Monday, June 13, 2016

Testing Integrated Fire Systems




Integrated fire systems are those fire protection and life safety systems that "are required to operate together as a whole to achieve overall fire protection and life safety objectives." An example of an integrated system might be a fire alarm, fire sprinkler, elevator recall, and smoke control. When a fire is detected each of these items has a specific code required function to perform.  Integrated testing ensures that these systems all work flawlessly together. Integrated testing is to be completed as outlined in NFPA 4, Standard for Integrated Fire Protection and Life Safety System Testing.  Integrated system testing is also a function that should be part of the building commissioning plan.

This integrated testing is to be supervised and managed by an Integrated Testing Agent (ITa).  The ITa is responsible for planning, scheduling, documentation, coordination, and implementation of the integrated testing for all systems.  The ITa's first responsibility is to create a test plan.  The integrated testing plan provides guidance, direction, and time-frames for all systems personnel. 

This integrated test plan must include the following components:

  • Verification of proper installation per design documents
  • List of each system that is installed and is to be tested
  • All documentation for each system (as required by that systems code or standard)
  • List and contact information for all members of the integrated test team, their responsibilities, and a denotation of which individuals are required to be present for testing
  • List of all equipment required for testing
  • System input and output function matrix
  • Final system drawings and diagrams are to be listed and referenced in the testing plan and available on-site
  • Narrative description of test scenarios and procedures, and documentation and approvals for the AHJ
  • The extent of systems and system functions to be tested
  • Testing schedule
  • Future integrated systems test frequency

A thorough and complete integrated testing plan will keep everyone moving toward the same goal.  The plan will ensure that all items are properly tested, will work together, and all required documentation is accounted for.

Need an integrated testing agent or test plan? Want to be coached through the integrated testing process? Looking for more information?  Visit the TCC Solutions page, or contact me directly.