Integrated Systems Testing – Your Solution for Systems Integrity

What is Integrated System Testing?

IST is a process used in buildings to verify and document that all fire and life safety system interconnections work in conformance with their design criteria – working as a collective whole. The testing includes not just sprinklers and fire alarms, but the interconnections between door release hardware, elevators, generators, specialized smoke control systems to ensure there are no gaps in your fire and life safety systems.

When is an IST needed?

IST is highly recommended in cases where older buildings have been upgraded to meet new Building Code requirements, when the tenancy has changed, for aging buildings and those that have undergone renovations. Property managers and owners need to consider the impact these changes may have on the adequacy and functionality of the building’s fire and life safety systems. IST takes into consideration how these systems are intended to function during an emergency, and not just if they are working.

The consequences of not implementing a thorough systems test could result in ineffective fire protection, exposing the owner to significant risk. IST combined with solid advice on the ongoing adequacy of those fire and life safety systems can close the loop and help a building owner or property manager know their building is up to the challenge if they are faced with an emergency.

Timeline & Process

An IST test should be conducted prior to first occupancy in new buildings, with the second iteration required one year after that. Subsequent rounds of testing are needed at intervals not exceeding five years. The IST process involves a preliminary planning phase, an implementation phase during which the test plan is executed and the final documentation phase when the coordinator develops and issues the requisite documentation to record the completion of the test plan and the accompanying data and results.

Getting the right advice and conducting the right inspections and testing, including IST, is key to maintaining a safe, compliant building, and minimizing risks.

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