LM, a world class printer system manufacturer, required an independent Third Party to survey and audit their fire sprinkler system for the Electronics Facility in Cebu, Philippines. A comparison of compliance to NFPA Codes, specifically NFPA 13 and 20, was used as a basis for ascertaining the degree of expected standard of installation.
A survey and audit of the fire sprinkler system after the physical site survey and audit were carried out together with a specialist fire protection consultant.
Flow tests for the sprinkler pumps were conducted using our Panametric ultrasonic flowmeter. The tests were witnessed by the facility manager and representatives from insurance company-Zurich. The flow tests were conducted at 100% and 150% of rated flow using the ultrasonic flowmeter and the recorded gauge pressure was found to be within the limits as prescribed by the NFPA Codes.
It was found that generally the fire protection system conformed to appropriate standards for the type and design that meets the NFPA code. However, the survey found some inadequacies in the condition and system status as reported in the survey report.
Control valves or individual isolation valves were accidentally closed.
One of the common possible faults; the fire protection system was fully operational and in good condition, except that the water supply is accidentally turned off.
It is understood from Lexmark that the control valves are only turned on when an alarm signal is received. This is strongly not recommended since the sprinklers are highly effective during initial stages when a fire occurs. Therefore, the immediacy of sprinklers response must not be compromised.
In this survey, individual isolation valves were observed. They were not strapped in the open position, which may invite tampering in the future. It was strongly recommended that all valves to be strapped and padlocked in the open position.
Sprinkler Pumps Installation
Pressure Relief Valve was not operating:
The pressure relief valve (PRV) at the Circuit Assembly Plant was not working. In an unexpected scenario, the pressure in the sprinkler system may build up beyond the recommended operating range of the sprinkler pump. This may result in drastic dip in the pressure and insufficient water at sprinkler heads.
Inspector Test Valve Assembly:
The relief valve at the inspector test valve assembly was not opened. This may result in excessive pressure build-up within the sprinkler system.
Fire and Jockey Pump Pressure Settings:
For the fire pump, when it starts by pressure drop, it should be arranged to ensure that the first fire pump to operate does not cause water hammer. This could occur if the system allowed the pressure to drop too low. When a fire pump starts, the pressure will be equal to its churn pressure which is typically between 101% and 140% of the rated pressure.
Jockey pumps should be arranged to cut-in at the fire pump churn pressure and cut-out at the pump churn pressure plus 10psi. The first fire pump should operate at 5psi lesser than the pump churn pressure. Additional pumps should operate at additional 10 psi. It was also recommended that a confirmation shall be done prior to increasing the system pressure that is capable of maintaining at that rate.
Client was advised to rectify other faults in the next preventive maintenance period.