Protected Enclosure Integrity Testing FAQ’s

Protected Enclosure Integrity Testing FAQ’s

Our clients often ask us as series of question in regards to the room integrity testing to data centres and/or server rooms. To help clarify these questions, and more we have written the following article

  1. Why do I need a room integrity test? The test is a requirement of the British Standard for gaseous fire extinguishing systems – BS EN:ISO 14520. Most fire insurers will require evidence that the test has been conducted and the result is satisfactory.
  2. How quickly can a room integrity test be arranged? – Usually within a few days.
  3. How long does the enclosure test take? – Usually between 1 and 2 hours.
  4. Will the enclosure integrity test set off alarms? – The enclosure test is completely independent of the detection system.
  5. Is the room integrity test disruptive? – It is only necessary to stop access to the room for 10-15 minutes. Personnel can continue to work in the room. The enclosure test can be paused if immediate access becomes required.
  6. Does equipment such as servers need to be switched off during the enclosure integrity test? no, severs will not need to be switched off during the integrity test.
  7. Does air conditioning need to be switched off during the enclosure integrity test? – Recirculation (chiller) units may continue to run. Air supply/extract ducts passing into the enclosure will need to be either dampered closed or will be temporarily sealed.
  8. Will I get a certificate if I pass the room integrity test? – It will be issued within a few days. This should be retained for possible inspection by the authorities/insurers. A summary certificate can be issued at the time of enclosure test if required.
  9. What happens if the room fails the enclosure integrity test? – An inspection will be conducted to identify leakage paths for remedial sealing. These will be pointed out at the time of the enclosure test and a plan included in the report. It is recommended that a retest be conducted after remedial action to confirm the adequacy of the retention time.
  10. Can remedial sealing be done at the time of the enclosure test? – Yes, provided the leakage can be swiftly remedially, or temporarily, sealed.
  11. Does APT undertake remedial sealing? – We can do this if requested or the client can arrange remedial sealing themselves.
  12. How often should the room integrity test be done? – The relevant British Standard (BS EN:ISO 14520) specifies that the test should be conducted annually as part of routine maintenance.

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If you have a protected enclosure that requires an integrity test please contact us at info@airpressuretesting.net or call Darren direct on 07775623464.

The Importance of Room Integrity Testing

The Importance of Room Integrity Testing 

In ISO 15004, it clearly states that an enclosure must be integrity tested annually when protected by a gaseous fire suppression system and/or alternatively when alterations are made to the structure of the enclosure such as the introduction of new cable or mechanical runs. At APT we provide room integrity testing for a wide variety of types and manufacturers of fire suppression systems, whether it is part of a system installation or annual inspection or intermediate post work testing.  Our engineers use the latest high powered fan technology to test all types and sizes of enclosure from small server rooms to large data centres. If your enclosure fails the room integrity test we can undertake a smoke survey and produce a detailed report to highlight the air leakage paths, this allows your site operatives to accurately seal the areas of air leakage.

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It is a requirement that a room Integrity Test is carried out at the time of the fire suppression installation. It is also a recommendation that a room Integrity Test is carried out on an annual basis as part of the routine maintenance schedule. This test is designed to ensure that an extinguishing concentration is held for a sufficient time (normally 10 minutes) to prevent re-ignition in the event of a fire.

Detailed studies have revealed that the predominant cause of failure of gaseous extinguishing systems is inadequate room sealing, which is usually down to excessive air leakage paths through the building envelope. It is also found that room integrity performance reduces with time; this is usually due to ongoing modifications to the envelope to accommodate extra mechanical and electrical installations such as data cabling etc.

Due to the potential issues associated with fire damage, it is essential that your main asset can contain the gas suppressant for as long as possible to prevent the fire reigniting. To enable this it is important to ensure that good room integrity is established at the end of the enclosures construction and maintained throughout the life cycle of the enclosure.

It is with noting that the annual integrity inspection and testing are also required by the BFPSA and are routine practice at most major commercial institutions such as banks and data storage companies. The benefits of ensuring good room integrity are recognised by insurers and regulatory authorities, who frequently insist on such testing.

For further information on our room integrity testing services, please contact our technical manager Darren on 07775623464; or email us at info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk