Your fire suppression system is an important component of your facility or building. In addition to putting out any fire hazards that may occur, it functions as a warning — letting people know when a fire hazard may be present and giving people the warning they need to get out of the building safely. If your fire suppression system is malfunctioning, in the form of a sprinkler leak, a burst pipe, or a false alarm, immediate action is necessary. Here’s what you need to know to take care of fire suppression system service immediately:
In general, fire suppression systems are designed to function well, given that they are updated, tested, and serviced regularly. However, if your system is old, or hasn’t had service recently, there is the potential for problems to occur. In the unlikely event that you do need emergency fire system service, here are some general guidelines to follow, to ensure that everyone in your building or facility is safe, and you are able to find the quickest possible solution to your problem:
01. Assess the Situation
First, make sure that your fire suppression system is actually malfunctioning. If your fire suppression system is functioning properly, the alarm is going off and the sprinkler system has actuated because there is a fire hazard present. If this is the case, it’s necessary to get everyone out of the building if possible, before taking further action.
If it’s clear that there is no fire hazard, and your system simply isn’t functioning as it should, do your best to see what the problem might be. Has someone pulled the fire alarm? Has a pipe burst, or are sprinklers leaking? If you can assess what’s going on, your fire protection provider will be better prepared when they arrive at your building.
02. Call Your Fire Protection Provider
Once you have an idea of the problem — a burst pipe, leaking sprinklers, a malfunctioning alarm — call your fire protection provider. They should be able to come out and provide service immediately. Quality fire system service professionals offer 24/7 service for situations just like this.
Before you hang up, make sure you ask for their advice about how to best mitigate the situation while you wait for their arrival. If something is leaking, they may advise you to turn off the water supply. If your alarm is going off, they may be able to help you troubleshoot and get the alarm turned off until they can come out to assess and fix the problem.
03. Stop Systems if Necessary
While most buildings have relatively straightforward fire suppression systems, there are applications that require specific and unique fire suppression agents. If yours is actuating or leaking agent, and won’t turn off, it may be necessary to cut off the system’s supply.
While this should be a last resort, it may be necessary depending on the fire suppression agent your facility uses. Again, you can ask your fire protection provider for help over the phone if this is a concern you are experiencing. They should be able to walk you through the basic steps to temporarily shut off the system until help can arrive.
04. Work To Minimize Any Water Damage
If your sprinkler system is leaking, or if a pipe has burst somewhere along the length of your sprinkler system, water damage is likely your biggest concern. If left to its own devices, water can pose a serious risk to your building, and to other integral components of your fire suppression system. Do what you can to stop the leak by shutting off the water, if possible. If not, try to mitigate damage by placing buckets, towels, or tarps under the leak to protect your facility as best you can.
05. Wait for Your Fire System Service Provider to Arrive
Once you’ve done what you can to turn off false alarms, ensure the safety of employees or residents, and stop water and fire suppression agents from leaking, it’s time to wait for your fire system service provider to arrive. Most quality fire protection providers offer 24/7 emergency service for situations just like this.
If, for some reason, you can’t get ahold of your provider, or they are unable to provide emergency response, know that there are fire system service professionals who do. Look for a fire protection company that has experience with your type of system, is a member of important industry organizations like the National Fire Protection Association, and of course, who can provide the emergency service you need, now.
Once you are able to get someone out to look at and address the problem with your fire suppression system, it’s important to take further action to make sure an issue like this doesn’t happen again. Most newer fire suppression systems feature upgraded technology that works to ensure false alarms and leaks don’t happen. If your system is old or outdated, it may be time for an upgrade, or if your system simply hadn’t been serviced in a while, it’s a good idea to get on a regular service plan. Here are two steps to take to ensure your facility responds properly to a fire suppression system emergency:
When your fire suppression systems malfunctions, there’s usually some cause. In older buildings and facilities, the problem is often that the system is outdated. It could be that your fire suppression system is just starting to wear down, or the problem could be a result of a fire suppression system that isn’t appropriate for your current building, facility, or application.
If you’ve had a qualified fire protection provider assess your system, to address and fix the emergency, they will likely offer recommendations for system upgrades. It’s worth it to take those upgrades into consideration — fire suppression technology has come a long way in the past few years, and making a few system upgrades now can save you from more emergency service issues in the future.
The other main cause for fire suppression system emergencies is lack of service. Your fire suppression system is a huge part of your facility’s safety. It needs regular service and maintenance to ensure you’re keeping the people and products in your building safe. If it had been some time since your system was serviced, it’s possible that the emergency situation you experienced could have been identified and fixed before it became an emergency.
The best way to ensure your system is always functioning as it should is to schedule regular fire suppression system service. Many fire protection providers offer regular service plans where technicians visit your building or facility on a regular schedule to perform routine maintenance and check your system for any signs of wear and tear. This regular service can save you a lot in the long run, helping you avoid emergency situations, and ensuring your building, your people, and your products are always kept as safe as possible.
Your fire suppression system is the last thing you want to malfunction. If you’re experiencing a problem, and your fire suppression system needs immediate attention, the team at Vanguard can help. Our qualified technicians can service and maintenance any fire suppression system you’re working with, and we can get a truck out to help you as soon as possible. With 24/7 service, we can help you whenever you need us. Give us a call at 800-444-8719 or contact us online, and we’ll get back to you quickly.