Free guidance from the FIA

08 February 2019 by Robert Thilthorpe, FIA Technical Manager

If there is any debris or particles present in the fixed extinguishing system pipework, it will be pushed through the pipework on system discharge and can collect in the nozzles at the end of each pipe run, meaning that the system will not discharge water correctly. 

The FIA has created a document that clarifies the requirements for the commissioning tests which should be undertaken on water mist systems designed and installed in accordance with BS 8489-1 2016. 

The document describes different tests for wet, pre-action, and open (deluge) pipework.  

For wet and open (deluge) pipework, two tests are recommended – pneumatic and hydrostatic. For pre-action pipework, both pneumatic and hydrostatic tests can be used, as well as a water delivery time test.  The document describes the testing process and gives best practice.

The document has been created by the FIA’s Extinguishing Council.

Bob Whiteley of Tyco Fire & Integrated Solutions Ltd, who sits on the Extinguishing Council, and helped to develop the guide said: “There has been some confusion in the marketplace in the interpretation of the standards for watermist. 

“We created this document to show what needs to be done to design a watermist system according to the standard, and what the testing needs to do.  We’ve even included things to help clarify whether pipe testing should be done with the nozzles on or not.

“We wanted to give guidance and clarity to FIA Members and their customers so that they understand what testing needs to be done, and this document should help with that.”

Robert Thilthorpe, Technical Manager at the FIA and Secretary to the FIA Extinguishing Council, added: “The importance of pipe testing of watermist systems or any water-based firefighting system is important, but often forgotten. This document reminds people of how important it is, and how go about testing systems.” 


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