Fire protection has been top-of-mind in the oil and gas industry of late, and for a good reason. For most oil and gas facilities, your fire suppression system is what stands between you and a large-scale disaster like the fires we saw in Deer Park, Texas around this time last year. If it’s been a while since your facility has had your fire suppression system inspected, you might be wondering how your system is doing, and if it’s time for a system upgrade. Here are five key signs that it might be time to upgrade your oil and gas facility’s fire suppression system:

#1 Age of Your Fire Suppression System

If your oil and gas facility is working with a fire suppression system that’s decades old, it’s time to start looking for ways to upgrade. The fire protection industry has made significant improvements to the ways we extinguish and suppress fires, and there’s a lot of new technology out there that can really keep your oil and gas facility safe.

Newer systems are more reliable and efficient, it’s true, but they’re also often more cost-effective to manage. In many cases, new fire suppression systems cost less to maintain, which means they’re a good investment for your facility.

#2 Your Facility Has Changed

Whether you’ve added more workers, expanded part of your facility, or changed some of your operations, it’s important to upgrade your oil and gas facility’s fire suppression system accordingly. Whenever you make significant changes, your fire suppression system needs to adapt as well, to protect your facility as best it can.

Please note that these updates don’t have to be cost-prohibitive. If you’re keeping up on your fire suppression system, and making changes as your facility needs, you won’t have to invest as much to ensure your fire suppression system is working to keep your facility and your people safe. If you wait to upgrade your fire protection system until after your facility has made large-scale changes, you’re going to be looking at a major investment, just to do the very minimum. By upgrading your fire suppression system as you upgrade your facility, you’ll save money, and be working with more manageable fees, rather than one large upfront cost.

#3 Frequent Service Calls

If you’ve had an inspector or fire protection expert out to your facility more than usual, it might be time to upgrade your oil and gas facility’s fire suppression system. Just like any other piece of technical equipment, fire suppression systems can wear out after years of use. You wouldn’t keep putting money into a junker car if it was cheaper to just buy a new car, would you?

The same theory applies to your fire suppression system. If you’re constantly calling someone out to take a look at the sprinkler system, or because the alarms or detection system are malfunctioning, it might just be time to upgrade that technology. By implementing fresh new technology that meets the highest standards, you’ll be keeping your facility much safer, and you won’t have to keep footing the bill for too-frequent service calls.

#4 You Haven’t Had a Service Call In Years

On the other side of the coin, if your fire suppression system hasn’t seen an inspector in years, it might be time for an upgrade, if not at least an inspection. Your fire suppression system will only do its job if all systems are running properly. If something’s not working, has failed due to old age, or is simply unable to respond properly to the hazard, your fire suppression is useless to your oil and gas facility.

Service calls and inspections are what help you stay on track, and ensure that your system is running the way it should to manage unexpected hazards. If you haven’t had a service call in years, it’s likely that something isn’t working as it should. Just having a fire protection expert come out for a routine inspection can help you ensure your facility is safe.

#5 You’re Noticing Damage On Your Fire Suppression System

If you’re seeing spots of corrosion, odd leaks around the facility, or any signs of damage on or around your fire suppression system, it might be time for an upgrade. Many oil and gas facilities present harsh, rugged environments for fire suppression systems, and eventually, the environment can take its toll on the system.

Unfortunately, when the system becomes damaged, there’s a good chance that it won’t be able to respond properly to a fire hazard. If you can see signs of damage, or if there are a few questionable spots you’re not sure about, it’s always best to call your fire protection expert to see if an inspection or a system upgrade is right for you.

We know that upgrading your oil and gas facility’s fire suppression system can feel daunting. It’s a big undertaking, and it requires both extensive planning and capital. That said, it’s important to have a fire suppression system that can respond effectively to the unique hazards encountered in the oil and gas industry.

The Vanguard Industrial Fire Protection team believes that quality fire protection is necessary for every facility, and we’re here to help make it happen. Whether your fire suppression system needs an intuitive retrofit or a new solution, our team is happy to help find the custom solutions that are best for your facility, your schedule, and your budget.

If you’re thinking it might be time for a fire suppression system upgrade, give the Vanguard team a call at 800-444-8719 or contact us online today. Our dedicated oil and gas specialists can come out, give your system an inspection, and make a few recommendations for the necessary improvements. From there, we can also help you design and install any upgrades you might be interested in.

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