Sprinkler System Maintenance & Testing Guidance

Sprinklers are known to be an extremely effective way of controlling the spread of fire, but of course, like all systems they MUST be maintained. Please follow this guidance when identifying when maintenance and testing needs to be carried out on your sprinkler systems. The correct testing at the required intervals ensures you can demonstrate best practice as well as giving your client the peace of mind that they are protecting both life and property.

Sprinkler maintenance and testing guidelines

Annual inspections of the entire sprinkler system by an independent third party

With reference to BS EN 12845: 2015 + A1: 2019 Fixed firefighting systems. Automatic sprinkler systems. Design, installation and maintenance Clause 21, and technical bulletin (TB) 203.2.4 of the LPC Sprinkler Rules for Automatic Sprinkler Installations 2015 (the LPC Rules)  TB203.2.4, sprinkler systems should be inspected at least once a year. These inspections must be undertaken by a third party, for example not the system owner, building occupier, system installer or maintenance provider.

25 year inspection of sprinkler heads

It is a requirement of sprinkler systems designed in accordance with the LPC and BS EN 12845 that a sample number of sprinkler heads should be removed and tested by an independent, third party testing laboratory. This should be carried out when the system is a maximum of 25 years old,and may be sooner if the system is in poor condition or if recommended by the sprinkler head manufacturers.

Total number of sprinklers within installation or system  number of sprinklers to be removed and inspected

Total number of sprinklers within installation or System Number of sprinklers to be removed & inspected
Less than or equal to 5,000 20
Less than or equal to 10,000 40
Less than or equal to 20,000        60
Less than or equal to 30,000 80
Less than or equal to 40,000 100

Sprinklers subject to contamination, such as those in spray booths, may require more frequent attention and replacement. In addition, based on insurance requirements, the LPC Rules and TB 203 the following situations will need additional inspections.

Dry pendant pattern sprinkler heads (those with a dry drop pipe section) should be tested every five years or less unless stated otherwise by the manufacturer – 5% or 20 heads of each batch of dry pendant patterned sprinklers installed on the site (whichever is the greater) should be tested.

Multiple controls (also known as MJCs) can be subject to a build up of corrosion and environmental deposits, and so will need testing more frequently. These should be tested every five years or less unless stated otherwise by the manufacturer – 6% or three MJCs (whichever is the greater) should be tested.

Take a look at examples of sprinkler head defects

Additional maintenance requirements of your system