Legal & Compliance

Your Legal Obligations

Gaseous fire suppression is the use of chemical agents and inert gases to extinguish fires. This process is also sometimes referred to as clean agent fire suppression. If your organisation has a room protected by a gaseous fire suppression system, this enclosure must be capable of containing extinguishing agent and preventing it from escaping for a pre-specified length of time. This time period varies according to the type of extinguishant in use.

The agent required for the correct application is dependent on the environment it is to be used in. The distribution and installation of pipe work, storage space for cylinders, environmental impact, costs and the room seal of the risk intended to protect, amongst much more must be taken into consideration. This is all taken into consideration in respect to ensuring the extinguishant is retained effectively. Failure to do so could result in leakage of the extinguishant and the re-ignition of a fire.

You are legally obliged to undertake room integrity testing to test the integrity of all such enclosures annually, or more frequently if there is any change to the enclosure.

Types of Enclosures Requiring Integrity Testing:

• Computer room
• PABX/Communications room
• Disaster recovery suite
• Operations room
• Data centre
• Control room
• Network hub
• Data storage room
• Electronic archive stores
• Generator room
• Turbine halls

Comply With UK & International Standards

According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and British Standards EN 15004-1 2008 your company is required to test the integrity of each enclosure protected by a gaseous fire suppression system.

A room integrity test must be conducted upon installation of the system. All enclosures supported by a gaseous fire suppression system require testing for air tightness upon commissioning to ensure that when activated, the system will function effectively. This is to ensure that there is no leakage, as leakage would result in dissipation of the fire suppression agent. If this occurs the concentration of the agent would lower and as a result would not achieve the necessary retention time. Further tests must be completed annually thereafter, unless you can prove there has been no change to the enclosure since any previous verification occurred. This is virtually impossible to prove so repeat annual checks are advisable to re-validate the room integrity.

Failure to undertake the correct annual integrity testing compromises the safety of your facility. Your company’s insurance may be invalidated and any attempt to make a fire-related claim may be unsuccessful.