Most businesses are familiar with the requirement of periodic inspections. The end result is a current tag on your system, extinguisher, alarm panel or sprinkler riser. As a fire protection company, our primary job is to act as the middle man between the business owner and the Authority Having Jurisdiction(AHJ). Their job is to make sure your tags are up to date, our job is to make sure your equipment meets the requirements for that current tag. Ultimately we work for and with the business owner to help mitigate issues that my arise with the AHJ. I often hear”but the fire department said it was good”. My job is to make sure they can say that honestly next time as well.
All cylinders in my industry require periodic testing and recharging. The testing intervals are mandated by NFPA, DOT, manufacturers and the local AHJ. Whether it is an internal inspection, recharging, or hydrostatic testing, it is all required to be done. The intervals differ depending on chemical used, type of cylinder, application and many other factors. This is often the opportunity for manufacturers to implement recalls and fixes. It is also often times used as the “drop dead” date on obsolete equipment; most famously the switching of the steel Ansul system red tanks to stainless steel.
As a technician, it is my chance to see that everything is working as it should. Over the years I’ve found debris in cylinders, tools, dysfunctional gauges, corrosion, incorrect chemicals and much more during this testing. Most things can be easily fixed, but sometimes cylinders need to be removed from service and replaced.
Ultimately all testing requirements exist for a reason. Most code changes are due to a failure or an improvement in the industry. A good technician will keep you apprised of changes in code and testing dates that will have a financial impact on your business. All of these dates are listed in the code they got their license based on and aren’t a mystery. If this communication isn’t happening, the technician working for you is likely only interested in your wallet and not your well being.