In our previous blog, we discussed how gaseous fire suppression systems work and how a room integrity test (RIT) can help determine how effective these systems are. In today’s post, Entergis Testing and Sealing, LLC discusses how a typical room integrity test is conducted.
Outline of a Room Integrity Test
To quickly recap, a gaseous fire suppression system needs a room that can maintain a minimum concentration of a gaseous fire suppression agent for a specific amount of time — the less air leakage, the more suitable the room will be. The goal of a room integrity test is to find out how “tight” the room or enclosure is and to identify issues that can be fixed to improve the room’s integrity.
A standard RIT follows these steps:
A large fan will be installed, usually in a doorway. This will be the sole source of airflow in the room during the test.
All openings in the room will be sealed. These include the HVAC vents and registers, fenestrations (doors, windows and skylights), and dumbwaiters or similar service hatches. After this, the fan will be switched on.
Technicians will then gradually increase and decrease the air pressure in the room, recording the differential pressure with each change. In this way, they can measure the amount of gas that escapes the room.
When Should an RIT Be Carried Out?
An RIT should be carried out right after a gaseous fire suppression system is installed or replaced. RITs are performed on a per-room basis, so all the rooms in a building don’t have to be tested if only one new system is installed. As part of building safety maintenance, gaseous fire suppression systems will have to be inspected every year.
What Happens If Your Building Fails an RIT?
If integrity issues are found during an RIT, your technicians will recommend further testing and remedial actions once the source of the problems is identified. The tests may include a smoke test that provides a visible indicator of leaks, pressurizing the entire building and thermography.
Entergis Testing and Sealing, LLC is your leading provider of air leakage testing and sealing services. Give us a call at (225) 577-6799. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Louisiana, Mississippi, and East Texas.