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Dry Riser Maintenance and Testing

by Laura

A quick guide on what you need to know –

What is a Dry riser?

Dry riser mains are an excellent means of fire protection, allowing considerable quantities of water to be quickly and directly transporting to relevant locations. This allows the fire services to better tackle any fires that may arise.

Dry Riser Testing 

If you are the responsible person for a tall public building then no doubt you will know that the building will have several dry risers incorporated into the structure. These are a system of pipes and valves that allow the fire service to pump large quantities of water to the higher floors of the building. These are very important in the event of a fire at higher floors to make sure they can be tackled safely and securely. Like any piece of equipment, dry risers require regular servicing so that they will be in perfect working order if they need to be used. 

Testing Cycle

Your dry risers should be inspected once every six months to make sure that they are in operational order. This six-monthly inspection is only a visual inspection only but it is required to be documented and recorded that the inspection has taken place. Once every 12 months, a more thorough inspection is required to be carried out. This testing should include a physical test that includes filling the system with a fire service approved hose that will allow the system to hold a pressure of 12 bar (175psi). It will need to hold this pressure for at least 15 minutes to be passed as being compliant with the check.

Who is Responsible?

When an inspection is carried out then the fire service will want to know that a valid inspection certificate for each dry riser is being held by the responsible person for the property. This could be the building owner, the manager, or facilities person, or whomever else is identified as the responsible person for the building. If the certificate is not in place when an inspection occurs then the responsible person could be prosecuted by the fire service for not having the required certificates in place. Further than that, if there is an emergency and the system fails then this could drastically worsen the damage caused by the emergency and no one wants to be in that situation.

Effective Testing in accordance with BS9990: 2015

If it is important that when you get the system tested that you use a professional testing company that is authorised to issue a certificate for the system. Getting the right company to do the testing is important, as they will also test the system with air before testing with water to ensure that there are no leaks. Using air in this way will prevent flood damage to your property. The last thing you need is to take shortcuts when it comes to safety particularly when this could result in further cost and damage to your business. The certificate issued needs to be compliant with BS9990:2015. The certificate will include the date of testing and the fact that the equipment passed the test. You will be required to produce this during any form of fire safety inspection.

All remedial works and maintenance to dry risers should be carried out by a competent, trained and accredited engineer. You can be certain that Microlynx engineers are fully qualified to service your dry risers.

For more information call our team on 0330 134 0264 or email


How Often Do You Need to Check Emergency Lighting?

by Laura


How Often Do You Need to Check Emergency Lighting?

Emergency lighting is put in place to come on if there is a power cut or other emergency in properties. It should come on automatically in response to the emergency and provides several benefits. Its primary role is to help people escape the building if the power goes out.

Types of Emergency Lighting

Emergency lighting is used in many different ways. Firstly, it could be used to light the exits or escape routes in the event of an emergency. Secondly, it could be used to highlight important high-risk areas during an emergency, these are areas where dangerous situations could occur in an emergency and need to be shut down safely first.

Testing Cycles

As with all of your other emergency systems it is important to ensure that your lighting system is check and maintained regularly. You want to make sure that when it comes to an emergency it is going to work. Exactly what needs to be done will depend on the type of lighting system that is being used, but generally, it will need to be checked regularly.

Monthly Testing

You will want to perform a quick test of the emergency lighting every month. This just involves using your test key to ensure that the lighting illuminates during a power outage as you would expect. Once the key is inserted check that all emergency lights come on. When the power is restored then check that all the emergency lights start charging again as you would expect. Make sure that all casings are clean and undamaged. If there are any failures or problems, then make sure they are addressed as soon as possible.

Annual Testing

Once per year you need to do a ‘full duration test’. This involves running the emergency lighting for the full period that it is rated for. If you have a 3-hour backup lighting system, then this means that you need to run it for the full 3 hours. You should make sure to inform your residents about this test beforehand and you will have to check that all of the lights last for the full duration. Again, if any fail or there is any other problems then you will need to get it addressed as soon as possible.

When to Do the Tests

When selecting the best time to do the tests you need to think carefully about when to run them. The riskiest time for any system is just after you have performed a test when the batteries are not yet fully recharged. You should also think about the time of day tests are carried out. It makes more sense to check lighting during the hours of darkness as you will better be able to evaluate its effectiveness. This might require careful coordination with any residents to ensure that their occupation of the premises isn’t unduly interrupted. It may make sense to coordinate with other annual maintenance activities.

Find out about our emergency lighting service here