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Testing the Fire Safety System
April 29, 2010 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
The moment to find out something is amiss with the fire safety system in your facility is not during a fire, which is why its so important to maintain a rigorous and thorough testing schedule. Facility managers can look to the National Fire Protection Association's standard NFPA 25: Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems for guidance.
NFPA also provides forms to document that testing has been completed. Facility managers must be careful to document that all testing, maintenance and inspection has been done appropriately, both to assure themselves that no stone has been left unturned and to protect themselves from litigation in the event of a tragedy.
In addition to testing active fire safety systems, such as sprinklers and smoke detectors, it's important to inspect the passive systems such as smoke barriers, fire doors and other structural fire protection. These are often overlooked, but are just as important in preventing the spread of fire.