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Do I Need to Clean My Fire Sprinkler System?

The last time you ever thought about your fire sprinkler system was likely during a general company safety briefing or after hearing about a local home fire in the news. So, do you recall the last time you cleaned your fire sprinkler system? If you can’t remember, it’s been too long.

Over time, sprinkler systems can accumulate dirt, dust, paint, and other debris. If a fire happens, the trapped dirt or grime can obstruct the sprinkler heads, causing them to be ineffective. To ensure that your fire sprinklers remain clean and responsive, scheduling regular cleanings and inspections is crucial.

Overdue for professional inspection of your fire sprinkler system in your building? Call Houston’s top fire safety consultants at ​(713) 893-1090!

Dangers of Dirty Sprinkler Heads

Whether your commercial building is small, or you run a large chain restaurant, paying attention to your fire safety systems is important to help you protect lives and reduce risks in the event of a fire. If your sprinkler heads have not been cleaned for some time, you may incur the following risks:

  • Delayed or unpredictable response rate
  • Blocked, reduced, or distorted spray patterns
  • Collection and re-transmission of bacteria or viruses
  • Circulation of dust and germs through HVAC systems

When there is a build-up around the sprinkler head, the internal thermal element (a small, glass bulb that is set to break when the air reaches fire temperatures), may be too insulated by debris to react quickly. Conversely, even fire sprinklers in otherwise hygienic hospitals or offices can pick up germs and bacteria in the air, where they will continue to circulate.

Is your old, dusty sprinkler system giving you a false sense of security? It may be in need of a cleaning.

How to Clean a Dirty Fire Sprinkler System

Cleaning your fire sprinkler system is not the time to find out what sets off sprinkler systems accidentally! When you are about to clean your sprinkler system, always practice caution, or call an expert who can inspect, maintenance or install your fire sprinkler correctly. You may also follow these following fire sprinkler cleaning tips:

  1. Gingerly vacuum around the sprinkler head with the vacuum hose attachment. Be careful not to touch the sprinkler head with your hands or the vacuum tool.
  2. Dampen a small rag focus on clearing away any residual dust or cobwebs that accumulate around the fire sprinkler head.
  3. Using a canned air sprayer (much like the one you may clean your keyboard with), hold the can upright and spray the entire surface of the sprinkler head.

Although these steps may seem simple, it is always best to be cautious and over-prepared when it comes to fire safety. If you are uncomfortable with heights or with handling a sensitive fire sprinkler system, please contact local fire safety professionals to survey your fire sprinkler systems.

When to Replace a Fire Sprinkler System

According to fire safety standards enforced by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), you may need to replace your fire sprinkler system if:

  • You have noticed any signs of water or sprinkler leakage
  • The sprinkler system has been painted (other than by a manufacturer)
  • Elements of the sprinkler are corroded, damaged or bent out of alignment
  • The sprinkler is loaded, which means it is covered in debris and grime

Thankfully, not all fire sprinkler systems need immediate replacement. At Kauffman Co., we offer full-service fire protection that includes fire sprinkler design, repair, monitoring and estimates for commercial spaces.

Scheduling A Fire Sprinkler Inspection in Houston

The NFPA highly recommends scheduling a fire sprinkler inspection at least four times a year. However, if you live in the Houston, Texas area, local fire codes recommend scheduling fire inspections monthly.

No matter if you have installation, testing, maintenance or repair needs, our experts at Kauffman Co. are ready to assist you with fire protection services in Houston, Texas. Call us today to schedule a consultation and improve the safety of your home or business with quality fire protection.

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