Below are some of our most frequently asked questions. If you don’t see your question please feel free to contact us or give us a call at 801-265-1375 and we will answer it for you.

FAQ Fire Sprinklers

How does a fire sprinkler work?

Answer: Generally, you have a piping system overhead that is full of water, air or antifreeze. When a fire sprinkler head opens the fusible link by heat or damage it allows the flow of water to hit the head and sprays over a large area to extinguish the fire. Most people would not notice the differences between a dry system, a wet system or an antifreeze system. Click here for more details

How can I learn more about my fire sprinkler system?

Answer: A1 Fire Sprinklers can teach you how to shut off your fire sprinklers when performing any service on the fire sprinkler system. A1 Fire Sprinklers loves to educate our customers on how to maintain the fire sprinkler system. Someone on site should understand how to shut down the fire sprinkler system in an emergency to stop the flow of water to reduce water damage.

What happens when a fire sprinkler system goes off?

Answer: When a fire sprinkler system is called on do its job it is quite amazing. The amount of water that a fire sprinkler system put on a fire is a real eye opener. A fire sprinkler system can put out a fire in a few seconds saving lives and property. Fire sprinklers save lives. Unlike the movies in most fire sprinkler systems all of the heads do not all spray water when activated. Only the one or a few heads that have been opened by the heat source will open and spray that area. The alarms will activate and there will be a lot of noise from the bells, water spraying and alarms.

How do I shut off the water on a fire system?

Answer: When a fire sprinkler system is activated first make sure why it came on. Make sure the fire is out. There will be two valves on the riser (the main valve with gages) shut off either of these valves and the water will stop going into the fire sprinkler system. The shut off may be outside and chained open. The chain or lock can be broken and then you can shut down the fire sprinkler system. After the fire valve has been turned off you can open the main drain to get rid of the water in the fire sprinkler pipes. Please find out ahead of time how to operate your fire sprinkler system to bring peace of mind and safety to everyone including the local fire department that will need to respond in emergency mode. 

Why do I need to have my fire sprinklers system serviced?

Answer: Your fire sprinkler system needs to be serviced at least annually. Maintaining your fire sprinkler system is important to have a reliable firefighting resource. An annual fire sprinkler inspection will check all critical functions of the fire sprinkler system including water flow, alarms, valve operation, antifreeze concentration, earthquake bracing and notifying equipment. A1 Fire Sprinklers was called to a large big box store to do an inspection required by their new insurance company. Upon visual inspection the fire sprinkler system looked great. All of the gages were showing good pressure and all of the seals were there and had not been touched in 5 years. When A1 Fire Sprinkler inspector Wayne Wardle opened up the inspectors test he got a little spit of water and the gages went to zero, NO WATER! On further investigation we were able to discover that when the fire sprinklers was inspected by the building and fire department 5 years ago a new man upon the inspection being complete turned off the street valve allowing a small leak to maintain pressure but very little water. Things do happen by silly mistakes but can be corrected when the fire sprinkler system is maintained and inspected properly.

How often should I have my fire sprinklers inspected?

Answer: Fire sprinkler systems should be inspected annually. This may be enforced by your local fire department, or your insurance company. Inspecting your fire sprinkler system annually is the law and good practice for a host of reasons. Inspecting your fire sprinkler system annually will improve your chances in fighting a fire.

Who requires me to have my fire sprinklers inspected?

Answer: The State Fire Marshal has the final authority on fire sprinkler inspections. Insurance companies can request an inspection at the expense of not covering your property. Sometimes landlords require the timely inspection of the property.

Who can test my fire sprinkler system?

Answer: Your fire sprinkler system can be inspected by you, an agent that you appoint, the company that installed your fire system or a certified inspector licensed by the Fire Marshal’s Office.  A good employee can do weekly and monthly testing but the annual inspection needs to be performed by someone who is qualified to spot unseen problems. Check with your local fire department and insurance company to see what their specific requirements are.

What do you do when inspecting a fire sprinkler system?

Answer: An annual fire sprinkler inspection will check all critical functions of the fire sprinkler system including water flow, alarms, valve operation, antifreeze concentration, earthquake bracing, backflow preventer and notifying equipment.

FAQ’s Backflow for fire sprinkler system

What is a backflow preventer?

Answer: Backflow preventers are devices that stops the reversal of flow. The most common, water or any other liquid from flowing back into the water source.

Where is my backflow preventer?

Answer: A backflow preventer needs to be at or after the protected source (most often the water meter from the city) and the first outlet or valve. On a fire sprinkler system the backflow preventer may be a part of the riser (the valves that control the fire system).

Why do I need one?

Answer: The water sits in the fire system with no movement for long periods of time. It smells bad and can grow microorganisms that could be undesirable in the neighbor’s drinking water. A backflow preventer protects against this. If you have antifreeze in the pipes it will protect the city water supply from contamination from this also.

What is back siphon?

Answer: When the source has a drop in pressure it can cause a suction effect on the system pulling water backwards with surprising force. Most backflow preventers will prevent this when installed and maintained properly.

Why do I need to have my backflow preventer tested?

Answer: Just like any mechanical device a backflow preventer can wear out, get damaged or have contaminants get stuck in it. Annual testing reduces the chances of failure.

How often do I need to have my backflow assembly tested?

Answer: Under most conditions you are required to have a backflow device tested annually. If the hazard being protected requires, the water supplier may require testing more often. You also need to have it tested if moved, repaired or installed within 10 days of use.

Why do I have water coming out of my backflow assembly?

Answer: On most backflow preventers this indicates a problem and needs to be serviced.

FAQ’s for fire extinguishers

Why am I required to have one or more fire extinguishers?

Answer: Under state and local fire codes and for your own safety. The State of Utah has adopted the NFPA 10 guidelines. You can find a copy at your local libray iif you need more details.

How many fire extinguishers do I need?

Answer: The minimum requirement is one 5lb. ABC portable fire extinguisher within 75’ of any point. In higher hazard conditions larger and closer are required.

Where do I need a fire extinguisher?

Answer: You need to have a fire extinguisher easy to get to and in plain sight. The fire marshal having authority may cut you some slack, they have final say above all codes.

What size of fire extinguisher do I need?

Answer: In most light lite hazard conditions like an office setting a 5lb. ABC portable fire extinguisher will be necessary. If the hazard is greater a larger size may be required or a specialty class extinguisher will be necessary such as a Class K in a commercial deep fat fryer, a Class D for the use on metals or a Clean Agent in a computer room, airplane or hospital operating room.

How often am I required to have them serviced?

Answer: By law and manufacturers they are required to be serviced by a qualified serviceman at least once per year. It is recommended to quick check them every 30 days. Most municipalities have adopted NFPA Code 10 (National Fire Prevention Association). If you buy a new fire extinguisher it will not be required to be serviced for the first year. If you purchase a new portable fire extinguisher from a company such as A1 Fire Sprinklers it will come with a current certificate attached.

Do you offer training for safety meetings?

Answer: A1 Fire Sprinklers offers group training for the use of portable fire extinguishers at a minimal fee, the cost of recharging the extinguishers used. You may want to check with your local fire department to see the availably of other resources. The Utah State Fire Marshal’s office offers a great training program.

How can I save money getting my portable fire extinguisher serviced?

Answer: You can save money by bringing your portable fire extinguisher to our office at 3595 S 700 W rear building in Salt Lake City. If you call ahead we can usually service them while you wait.

Do I need to have a fire extinguisher if I have a fire sprinkler system?

Answer: Yes, you need to have portable fire extinguishers even if you have a fire sprinkler.

Who enforces the requirement for fire extinguishers?

Answer: Local fire departments enforce the portable fire extinguisher rules. They may deligate this responsibility to others but it is enforced by the State Fire Marshal.