Room Integrity Test

ROOM INTEGRITY TEST

 

   

 

 

 

ROOM INTEGRITY TEST


When deploying a Clean Agent system it is vital to test the 'integrity' of a room to ensure that the protected area is well sealed and the Clean Agent extinguishing media won't escape. To ensure the effectiveness of the system, the space must be tested for its capacity to hold the clean agent.  This is "Room Integrity" testing and is a service provided by ALARM SYSTEMS CORPORATION for Clean Agent system.

 

The test equipment comprises of variable speed fans, expandable door panels, pressure gauges and a dedicated portable computer. The door fan unit is fitted into a doorway of the protected area by means of the expandable door panels designed to fit most door frame sizes, and measures the size of holes in the room and the pressures that may exit across them.


The computer then converts the test readings into an Equivalent Leakage Area, or the total area of all the cracks, gaps and holes in the test area. The data generated is then processed using specifically designed computer software, in compliance with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) which predicts the period of time that the concentration will be held in the test area at any given height. This retention time can be further calculated for different heights.

 

"Room Integrity" tests should be carried out at the design stage of a Clean Agent systems and annually thereafter and even more frequently if the space may have changed due to renovations, or layout changes.

This testing determines the exact design of the clean agent system, and may also indicate a need for other work needing to take place in order to seal gaps within the space to be protected.

 

 

 

What is Air Leakage / Room Integrity Testing?

 

A room integrity test is all about testing the room’s structure, its air leakage rate and more importantly its ability to hold fire suppressant gasses.

 

Room integrity testing is a means of predicting the retention time and leakiness of a room without having to release the extinguishing gas itself.

 

Room integrity tests calculate the air tightness and amount of air leakage in a room from the difference in

pressure when tested. Integrity tests also predict how long fire suppressant agents take to descend to a given level in the room.

 

A retention time of 10 minutes is the normal minimum period the suppressant agents are required to be retained for. Ten minutes is long enough for most deep-seated fires to be cooled so that re-ignition is unlikely.


All room integrity tests conform to the guidelines set out in BS5306 andNFPA2001. It is applicable to all sizes of enclosure and all extinguishing gases, including Argonite, FM200, Novec 1230 and CO2.

 

What Equipment is Involved in Room Integrity Testing?

 

  • variable speed fans
  • expandable door panels
  • pressure gauges
  • a dedicated portable computer

 

The door fan test measures the size of the holes in the room and the pressure that may exist across them. The door fan equipment is set up to create a pressure differential between the enclosure and the surrounding areas. Measurements are made and entered on the computer. The computer calculates the airflow, retention rate and equivalent leakage area (ELA).

 

 

 

 

 

What Happens Prior to Room Integrity Testing?

 

Prior to an integrity test taking place it is necessary to take several steps to ensure valid measurements:

 

  • All doors, windows and cladding must be installed or if glazing is missing, sealed up to prevent air leakage.
  • If more than one room is being tested at once -all internal doors must be wedged open.
  • Seal all ducts and penetrations where the main services enter the building.
  • Smoke Vents should be closed but NOT sealed.
  • Seal with tape or cardboard and duct or mechanical vents to outside. Special attention to the air conditioning system.
  • Prior to taking measurements it is necessary to accurately measure values for floor area, wall area, and volume of the room.

 

What Happens During Room Integrity Testing?

 

The door fan equipment is located in a doorway to create small pressure differentials between the enclosure and surrounding areas. Pressure and airflow measurements are made, from which the leakage characteristics of the enclosure are established. First the room is pressurized, readings taken, then afterward to check those measurements the room is depressurized to take measurements to compare. The predicted retention time is calculated from these leakage characteristics and the enclosure and extinguishing system data. Testing usually takes between 1.5 –3 hours for most enclosures. Including the time taken to conduct a room survey, set up

equipment, testing, leakage survey, photographs and packing up.

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Are the tested rooms available for staff to work in during integrity testing?

It is only necessary to stop access to the room for 10-15 minutes, whilst measurements are taken. Personnel can continue to work in the room. The test can be paused if immediate access becomes required.

 

 

What about our computer equipment in the rooms being tested?

It is not necessary to turn off computer or server equipment within the enclosure during the integrity test.

 

 

Can Air Conditioning stay on during testing?

No, but recirculation (chiller) units may continue to run. Air supply/extract ducts passing into the enclosure will need to be either closed or will be temporarily sealed.

 

 

Will the room integrity test cause our alarms to go off?

No, the test is completely independent of the detection system. So it will not trigger the alarms.

 

 

When do we get our pass certificate?

Upon your room passing the test, we subsequently provide full reports, incorporating all necessary data test information and certification, usually within a few days of the test.

 

What Constitutes a Pass or Fail of a Room Integrity Test?

Successful room integrity tests are those that show a retention rate equal or higher than the recommended time.

Whilst it will be different per room, it is usually 10 minutes for the required amount of fire suppressant to be retained.

 

 

For your free room integrity quote please contact us at Tel no.: +63(2) 5328006 or email us at: mail [at] alarmsystems [dot] ph