Within your water-based fire protection system, the fire pump is a component responsible for increasing water flow rate and distributing enough to combat a fire anywhere in your facility. However, in order to ensure it’s in proper working condition, your fire pump needs to be inspected and tested regularly.

Let’s explore a little more about fire pumps and their inspection and testing requirements.

Fire Pump Inspection and Testing Requirements

Fire pumps typically require several different inspections and tests to verify that they’ll perform as intended in the event of a fire. The requirements for each are thoroughly outlined in NFPA 25, but we’ll also list some of them and their recommended schedules for you below.

Fire Pump Inspection and Testing Requirements

For the purposes of this blog and requirements set forth by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), inspections are visual observations to verify that a system appears to be in good operating condition and is free of physical damage. Tests, on the other hand, include hands-on simulations to manipulate or take action on the system.

Weekly Fire Pump Inspections and Tests

  • Inspect the condition of the pump house/room
  • Inspect the fire pump system
  • Test pump operation (diesel pump only) — no flow start, then run test for 30 minutes

Monthly Fire Pump Inspections and Tests

  • Test pump operation (electric pump only) — no flow start, then run test for 10 minutes

Annual Fire Pump Inspections and Tests

  • Test pump operation (both diesel and electric pumps) — full flow
  • Test fire pump alarm signals

Looking for a more detailed description of what to look for during each inspection? Check out NFPA’s Fire Pump Inspection Checklist.

Fire Pump Maintenance Requirements

Aside from regular inspections and tests, fire pumps also require a bit of maintenance. You’ll want to be sure to service hydraulic systems, mechanical transmissions, and motors on an annual basis. All other pump components should be serviced based on your manufacturer’s recommendations.

Who Should Perform My Facility’s Fire Pump Test?

NFPA 25 requires that all inspection, testing, and maintenance tasks be performed by “qualified” individuals — but what does “qualified” really mean here? Well, there are typically different levels of “qualified,” based on the task at hand. For instance, more people tend to be qualified for routine inspections than someone who is qualified to do complex annual flow tests.

This means that your facilities staff can usually accomplish weekly inspections on their own pretty quickly and effectively. However, you should hire a dedicated professional to complete the monthly and annual inspection and testing requirements.

What Happens If My Facility’s Fire Pump Fails a Test?

If you find something wrong with your facility’s fire pump during a regular test or inspection, you shouldn’t worry — but you should get the situation resolved as soon as possible. For the amount of time your fire pump isn’t operating effectively, your building is at high risk for damage in the case of an emergency. Schedule a certified technician to ensure everything that needs fixing is attended to.

Not sure what you need to keep your fire pump in tip-top condition? Having an expert on call can help. At Vanguard Fire & Security Systems, we offer regular testing, inspection, and maintenance plans, so you never have to worry about your fire pump again! Contact us for more information today. ​

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