Enclosure Integrity testing is vital to ensure that your fire suppression system functions optimally.
Your gas suppression system will only work effectively if the protected room has only limited leakage. If the room leaks, the fire suppression agent will escape before the fire is effectively controlled.
With any gas fire suppression system the room must be sufficiently air tight to hold these gases at the designed concentration while they suppress the fire. Building joints and cable penetrations move over time introducing leak points that may not be noticed during normal building inspections. Building maintenance activities may also inadvertently create places where gases can leak.
How it works
Enclosure integrity testing uses a Door Fan (blower door) to measure the total leakage area of rooms protected by fire suppression systems. The measured leakage area from the Door Fan test can then be used to estimate retention times for various clean agent fire extinguishing systems installed in the protected room. Procedures for conducting enclosure integrity tests with a Door Fan are contained in Appendix C of NFPA 2001.
The specially designed calibrated fan is temporarily mounted in a doorway using the Door Panel. The fan is used to blow air into or out of a room, or building, to measure the air leakage of the protected enclosure. The gauge measures the pressure across the calibrated fan and calculates the flow or other values of interest (such as equivalent leakage area).
The Blower Door Systems measure the amount of air leakage by establishing a pressure difference between the inside and the outside of an enclosure. The pressure difference forces air to leak through all of the holes in the exterior envelope of the enclosure. The amount of air flow that is required to maintain a constant pressure difference is equal to the amount of air that is leaking from the enclosure. A specially designed gauge can thus be used to measure the pressure difference and calculate the amount of air flowing through the calibrated fan, which can then be used to determine the total size of all those leaks.
Once the leakage is quantified, the results are entered into FanTestic Integrity software which will calculate how long an acceptable concentration will be maintained (called the hold time) based on formulas in either the NFPA or the ISO standard. The software also makes the calculations to predict how much pressure will develop in an enclosure when the gas discharges, and the required size of additional venting to reduce the overpressure to an acceptable level.
Integrity Testing can be scheduled at a time that will not disrupt your normal operations. It is an essential, yet simple, component of your fire protection system.
Approved Protection Systems is a Certified Level 3 Enclosure Integrity Tester through Retro Tec.