Gas Extinguishing Standard - Part 7: Commissioning and acceptance

December 2001 Fire & Safety

Part 1: May 2001

Part 2: June 2001

Part 3: July 2001

Part 4: September 2001

Part 5: October 2001

Part 6: November 2001

The completed system shall be reviewed and tested by qualified personnel to meet the approval of the authority. Only equipment and devices designed to national standards shall be used in the system. To determine that the system has been properly installed and will function as specified, the following tests shall be performed.

Enclosure check

Determine that the protected enclosure is in general conformance with the plans.

Review of mechanical components

The piping distribution system shall be inspected to determine that it is in compliance with the design and installation documents. Nozzles and pipe size and, if appropriate, pressure-reducing devices, shall be in accordance with system drawings. The means of pipe size reduction and attitudes of tees shall be checked for conformance to the design. Piping joints, discharge nozzles and piping supports shall be securely fastened to prevent unacceptable vertical or lateral movement during discharge. Discharge nozzles shall be installed in such a manner that piping cannot become detached during discharge.

During assembly, the piping distribution systems shall be inspected internally to detect the possibility of any oil or particulate matter which could soil the hazard area or affect the extinguishant distribution due to a reduction in the effective nozzle orifice area.

The discharge nozzles shall be oriented in such a manner that optimum extinguishant dispersal can be effected. If nozzle deflectors are installed, they shall be positioned to obtain the maximum benefit.

The discharge nozzles, piping, and mounting brackets shall be installed in such a manner that they will not potentially cause injury to personnel. Extinguishant shall not directly impinge on areas where personnel may be found in the normal work area or on any loose objects or shelves, cabinet tops or similar surfaces where loose objects could be present and become missiles.

All extinguishant storage containers shall be properly located in accordance with 'approved for construction' set of system drawings. All containers and mounting brackets shall be securely fastened in accordance with the manufacturer's requirements.

A discharge test for extinguishants is generally not recommended. However, if a discharge test is to be conducted, the mass of extinguishant shall be determined by weighing or other approved methods. Concentration measurements should be made at a minimum of three points, one at the highest hazard level.

Other assessment methods may normally be used to reduce necessary discharge into the environment, for example, the door fan pressurisation test. However, a discharge test may be conducted if acceptable to the authority.

An adequate quantity of extinguishant to produce the desired specified concentration shall be provided. The actual enclosure volumes shall be checked against those indicated on the system drawings to ensure the proper quantity of extinguishant. Fan rundown and damper closure time shall be taken into consideration.

Unless the total piping contains not more than one change in direction fitting between the storage container and the discharge nozzle, and unless all piping has been physically checked for tightness, the following tests shall be carried out.

1. All open-ended piping shall be pneumatically tested in a closed circuit for a period of 10 min at 3 bar. At the end of 10 min, the pressure drop shall not exceed 20% of the test pressure.

2. All closed-section pipework shall be hydrostatically tested to a minimum of 1,5 times the maximum working pressure for 2 min during which there shall be no leakage. On completion of the test, the pipework shall be purged to remove moisture.

It is recommended that hydrostatic testing be carried out at the manufacturer's works where practicable.

It is important to note that pneumatic pressure testing creates a potential risk injury to personnel in the area, as a result of airborne projectiles if rupture of the piping system occurs. Prior to conducting the pneumatic pressure test, the protected area shall be evacuated and appropriate safeguards shall be provided for test personnel.

A test using nitrogen, or a suitable alternative, shall be performed on the piping network to verify that flow is continuous and that the piping and nozzles are unobstructed.

To be continued in the next issue.

For further details contact the FDIA on tel: (011) 397 1618.

Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

How to prevent and survive fires
Fire & Safety Risk Management & Resilience
Since its launch in August 2023, Fidelity SecureFire, a division of the Fidelity Services Group, has been making significant strides in revolutionising fire response services in South Africa.

Spate of Joburg fires calls for proactive fire-safety planning
Fire & Safety
The incident of fire that occurred recently in Johannesburg's Central Business District (CBD) has brought to light the criticality of performance-based fire safety systems. It is imperative to design safety systems that are efficient and effective in managing such unforeseen events.

Beagle Watch adds fire to its portfolio
Editor's Choice Fire & Safety News & Events
Beagle Watch Armed Response and FIRE OPS SA announced the enhancement of the two companies' combined service offerings to provide professional fire safety services to Beagle Watch clients and Johannesburg residents.

Different types of fires
Fire & Safety
Fire is a powerful force of nature; according to SafeQuip, a distributor of fire-related equipment; understanding the different types of fires and how to combat them is essential for safety and protection.

SafeQuip introduces lithium fire extinguishers
Fire & Safety Products & Solutions
With the use of Lithium batteries increasing in many types of portable devices and battery storage solutions, SafeQuip, in partnership with AVD Lithex, is introducing a fire extinguisher aimed at suppressing and extinguishing, and also preventing re-ignition of lithium fires.

Modern warehouses come with added fire risk
Fire & Safety Transport (Industry)
Along with increased investments in modern warehousing in Africa, there is also a need to focus on protecting warehouses from crime, however, fire can arguably be a greater danger to business continuity.

How to prevent solar inverter short-circuits and fires
Fire & Safety
With many South Africans installing inverters as part of solar power systems to mitigate the impact of load shedding in homes and at businesses, users need to be aware of the potential fire risks.

Fidelity SecureFire steps into critical fire response space
News & Events Fire & Safety
With the majority of fire stations around the country being crippled by a lack of resources to offer effective responses, Fidelity Fire Solutions has launched its own ‘first responder’ model, Fidelity SecureFire.

Long-distance connectivity with Simplex ES Net Life Safety
Johnson Controls Global Products Fire & Safety Products & Solutions
ES Net Network Bridge allows fire alarm system data to be transmitted across distant buildings via a customer’s existing network infrastructure, improving system-wide monitoring and control in facilities and campuses where life safety networks are often widely dispersed.

Elvey Group and Technoswitch part ways
Elvey Security Technologies Fire & Safety News & Events
The Elvey Group (a division of the Hudaco Group of Companies) is relinquishing its distributorship of the Technoswitch brand, following Hudaco’s acquisition of Brigit Fire.