An exciting development at the FPA for 2014 is our brand new Sprinkler Workshop Facility, which offers practical hands-on training on the maintenance of systems alongside theoretical elements. FRM editor Mark Sennett outlines the key things you need to know about the new facility

SPRINKLER SYSTEMS are considered by many to be the single most effective means of protecting industrial, commercial and public sector premises from the potentially disastrous consequences of fire. It is essential, however,
that systems are correctly maintained.

The FPA’s new suite of modular courses has been designed to provide knowledge and understanding of sprinkler maintenance for a range of training requirements, and in particular for those applying to join the LPS1048 Scheme.

Here’s a list of key questions and answers about the courses on offer:

Q: Who can use the facility/who is it intended for?

A: The courses on offer are relevant to anyone who advises on, inspects or audits premises in relation to fires. This would include fire and rescue services, insurers and consultants wishing to gain a more in-depth understanding of these systems.

Q: What are the benefits of the new practical training facilities?

A: There are many benefits, but primarily the facility enables learners to put theoretical learning into practice and see the various components of different systems, how they work and common issues. Students are able to get hands-on experience, which will reinforce class-based learning and assist with recall of information back into the workplace.

Q: How might the new facilities improve property protection and business continuity outcomes?

A: By understanding how sprinkler systems are designed, how they operate and what maintenance routines are required, users will be able to ensure that all maintenance is being carried out correctly in accordance with the relevant standards and good engineering practice. This has the benefit of ensuring that the system will operate correctly and be effective should there be a fire in the protected premises, thus minimising any building damage and business disruption.

Q: Do training activities undertaken on the system interfere with the provision of any real fire protection provisions?
If using the protected building sprinkler system to carry out training, it is possible that some of the sprinkler system or associated fire alarm system may have to be isolated. This obviously can impair the system while the training is being conducted. By using a purpose-built facility, this risk is eliminated.

Q: Which Installation Standards
(such as LPC Rules, BS EN 12845, NFPA 13, CEA 4001, FM, etc) is the installation representative of?
The training room is mainly set up for LPCB and BS EN 12845, however some of the valves are set up for NFPA13 or FM requirements.

Q: Can bespoke training be provided?

A: Yes, the facility suits bespoke training requirements very well and we can tailor training to meet different companies’ needs. This means that customers are able to determine the focus of training, depending on whether, for example, it needs to have an emphasis on life safety, property protection aspects of sprinkler systems, sprinkler protection in particular types of buildings or at a specific stage in a building’s life; what level of knowledge delegates are starting with; which standards are relevant; and any problems currently being encountered that require solutions

Mark Sennett is editor of Fire Risk Management.

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