Fire Sprinkler Systems
NFPA 25 Requirements (The Basics)
Sprinklers operate automatically in the area of fire origin,
preventing a fire from growing undetected to a dangerous
size while simultaneously sounding an alarm. Automatic fire
sprinklers keep fires small. The majority of fires in
sprinklered buildings are handled by one or two sprinklers.
Automatic fire sprinklers are individually heat-activated, and
tied into a network of piping with water under pressure. When
the heat of a fire raises the sprinkler temperature to its
operating point (usually 165ºF), a solder link will melt or a
liquid-filled glass bulb will shatter to open that single
sprinkler, releasing water directly over the source of the heat.
Our knowledge of the code, our professional relationship with
the authorities having jurisdiction and their requirements and
ordinances, have given us the ability to meet or exceed the
high standards set forth by all governing and regulatory
The National Fire Protection Association publishes NFPA 25,
Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire
This document recommends that control valves without
electronic supervision be checked on a weekly basis, just to
make sure that they are in the open position. Other system
components have different requirements. Check with NFPA
25 or the manufacturers' literature for details.
At least four times each year, a full sprinkler system
inspection should be performed by a knowledgeable
professional. Most sprinkler contractors offer economical
long-term service agreements. These contractors can provide
you with inspection reports which will comply with your
insurance company and local fire department inspection
How Often Should They Be Inspected?
What are fire sprinklers and how do they work?
Commonly Asked Questions
Hydrants, Backflows & Pumps...Oh My
What is a Five Year Inspection? And What's Involved?
NFPA 25 Specifies 5-Year Fire-Sprinkler System Obstruction
Inspections be done at a 60 month interval.
Piping, valves, and other devices can become obstructed by
foreign materials or corrode to the point where they might
leak or fail under pressure. In 2002, National Fire Protection
Association (NFPA) strengthened the inspection code
requirement for automatic fire-sprinkler systems. In a move
that is helping to drive proper maintenance of these critical
life-safety systems, NFPA adopted a code requiring that an
internal inspection of piping be conducted every 5 years or
when conditions indicate the need for an internal inspection.
This type of inspection can identify microbiologically
influenced corrosion (MIC), rust, and slime that may obstruct
the piping and compromise the system.In Addition gauges
must be replaced per NFPA 25 Chapter 5.3.2 NFPA 2002
edition, "Gauges shall be replaced every 5 years or tested
every 5 years by comparison with a calibrated gauge.
Gauges not accurate to within 3 percent of the full scale shall
be recalibrated or replaced."
Who is responsible for flushing fire hydrants each year
- the building owner, the AHJ, or the water company?
Generally, when piping enters private property, the property
owner is responsible for inspection, testing, and
maintenance of piping and related equipment. Piping and
equipment on the public side of the property line are
generally the responsibility of the water purveyor.
Is it true that sprinkler heads should be replaced if
they are corroded or painted?
If there is corrosion evidence of any kind or if it has any
paint at the plug area of the sprinkler, it needs to be
replaced. The frame is not an area of concern for this.
How often do standpipe hoses need to be re-racked?
NFPA 1962 states that hoses need to be un-racked annually
and inspected as described in 4.3.4 (in-service hose shall be
un-racked, unreeled, or unrolled and physically inspected as
specified in Section 4.6 at least annually; the hose shall be
re-racked, re-reeled, or re-rolled so that any folds do not
occur at the same position on the hose).
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