Sprinkler FAQ's

How many sprinkler heads do you need to test?

Testing will be conducted based on the guidance in the BS EN 12845, Annex K and LPC Sprinkler Rules for Automatic Sprinkler Installations, technical bulletin TB203.

BS EN 12845, Table K1 specifies the minimum number of sprinkler heads to be removed for testing, based on the size of installation. The table below details this requirement and our standard rates.

BS EN 12845, Table K1 requirements (Valid until 31 December 2018)

Total number of sprinklers within installation or System

Number of sprinklers to be removed & inspected

≤ 5000


≤ 10000


≤ 20000


With reference to mixed batches of sprinkler heads;

Testing smaller batches can still worthwhile and can detect problems, however, confidence in the validity of the results can be somewhat reduced because of the smaller sample size.

The FPA suggest that where possible, batches of sprinkler heads should be comprised of heads of the same make and model. Heads with of a range of conditions (e.g. environmental ageing) should be selected as far as possible.

Where sites use multiple makes and models of heads, ideally, batches of 20 heads of each make and model should be submitted for testing.  If in doubt, The FPA would be happy to discuss site specific cases to agree a practicable testing regime.

How do we test the sprinklers?

Using one of our designated sprinkler head test rigs, The FPA test laboratory will evaluate the condition and operational performance of a sprinkler head, the tests will include:

  • Visual inspection of 100% of the samples
  • A minimum of 75% of the heads will be subjected to a ‘function test’ this has two parts, a water-based test to detect leakage in the heads and a gas flame activation test to check satisfactory operation of the heads. Once activated the water flow is monitored and assessed.
  • The remaining 25% may either be subject an operating temperature test where heads are placed in a water bath which is heated gradually until the thermally sensitive element activates or further function testing.
  • Post testing visual inspection, paying particular attention to the waterways and deflector plate
  • Further testing if needed, for example if the heads were blocked
  • Results and recommendations will be provided in a detailed report within 4 weeks of receiving the heads.  

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To find out more about how we can assist you with sprinkler testing please either click below to email or call Jamie on 01608 812 537

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