About Your Residential Fire Sprinkler System

The Do's and Don'ts of Your Fire Sprinkler System 

You should test your sprinkler system every month. If you system is being "monitored", then you should notify them before you test the system. The first step is to open the Inspectors test valve and listen for the alarm. The alarm should sound within 60 seconds. If the alarm does not sound, you should contact a qualified fire sprinkler contractor to inspect your system. 

This is the main drain valve on the right, and the flow switch on the left (red box). Before you open the drain confirm where it will drain to.

This is the main drain valve on the right, and the flow switch on the left (red box). Before you open the drain confirm where it will drain to.

fire suppression system shut-off

You should also know the location of the shut off valve for your system. Ensure that all other occupants know the location also.

The main shut off valve for the house is also typically the only way to shut off the sprinkler system. This design is intentional to prevent disabling the fire sprinkler system without also shutting off water to the residence.

The main shut off valve for the house is also typically the only way to shut off the sprinkler system. This design is intentional to prevent disabling the fire sprinkler system without also shutting off water to the residence.

the spare head box

Know the location of your spare head box. The spare head box is required, and should contain a sprinkler head wrench and spare heads

Contact your local fire department whenever your system is activated. Even if it seems the fire is no longer active.

Things NOT to do with your fire sprinkler system

Never paint the sprinkler heads, or the sprinkler covers.

This is the typical residential sprinkler head that you might encounter in your home. For aesthetic reasons they are concealed behind a heat activated cover. Do not paint this cover. 

This is the typical residential sprinkler head that you might encounter in your home. For aesthetic reasons they are concealed behind a heat activated cover. Do not paint this cover. 

Do not paint, damage, hang objects from, obstruct, cover, or remove the sprinkler heads.

Do not disconnect or turn off your fire sprinkler system.

If you do have a fire in your home, do not attempt to extinguish it yourself. Be calm, and leave your home immediately. Go to a neighbors house and call the fire department from there.

residential fire sprinkler inspection

You should perform the recommended annual testing on your system. If you are not comfortable doing it yourself, then you should consult with a fire sprinkler service company, or you can have it checked during with your annual home maintenance  inspection by a certified home inspector knowledgeable about residential fire sprinkler systems.

All new homes in California will now be built with fire sprinklers. To answer people's questions California State Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover explains how sprinklers work and how easy they are to maintain. Video provided courtesy of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition http://HomeFireSprinkler.org.

About the author: Frank Rotte is the Owner of Certified Inspection Services, LLC in Bonsall, CA. Comments are always welcome! Please visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/homeinspectionsandiego/