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Craig Norton, August 25 2021

Unsafe Safety Pin

It is quite surprising how often I come across a fixed fire suppression system that still has the service safety pin inserted, preventing manual activation of the system in case of an emergency. Oddly enough, this is most often on systems that have been recently inspected, but after catching this a few times now I make a mental note of always checking the position of the pull cable's safety pin.

Clearly this is a simple fix, simply removing the safety pin puts the system back in service leaving no reason to write any comment at all. However, sometimes the circumstances dictate that we as surveyors simply 'observe and report', as we can't determine whether the pin was left in place on purpose or not. 

Oftentimes, even after mentioning this finding to the listing broker they are equally hesitant to remove the safety pin, which further justifies the initial instinct of caution. 

It's hard to tell just by looking at the fixed fire suppression system's bottle head assembly, but when poking your head around the back, the offending pin position becomes more clear. 

(Extra points for anyone who noticed the uncovered battery with too many conductors in the background;)

Here's an example of a 'Quick Insert Option' phrase that have saved under 'Fixed Fire Suppression System' for just such an occasion. Feel free to copy/paste this phrase into your version of InspectX and adjust to your liking. 

The fixed fire suppression system's manual release safety lock-out pin was found installed (this pin would prevent the manual discharge of the fixed fire suppression system in case of an emergency). Remove the lock-out pin to return the system into operational order, as necessary.

Written by

Craig Norton

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