According to the Loss Prevention Council & Factory Mutual (LPC & FM), fixed fire protection equipment has a typical working life of between 20 and 25 years. This usually includes a pump, driver (either diesel engine powered or an electric motor) and control panel on a skid chassis pump, complete with lead-acid/ nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries. Natural wear and tear are inevitable from these types of systems. It is well known that degeneration of a pump accelerates with poor service regimes making component failures far more likely and replacement parts more frequent to comply with fire safety standards and legislation. But why are we telling you about the degeneration of fixed fire pump equipment and its working life expectancy?
The Supply Chain Challenge
Well, the last couple of years has brought about serious supply challenges across the pump industry. We are all too familiar with Brexit, the sudden emergence of the pandemic, and of course poor navigational skills from the Suez Canal blockage. All of these events contributed to creating a perfect ‘supply chain storm’ resulting in lengthy delays on everyday items ranging from toilet rolls and food to fence panels.
When it comes to fire pumps, there is no compromise for life. That is their primary function, to protect life, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. For this reason alone, keeping fire pumps maintained and serviced regularly is integral to its optimum functionality, no matter their function in its facility. Asset owners should always prioritise the repair of the pump, driver, and control panel wherever possible ensuring safety comes first at all times. Cutting costs and not prioritising regular maintenance of critical fire pump sets may be a false economy as replacing fixed fire protection equipment is expensive and complex. This is why we want to provide you with a few key takeaways on how to think smart when it comes to your fire pump longevity.
Planning to help your business prosper
Throughout the last two years, supply delays have also impacted the availability of fixed fire protection equipment components. As soon as the equipment is no longer in production, replacement parts quickly stop being as readily available. Eventually, older models and additional features become entirely obsolete. In this specific case, for example, a site with an offline fire pump set that is outdated or beyond repair exposes your organisation to further risk, leaving a potentially expensive replacement as the only available option.
In addition, investing in new fixed fire protection equipment is not a quick process nor the answer. Before CAPEX or funding can be applied, technical visits and site surveys must be conducted to identify the current replacement, investigations must be carried out to identify how to remove the retired equipment and decipher the best way to install the new equipment.
Given the time required to manufacture and deliver this new equipment, organisations risk lengthy periods without protection. One solution may be to invest in standby hire equipment; however, this can add further costs to a project and profound insurance cover implications. Planning and recognising the need to replace fixed fire protection equipment which is nearing the end of its working life means you take control of the end result and you choose how to invest on your terms. Consequently, it comes down to your decision to decide how to move forward with your protection. This is particularly important considering the difficulties in sourcing parts for these older and more obsolete engines, panels, and pumps.
Plan, prepare and protect with SPP
As a renowned and experienced fire pump manufacturer for over 140 years, we have the knowledge to support your business. By speaking to an SPP Pumps fire pump advisor, you can start the process of site surveys and investigate your options before you find yourself in an urgent situation. Speaking with an SPP specialist will give you the time to plan, prepare and find the suitable funds to implement the project and protect people, products, premises, and ultimately your business. SPP Pumps Ltd is approved by the LPC & FM for the design, manufacture, installation and commission of diesel and electrically driven fixed fire protection equipment.
By choosing SPP Pumps, you are enabling our service team to provide you with technical expertise and knowledge, ensuring compliance with your equipment/insurer requirements. If you are worried that your older fire protection equipment may leave your business unprotected and at risk, please reach out and speak to one of our advisors about replacing your options now and avoid making hasty decisions later.