The Importance of Backflow Prevention Inspections and Testing 

The backflow preventer is a critical part of the fire safety system and requires annual inspection in order to make sure that it is working properly. Here is some helpful information on backflow preventer testing and inspection. 

What is a Backflow Preventer? 

In fire emergencies, backflow is the reversal of the flow of a liquid, gas or suspended solid from a fire suppression system. Backflow preventers are mechanical devices designed with check and relief valves and air inlets installed on water piping to prevent pressurized water from the fire suppression system from flowing back into the water supply. 

Specialized backflow preventer valves are used when there is insufficient vertical or physical space to install an air gap. They are also used when pressurized operations or other factors make it difficult to use an air gap. 

Backflow Preventer Testing

As backflow preventers prevent contaminated sprinkler water from re entering the public water supply, these devices require proper testing and continued maintenance to ensure that they are operating effectively. The National Fire Prevention Association requires that backflow preventers must be tested annually. They must undergo two types of testing: 

  • Backflow Testing 
  • Forward Flow Testing

Inspection Requirements for Backflow Preventers 

The National Fire Protection Association requires that your backflow preventer  systems be routinely inspected. Here is a breakdown of backflow preventer inspections and how often they should be conducted: 


  • Full forward flow test 

Monthly Inspection

  • Control valves (locked/supervised) 
  • Double check valves

Daily/ Weekly Inspection 

  • Control Valves 
  • Reduced pressure detectors 

Be sure that your backflow preventer is operating properly and keep yourself and your tenants safe.  We are here in Las Vegas to help companies with their fire protection. Give us a call to see how we can help you.