Dry Riser Maintenance and Testing



A quick guide on what you need to know –

What is a Dry riser?

Dry riser mains are an excellent means of fire protection, allowing considerable quantities of water to be quickly and directly transporting to relevant locations. This allows the fire services to better tackle any fires that may arise.

Dry Riser Testing 

If you are the responsible person for a tall public building then no doubt you will know that the building will have several dry risers incorporated into the structure. These are a system of pipes and valves that allow the fire service to pump large quantities of water to the higher floors of the building. These are very important in the event of a fire at higher floors to make sure they can be tackled safely and securely. Like any piece of equipment, dry risers require regular servicing so that they will be in perfect working order if they need to be used. 

Testing Cycle

Your dry risers should be inspected once every six months to make sure that they are in operational order. This six-monthly inspection is a visual inspection only but it is required to be documented and recorded that the inspection has taken place. Once every 12 months, a more thorough inspection is required to be carried out. This testing should include a physical test that includes filling the system with a fire service approved hose that will allow the system to hold a pressure of 12 bar (175psi). It will need to hold this pressure for at least 15 minutes to be passed as being compliant with the check.

Who is Responsible?

When an inspection is carried out then the fire service will want to know that a valid inspection certificate for each dry riser is being held by the responsible person for the property. This could be the building owner, the manager, or facilities person, or whomever else is identified as the responsible person for the building. If the certificate is not in place when an inspection occurs then the responsible person could be prosecuted by the fire service for not having the required certificates in place. Further than that, if there is an emergency and the system fails then this could drastically worsen the damage caused by the emergency and no one wants to be in that situation.

Effective Testing in accordance with BS9990: 2015

If it is important that when you get the system tested that you use a professional testing company that is authorised to issue a certificate for the system. Getting the right company to do the testing is important, as they will also test the system with air before testing with water to ensure that there are no leaks. Using air in this way will prevent flood damage to your property. The last thing you need is to take shortcuts when it comes to safety particularly when this could result in further cost and damage to your business. The certificate issued needs to be compliant with BS9990:2015. The certificate will include the date of testing and the fact that the equipment passed the test. You will be required to produce this during any form of fire safety inspection.

All remedial works and maintenance to dry risers should be carried out by a competent, trained and accredited engineer. You can be certain that the Direct Voice and Data engineers are fully qualified to service your dry risers.

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