For example, a “wet-pipe” system will be installed where normal room temperatures are well above freezing. As the name implies, wet-pipe systems are energized with water throughout the system, from riser control-valve to the ends of the lines.


For outside areas, such as truck-docks and parking garages, open to outside temperatures ranging from extreme summer heat to frigid winter cold, a “dry-pipe” system will be required. A special “dry-valve” must still be installed in a room with adequate heat, while the overhead piping will be “dry”, charged with air-pressure, not water-pressure. The compressed air, supplied and maintained by an automatic, electric air-compressor, exerts downward pressure on a “clapper-plate” located inside the dry-valve body; holding back the water from below the clapper. When a sprinkler head operates during a fire-emergency, the sudden release of air will operate the compressor, but the compressor will not be able to maintain the rapid air loss. When the water pressure from the supply overcomes the loss of air-pressure, the system will “trip” and flood the pipe with water and send it directly to the open sprinkler head, much like an aerosol can of hair-spray.


Where expensive, electronic data collection rooms or computer-server rooms are present, adequate care must be taken to prevent water-damage in the event of a “false alarm.” Therefore, “pre-action” systems and “insert-gas systems”, such as FM-200, may be employed. The FM 200 systems are identified by the massive compressed-gas cylinders attached the piping.


Pre-action systems are identified by the special pre-action valve, manual release stations, and electronic solenoid devises. A special Fire Alarm Control Panel will accompany both pre-action and FM 200 systems.


For small rooms, attached buildings or stairwells lacking heat, a small “anti-freeze system” may be suitable. Since the system is “wet” and exposed to freezing, the piping is charged with a non-toxic, food-grade, sugar-based anti-freeze solution: propylene glycol. A proper mixture of water and glycol can provide safe use in temperatures exceeding -40 degrees F. Since water supplying the anti-freeze loop already requires a water flow device, the loop may not be equipped with such, but an “indicating control valve” should be in place to isolate the system.