Public Service Advisement: Building managers: Prepare your fire-sprinkler systems for winter



19 October 2016


Contact: Steve Lipsher, Public Information Officer

Office: (970) 262-5209


Building managers: Prepare your fire-sprinkler systems for winter

As cold weather returns to the high country, Summit County’s three fire departments would like to remind building managers to prepare their fire-sprinkler systems for winter by ensuring they are properly maintained, adequately insulated and contain the recommended amount of anti-freeze.

“Each year, our firefighters respond to calls of sprinkler pipes bursting after very cold snaps,” said Lake Dillon Fire Assistant Chief Steve Skulski, the district’s fire marshal. “The damage caused by these easily could have been avoided – and at much less cost – if the sprinkler systems had been adequately maintained.”

The National Fire Sprinkler Association recommends that building managers:

  • Conduct a physical inspection of the facility, looking for freeze-up hazards.
  • Inspect and maintain the sprinkler system before the onset of cold weather and verify that heating systems are functioning in areas in the building containing sprinkler piping.
  • Conduct an annual survey of buildings and equipment to find insulation and heat-tracing deficiencies and to check for unwanted outside air from vents and openings in windows, walls, roofs and floors.
  • Empty low-point drains (drum drips) on dry-pipe sprinkler systems to remove water that may be present from condensation or accidental trips.
  • Ensure that all buildings have adequate heating throughout the areas susceptible to freezing, such as in stairwells, above dropped ceilings and in attic spaces.

Overall, building owners with fire-sprinkler systems should check them to make sure that dry-pipe systems are dry and wet-pipe systems are filled and insulated as they were designed. Please refer to NFPA 25 standards for inspection, testing and maintenance requirements or contact your sprinkler system maintenance contractor.


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