Fire Water Tanks in the Bay Area Area Essential for Fire Response
Fire water tanks and the sprinkler systems they feed may not be the most visible elements of a structure, but they are absolutely essential for keeping people safe in the event of a fire. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has outlined strict requirements for tank inspections, with the goal of making sure that tanks remain able to supply water during an emergency.
This article gives an outline of those requirements so that facilities managers can stay on top of their inspection duties, especially when it comes to firewater tank repairs.
The water temperature inside the tank is a critical part of inspection, particularly in colder areas. That’s because water cannot be allowed to freeze inside a tank; if it does, it will be useless during a fire. The NFPA stipulates that the water inside a fire water tank must not drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. (This is higher than the typical freezing point of 32 degrees to account for stagnant water.) Generally speaking, the NFPA requires daily inspections (if the tank does not have electric supervision) or quarterly inspections (if the tank does).
Aside from being warm enough, the water must also be at a high enough level. If the tank has a water-level alarm set up, then quarterly inspections are recommended. If it does not, the NFPA recommends monthly inspections.
The Tank’s Exterior
The NFPA advises that when it comes to the exterior of the tank, regular visual inspections are essential. For instance, the support structure of a tank may erode over time, rusting (in the case of steel) or rotting (in the case of wood). The NFPA recommends quarterly inspections of the tank’s support structures as well as elements such as ladders and catwalks. Meanwhile, the organization advises that annual inspections occur for expansion joints, hoops and grillage, and painted, coated, or insulated surfaces of the tank. If damage is sighted, then a professional can be contracted for steel or FRP tank repairs.
The Tank’s Interior
The NFPA also has guidelines for inspection of the interior of a tank. Per the NFPA’s 2017 guidelines, tanks without corrosion protection need to be inspected every three years, while other tanks require inspection every five years. Tanks that show signs of damage may undergo further testing. In some cases, damage may call for a new commercial fire water tank liner to be installed.
Commercial Fire Water Tank Liner Repairs and Inspections
For the safety of everyone who uses your facility, it is highly recommended that you follow the NFPA’s guidelines. You can find the current edition of their fire protection guidelines here. And if your tank inspections turn up any sign of damage or decay in your fire protection system, contact a professional as soon as you can to commence tank repair work. Picon FRP, Inc. is a Bay Area company with more than 30 years experience providing tank coatings, tank linings, tank inspection and FRP tank repairs to industrial and commercial clients across California. If you require professional, trustworthy services contact us online or call 510-232-0065.