Dry Riser Testing
A dry riser is a system of valves and pipework installed within and around a building to enable the Fire Service to pump a supply of fire-fighting water to all storeys and areas within the building. Part B of the Building Regulations 2006 requires a dry riser to be installed in a building with a storey between 20 and 60 metres above ground level, with a basement at more than 10 metres below ground level, or where a firefighting shaft is required.
Regular testing of a dry riser installation is an essential means of ensuring that it will work as required in an emergency. Dry riser installations should be visually inspected every six months and should be hydrostatically pressure-tested and certified to BS 9990:2015 every year.
The Fire Services Acts 1981 & 2003 and the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 require that fire-fighting equipment must be inspected and maintained with the frequency necessary to ensure that it remains in good working order. Apart from the legal requirement, failure to maintain your dry risers in good working order may invalidate your insurance cover.
Six Month Visual Inspection to BS 9990:2015The 6 month visual inspection involves checking the following system components:
- Valves, spindles, glands and washers
- Blank caps and chains
- Handwheels and nuts
- Straps and padlocks (where fitted)
- The inlet cabinet (hinges, glass, lock)
- The drain valve
- Outlet cabinets (where fitted)
- The inlet breaching
- Access issues
- Replacing outlet washers
- Repair of valves
- Replacing blank caps and chains
- Replacing handwheel or nut
- Replacing inlet/outlet cabinet glass
Testing of Dry Risers at Limerick Regional Hospital
Annual Hydrostatic Pressure Test to BS 9990:2015Every year, in addition to undertaking the six-monthly visual inspection routine, a hydrostatic pressure test is carried out to confirm the integrity of the pipework, couplings, and valves. Hydrostatic testing involves using a Godiva fire pump to pump water into the dry riser system through the inlet breeching until the stack is full. The system is then pressurised to 12 bar for a minimum period of 15 minutes in accordance with Clause 126.96.36.199 of BS 9990:2015.
During this period, the system is inspected for any leakage of water at any of the joints or landing valves. If any leaks are identified, or if the pressure gauge shows a loss of pressure, the system is deemed to have failed the hydrostatic test.
Upon completion of the static pressure test, the action of the non-return valves are checked. The system is then drained and left ready for use. A certificate to BS 9990:2015 will be issued upon successful completion of the pressure test.