Water-Based Fire Protection Systems – Sprinkler Systems (WA)

Water-Based Fire Protection Systems (Sprinkler Systems) Testing Competency Guide (WA)

General Knowledge:

  • Fire alarm systems
  • Installation of Sprinkler Systems
  • Equipment to conduct the testing

Applicable Codes:

  • Vancouver Fire Bylaw
  • B.C. Fire Code
  • NFPA 13 Installation of Sprinkler Systems
  • NFPA 25 Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems.
  • NFPA 20 Standard for the Installation of Centrifugal Fire Pumps.

Competencies – Technician is able to:

  1. Conduct inspection and testing in conformance with applicable codes.
  2. Conduct trip tests.
  3. Reset and drain the system.
  4. Conduct waterflow alarm tests.
  5. Conduct inspection of all valves.
  6. Conduct inspection of Fire Department connections.
  7. Conduct main drain tests.
  8. Conduct alarm tests where an electrical supervisory signal service is provided.
  9. Inspect electrical supervision and trouble indication of all devices.
  10. Conduct inspection of sprinklers.
  11. Conduct inspection of spare sprinklers.
  12. Conduct inspection of Pipe and Fittings.
  13. Conduct inspection of Hangers and Seismic Braces.
  14. Conduct inspection of Gauges.
  15. Conduct tests on Antifreeze Systems.
  16. Conduct inspection of buildings.
  17. Conduct inspection of control valves.
  18. Conduct test on control valves.
  19. Prepare clear and accurate inspection and test reports.
  20. Communicate with the owner or authorized agent.
  21. Communicate clearly with the authority having jurisdiction.

Performance factors – The technician is able to:

  1. Understand and conduct all inspection and testing in conformance with the applicable code requirements.
  2. Conduct trip tests on dry systems with the control valve partially open and when required using the inspectors test connection.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to drain all areas of the sprinkler system, reset the clapper valve, insert the priming water and ensure proper air pressure.
  4. Conduct water flow alarm tests on wet and dry systems. On wet systems by using the inspectors test connection. Dry pipe systems water flow alarm test can be done by using the alarm test connection located at the dry pipe valve. Test all mechanical and electrical alarms.
  5. Conduct inspection of valves to determine that they are in the normal open or closed position, properly sealed, locked, supervised, accessible, provided with appropriate wrenches, free from leaks and appropriate identification.
  6. Conduct inspections of fire department connections to determine that they are visible, accessible, couplings are not damaged, caps in place etc.
  7. Conduct a main drain test by opening the main drain valve fully and record the difference between the static and flow pressure. This is done to determine there are no obstructions in the water supply.
  8. Conduct tests on all initiating and transmitting devices to determine proper operation.
  9. Sprinkler system supervisory devices shall be tested to determine operation and proper annunciation.
  10. Conduct inspection of sprinkler heads for damage, corrosion or accumulations of grease, paint or other deposits and proper clearances to the deflector.
  11. Conduct inspection of spare sprinklers to determine the proper number and type of sprinklers and a sprinkler wrench for each type of sprinkler.
  12. Conduct inspection of the pipe and fittings to determine that the pipe and fittings are in good condition and free of mechanical damage, leakage, corrosion and misalignment.
  13. Conduct inspection of hangers and seismic braces to determine that they are not damaged or loose.
  14. Conduct inspection of Gauges to determine that they are in good condition and that the normal water supply pressure and air pressure is maintained.
  15. Conduct tests to determine that the freezing point of solutions is acceptable by measuring the specific gravity with a hydrometer or refractometer.
  16. Conduct inspection of buildings prior to the onset of freezing weather. Buildings with wet pipe systems shall be inspected to verify that windows, skylights, doors, ventilators etc. do not expose water-filled sprinkler piping to freezing and that adequate heat is available.
  17. Conduct inspection of control valves to determine they are in the normal open or closed position, properly sealed, locked, supervised, accessible, provided with appropriate wrenches, free from leaks and appropriate identification.
  18. Conduct a test of the control valves by operating through its full range and returned to its normal position.
  19. Prepare clear and accurate inspection and test reports and maintain the records for the authority having jurisdiction.
  20. Communicate with the owner or authorized agent and make recommendations for deficiencies that need to be rectified.
  21. Communicate clearly with the authority having jurisdiction and advise him of any problems or unsafe conditions in the building.

Note: The above mentioned competencies are to be used as a guideline for the type of work the technician is required to do. For accurate testing references the appropriate code shall be consulted.