Everything You Need To Know About Room Integrity Testing

If you have fire suppression systems in your company, it’s vital to conduct a room integrity test. This test will help you to know how efficiently your fire suppression systems work. It determines whether space can accommodate fire retardant concentration gases and whether a fire suppression system can operate.

Companies such as Coltraco Ultrasonics have launched room integrity testers that are cheap and easy to use. To effectively carry out integrity testing, you need to know more about it. This article gives you everything you need to know about room integrity testing.

Why You Need To Conduct An Integrity Test

Independent regulators like the National Fire Protection Association and International Organization for Standardization require business owners who have fire suppression systems to conduct room integrity tests regularly. That’s because if you don’t carry out the tests, you may not know how ineffective your gaseous fire suppression system is. That may lead to a fire outbreak, which may damage the entire building and other surrounding buildings.

How To Conduct A Room Integrity Test

The method of doing a room integrity test is similar to the one used to test pressure. This test measures the rate of air leakage of a fire suppressant gas. The technicians install a big fan in a doorway and seal every opening in the room before switching on the fan. They’ll then increase and decrease the room’s air pressure gradually and note down the differential pressure at each stage. That way, they’ll know the exact amount of retardant gas that’s escaping.

When To Do A Room Integrity Test

Professionals recommend conducting this test every time you install a gaseous fire suppression device. After that, you can carry out inspections yearly. However, care should be taken to regularly check the systems to ensure they’re in good condition.

How Long Does An Integrity Test Take?

The time the tests take depend depends on the systems you have and the number of rooms you intend to test. Most companies try to conduct the test within a day and give you a report after a few days. However, in case of a fault, or if the rooms are too many, the test may take 2 to 3 days.

What Happens IF Your Building Fails The Test?

If a room doesn’t pass an integrity test, the testing agency will advise you on the appropriate remedial action to take. However, they should do this only after determining a potential gas leaking point. That requires more tests that include:

  • Depressurization

It’s conducted by subjecting the whole building to a pressure that forces air through the cracks and gaps. When the pressure is reduced, air will rush back into the room, showing potential places that are allowing air to escape.

  • Smoke Testing

Smoke testing involves filling a building with smoke to pressurize its space. As the smoke goes through the openings, it’ll show potential problem areas. This can be corrected with smoke pencils in less extreme circumstances.

  • Thermography

A thermography device operates through infrared cameras to identify the coldest and hottest spots in the house.

Bottom Line

As a rule of thumb, you should regularly conduct integrity testing to ensure that your gaseous fire suppression systems are in good condition.

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