What is an Integrity Test?
If you have a gas suppression system, Fire Safety Services is able to carry out a room integrity test in order to check the ability of the enclosure to retain an effective concentration of gas, which is a critical to the safe operation of the system.
The purpose of the test itself is to determine the time that an extinguishant / air mixture will remain active in an enclosure at the designated protected height (i.e. how long the extinguishing agent will remain, (in an ‘effective manner’), within an enclosure). This is achieved by equating it to measured leakage occurring from an enclosure; this leakage being that capable of permitting the extinguishing agent to escape from the confines of an area and allowing the concentration to diminish.
As part of the ISO 14520, NFPA and BFPSA Codes of Practice for Gaseous Fire Fighting Systems, integrity testing should be undertaken in a protected area, to determine whether leakage could impact upon the extinguishant performance. Ideally this is done at the onset (when it is first installed) and then regularly as part of the routine maintenance, once a year.
Leakage and smoke ingress are detrimental to an installation’s fire fighting capabilities, and can impact upon the ability to operate as intended, prevent fire or provide effective extinguishant.
Effective Fire Suppression
The effectiveness of a gaseous fire suppression system can only be guaranteed, if it is regularly checked (maintained). If the system does not operate effectively, achieve the right concentration, or maintain this concentration for an effective time period, it MAY not operate as intended.
Why do integrity testing?
It’s a legal requirement.