ROOM INTEGRITY TEST IN LONDON

ROOM INTEGRITY TEST IN LONDON  
If you have a room that’s protected by a gaseous fire suppressant system, it is required to have an annual Room Integrity Test. Protected enclosures such as Server Rooms, Plant Rooms, and Laboratory’s all need to be tested on an annual basis, given the potential consequences of fire damage and the subsequent down time for critical assets.

Under BS ISO 15004, it states that an integrity test be undertaken prior to the handover of the enclosure and annually thereafter. Also, if the enclosure envelope has received new works i.e. new penetrations for electrical installations another room integrity test should be undertaken immediately after the works have been completed.

To allow a fire suppression system to work properly the room must have sufficient airtight to retain an extinguishing concentration for a specified period after discharge – usually 10 minutes. Failure to do so may cause the fire to reignite causing further damage.

Fire Damage to a Server Room.

Data_Room_Fire_Damage

We undertake room integrity testing to all types and sizes of enclosures, from large data centre’s which have a floor areas of hundreds of square metres to small server rooms not much bigger than a WC. In each case we carry out the necessary calculations prior to the test, and use high powered UKAS calibrated fan systems with integrity testing software to determine results immediately upon completion of the room integrity test.

Our experienced engineers continually ensure that the room integrity testing is clean and non-disruptive, using the latest door mounted fan systems to measure the air leakage flow. Throughout the test the room can carry on working as normal, with no requirement for shutdowns to your critical assets.

If you have a protected enclosure that requires a room integrity test or you think you have a problem in terms of your enclosure construction, please contact us at: info@airpressuretesting.net or call Darren direct on 07775623464.

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.

Room-Integrity-Testing-on-data-centre

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

Why do I need a Room Integrity Test?

Why do I need a Room Integrity Test?

If you have a gaseous suppression system, then you are required to carry out a room integrity test in order to check the enclosure ability to retain an effective concentration of gas, which is a critical to the safe operation of the system.

This is to determine the time that an extinguishant will remain active in an enclosure at the designated protected height, which is usually the top of your critical equipment, such as server/data racks. This is achieved by measuring the amount/time of extinguishing agent to escape from the confines of an area and allowing the concentration to diminish.

Room-Integrity-Testing-on-data-centre

As part of the ISO 14520, ISO 15004, NFPA and BFPSA Codes of Practice for Gaseous Fire Fighting Systems, room integrity testing should be undertaken in a protected enclosure to determine whether air leakage could impact upon the extinguishant performance. The Room Integrity Test should be undertaken when it is first installed, and then regularly as part of the routine maintenance, once a year and/or if works have been carried out to the enclosures’ envelope, such as newly formed penetrations through the walls to allow for new electrical/data installations.

The integrity test is undertaken by installing a calibrated blower fan unit within the test doorway to pressurise and depressurise the enclosure.  Afterwards a series of air flow measurements are taken from which leakage characteristics of the enclosure are established. The predicted retention time is calculated the type of extinguishing system data and the leakage characteristics.

Room_integrity_test_With_blower_fan

For most extinguishing system types, a retention time of ten minutes is the minimum period the suppressant agents is required to be retained for within the enclosure. NFPA 2001, Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems, requires that a minimum concentration of 85% of the adjusted minimum design concentration be held at the highest level of combustibles for a minimum period of 10 minutes. This is usually long enough to prevent re-ignition for most deep-seated fires and should provide adequate time for the emergency services to attend and prevent the fire taking hold.

Air Pressure Testing provides the necessary Room Integrity Test to the required ISO 14520, ISO 15004 methodologies. We have undertaken hundreds of enclosure integrity tests around the UK and Europe. As part of our service, we can also arrange an annual test plan and remind you when the fire enclosure test is required.

If you require our fire enclosure testing services, please call Darren on: 07775623464 or email us at: info@airpressuretesting.net

What Happens if I Fail my Room Integrity Test

What Happens if I Fail my Room Integrity Test

Room_intergrity_test_fire_supressant

If you fail your room integrity test don’t panic, APT’s highly trained and experienced Enclosure Testing Engineers will be able to locate the problem areas and identify where air is leaking out of the building by walking around the test enclosure with a localised smoke puffer, pencil checking the most common problem areas first. Some of the most common air leakage paths within the building envelope are:

  • around cracks or penetrations within the masonry/.plasterboard walls.
  • around pipe chases and cable trays where they penetrate the perimeter boundaries of the protected enclosure
  • around the inside perimeter at the floor and ceiling junctions.
  • Around porous block-work walls – this can be remedied by painting and ensuring the mortar joints are full.
  • around the entrance door reveals – door sweeps this can be remedied by installing drop seals, weather stripping around jambs.
  • around window frames and glazing.
  • Around various penetrations within the ceiling void such as underside of doorways.
  • Around poorly installed air conditioning dampers.

Once we have undertaken the smoke test and located the air leakage paths, we can collate and issue a detailed air leakage report which can be passed on to the fire sealing team. It’s also worth noting that the smoke won’t cause any damage to the building and/or equipment.

Fire_in_a_data centre

By combining our fan testing equipment, we blow the smoke out through any penetrations in in the enclosure envelope; this makes the air paths far more visible. Smoke leaking from the enclosure can also be seen outside, and photographed to provide a record of any external leakage paths.

Pressurised Smoke tests are ideal for identifying both generic and smaller more torturous areas of air leakage.

If you would like some more information in regards to Room Integrity Testing on your server room or data centre in London, please contact us now at info@airpressuretesting.co.uk  or call me Darren on 07775623464.

How we undertake a Room Integrity Test

How we undertake a Room Integrity Test

Clients are understandably nervous prior to the undertaking of an integrity test on their server room/data centre, as its often their most important critical asset. To help explain this in more detail – and alleviate potential fears) we have collated the step by step guide below.

  • The enclosure is measured, a plan made and the type and quantity of extinguishant recorded. The height of the highest hazard in the enclosure (risk height) is noted.
  • Where relevant, doors within the enclosure are opened and a number of false floor and ceiling tiles are removed so that the protected enclosure is tested as one space. A return air path is established outside the enclosure by opening doors/windows as appropriate.
  • Room_intergrity_test_fire_supressant
  • The door fan equipment is set up in a suitable door opening.  Personnel may continue to work within the enclosure during the test and may enter and leave, subject to access, except when pressure readings are being taken.
  • Any air handling equipment involving supply into, or extract from, the enclosure will need to be set by the client or end-user into the same condition as would occur on system discharge (usually dampers closed and fans off).  This need occur only whilst pressure readings are taken.  Re-circulation and a/c units without fresh air make-up may be left operating throughout the test to prevent temperature build-up in the enclosure. Details of the arrangements are note.
  • The extinguishing system and enclosure data obtained earlier is entered on to the computer.  This calculates the design concentration and the column pressure (typically between 4 and 20Pa) that would be exerted by the gas after discharge.
  • The door fan(s) is used to pressurise and depressurise the enclosure to the column pressure and the fan pressure required in each case is recorded.  For certain system design a series of pressure readings are taken.
  • The pressure data is entered on to the computer which calculates the airflow, equivalent leakage area and the retention time.
    If the result satisfies the specified retention time (usually 10 minutes) the enclosure is deemed to have passed the test.
  • If the retention time is less than that required, a detailed inspection is undertaken to establish the main leakage paths.  This includes floor and ceiling voids as relevant.
  • On occasions, chemical smoke pencils may be used in conjunction with the door fan equipment to assist leakage identification. These produce only very small quantities of smoke at the perimeter of the enclosure and are not used in the vicinity of any sensitive electronic equipment.
  • Should the leakage path distribution be found to be other than the worst case situation assumed in the initial computer calculation, the retention time is recalculated accordingly. Also, if practicable, major leaks may be temporarily sealed, new pressure readings taken and a revised retention time calculated.  Retention times meeting requirements are recorded as passes, subject to any necessary corrective actions; those not doing so are reported to have failed.
  • A written test report will be submitted. The report contains details of the enclosure, extinguishing system parameters, pressurisation results and predicted retention time graph.  Recommendations are given advising the sponsor of any leakage areas or other features requiring remedial action.

Note – The duration of the room integrity test is approximately two hours per enclosure.

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

Room Integrity Testing for Enclosures Using FM-200 Agent.

Room Integrity Testing for Enclosures Using FM-200 Agent.

It is essential that the sealing aspect of protected enclosures is taken into account when using a FM-200 system in your enclosure. This is because the sealing requirements for effective retention are much more stringent than those for any of the Inert agents. If a protected enclosure is protected with FM-200, it needs to be sealed more air tight by at least 50% than that allowed for Inert Agents.  Obviously this makes it more important to get the enclosure design right, to allow for a more air tight envelope.   To satisfy the requirements for containing FM-200 on existing protected enclosures currently being upgrades from other Gaseous Fire Suppression systems, it may result in the need for structural improvements inevitably leading to an increase in building costs.

Room_intergrity_test_fire_supressant

Enclosure Air Sealing

The Integrity of a protected enclosure is defined by the ability of enclosure to adequately retain an extinguishing agent at a suitable level of concentration for 10 minutes to suppress a potential fire situation.  For any protected enclosure to be effective with any the Gaseous Fire System  the design concentration must first be achieved, and thereafter maintained at suitable levels ; achieve this the enclosures envelope must be adequately sealed.

Fire_in_server_room

To achieve compliance with the relevant standards you are required to undertake a room integrity test upon completion of the installation. One efficient way to ensure compliance with ISO 15004 is to carrying the pressurisation of the room with a blower fan system and also under takes the air sealing at the same time. Once the room is pressurised the air testing company can carry out a localised smoke test to identify all the air leakage paths; thereafter, targeted sealing works can be undertaken.  A final room integrity test can then be carried out to ensure compliance with the relevant standards.

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

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.

Room_intergrity_test_fire_supressant

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

Room Integrity Test

Room Integrity Test

A room integrity test is one of the most important aspects of any fire suppression system. If a protected enclosure has a suppression system, the agent that is discharged into the enclosure has to be able to remain there for a minimum period of 10 minutes, from the initial activation of the fire alarm or alert.

A fire suppression system can provide adequate cover and function correctly if the room is adequately sealed. A room that is insufficiently sealed may allow the suppression agent that has been discharged into the room to escape too quickly, prior to fully extinguishing the fire which may result in massive damage to your major asset.

On Site Fire Integrity Test 

Room_intergrity_test_fire_supressant

The performance of any protected room and fire suppression system can only be guaranteed when serviced regularly through a professional maintenance routine. APT always recommend that room integrity testing is made part of an annual service and maintenance package, to ensure that on discharge, the suppression agent achieves and maintains the correct concentration, at the appropriate height for minimum required time frame.

In many instances although the room may be quite air tight, the enclosure may fail as the distance from the structural height, i.e. the ceiling of the enclosure may be very close to the top of the protected height – the top of the server racks. When designing a protected enclosure it is always best to allow plenty of distance between the top of the protected height and the ceiling as this should result in more retention time, as long as your enclosure is sufficiently airtight.

It is worth noting that if your protected enclosure suffers fire damage, it may not be covered by the buildings insurance if you don’t have up to date Fire Integrity Certification.

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

How we undertake a Room Integrity Test

How we undertake a Room Integrity Test

Our clients often ask how we undertake a room integrity test, so we have written this article to explain this in more detail.

  1. Any internal doors with the enclosure are opened and some of the false floor and/or ceiling tiles are removed so that the protected enclosure is tested as one space.
  2. The enclosure is measured, a plan made and the type and quantity of extinguishant recorded. The height of the highest protected equipment within the enclosure is noted.
  3. The door fan equipment is set up on an external door. Any other external access doors should be locked to prevent access by personal during the test. It is worth noting that operates  may continue to work within the enclosure during the test, however they won’t be able to leave during the test, i.e. when pressure readings are being taken.
  4. Any mechanical air handling equipment that supply and/or extract to/from the enclosure will need to be set by the client to the same condition as would occur on system discharge – usually dampers closed and fans off.  This need occur only whilst pressure readings are taken.  Re-circulation and a/c units without fresh air make-up – external air supply) may be left operating throughout the test to prevent temperature build-up and possible damage to the critical equipment within the enclosure.
  5. The extinguishing system and enclosure data obtained earlier is entered on to the computer.  This calculates the design concentration and the column pressure that would be exerted by the gas after discharge.
  6. The blower door fan is used to both pressurise and depressurise the enclosure to the column pressure and the fan pressure required in each case is recorded.  For certain system design a series of pressure readings are taken.
  7. The pressure data is entered on to the computer which calculates the airflow, equivalent leakage area and the retention time.
    If the result satisfies the specified retention time – usually 10 minutes) the enclosure is deemed to have passed the room integrity test.
  8. If the retention time is less than that required, a detailed smoke survey inspection is undertaken to establish the main leakage paths.  Our small chemical smoke pencils are used as they only produce very small quantities of smoke at the perimeter of the enclosure and are not used in the vicinity of any sensitive electronic equipment.
  9. If practicable, major leaks may be sealed by the client and new pressure readings taken and a revised retention time is then calculated.  Retention times meeting requirements are recorded as passes.
  10. A full written test report will be submitted. The report contains details of the enclosure, extinguishing system parameters, pressurisation results and predicted retention time graph.  Recommendations are given advising the sponsor of any leakage areas or other features requiring remedial action.
  11. A Room Integrity Test pass cert will is produced which should be laminated and attached to the front door of the protected enclosure.
  12. We usually allow 2 hours to undertake each Room Integrity Test enclosure.

Server_Room_Integrity_Testing

we hope this article goes some way to explaining how we undertake a room integrity test. If you require more information in regards to integrity testing compliance on your server room, please do not hesitate to contact Darren direct on: 07775623464 or email us at: info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk

Ensuring Compliance for Server Room Integrity Testing

Ensuring Compliance for Server Room Integrity Testing

Air leakage and smoke ingress are detrimental to an installation’s firefighting capabilities and can result in massive failure of your critical asset. Ensuring compliance for server room integrity testing compliance should be at the top of the agenda for all facility management companies.

Blower_Door__Integrity_Testing

The effectiveness of a gaseous fire suppression system can only be guaranteed, if the enclosure surrounding it is air tight. Unfortunately if the system does not operate effectively, by maintaining the correct concentration for an effective time period,- usually 10 minutes) it may cause the whole system to fail resulting in critical system failure.

Previous studies have revealed that the predominant cause of failure of gaseous extinguishing systems is inadequate room sealing to the building envelope. It is also found that room integrity performance reduces with time, usually due to changes in construction, mechanical and electrical services as well as a natural breakdown of sealing materials such as mastic and/or sealing foam etc.

Ensuring good room integrity should be shown the highest priority. And once the room/enclosure has passed its annual server room integrity test, it should be carefully maintained throughout the year. Any extra works undertaken to the room envelope within the annual test period may result in the need to undertake another integrity test.

The room integrity door fan test is undertaken in accordance with the general requirements specified in BS:ISO 14520, NFPA 12A, NFPA 2001 and isroutine practice for most major companies. The insurers and regulatory authorities usually insist on annual room integrity testing. It is worth noting in the event of a critical failure of your protected enclosure, if you don’t have complaint certification you may void your buildings insurance.

If you require more information in regards to a server room integrity test, please do not hesitate to contact Darren on: 07775623464 or email us at: info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk