Fire suppression can come in many forms. With a gaseous fire suppression system or clean agent, sensitive equipment and rooms with potential chemical reactions from other systems such as water can be avoided. Data and server rooms, labs, power generation, oil and gas, and electrical rooms are just a few common locations that utilize gaseous fire suppression systems.
In enclosures that use gaseous fire suppression systems, room integrity testing is vital. Room integrity testing ensures that the room is tightly sealed and will contain the suppression agent in the event of a fire. Accurate-Airtight Exteriors offers professional room integrity testing in Madison and throughout all of Wisconsin.
Why Is Fire Suppression Room Integrity Testing Important?
In order to maintain the required concentrations of the gas or suppression agent, the room or building needs to be tight. The tighter the space, the higher the potential for the gas to do its job of reducing the risk of fire. Any leaks in the building or room can allow the gas to leak out and reduce the effectiveness of the gaseous fire suppression system. Maintenance or any significant changes to the building, room, or enclosure can have a negative effect on the tightness of the space being protected. This is why it is important to complete an enclosure integrity test on an annual basis or when a new system is installed.
Room Integrity Fan Test
The fire suppression testing personnel will use a blower door, also known as a door fan, to evaluate the potential of the space to maintain the required concentrations of the gas for the required suppression time. The blower door is a high-powered fan that is attached to an opening in the area to be protected that pressurizes or depressurizes the space.
With the use of smoke or infrared cameras, areas of concern such as wire, pipe, and duct penetrations can be located and recommended for sealing. The testing personnel gather tightness data with the use of sophisticated pressure and flow monitoring equipment to give you an indication of how much control you have over the leakage of the suppressed space.
After a door fan test is completed to establish the baseline tightness of the space be evaluated, pressure testing is followed up with a multipoint testing of the clean agent concentration. Consistent concentrations across the enclosure being protected and tested are recommended of gases such as CO2 upon initial occupancy and during any significant enclosure changes. After the initial CO2 concentration testing is completed, typically if the enclosure is not being modified, the door fan test alone can then be completed annually.
Fire suppression testing procedures can be completed when it is convenient for you and not disruptive to normal operations.
Common Standards such as NFPA 12, NFPA 2001, and NFPA 850 will utilize this type of fire suppression room integrity testing.