July 8, 2014
Sprinkler systems are as critical to personnel safety as “clean agent” (inert gas) fire suppression systems. Sprinkler systems are used in offices, hallways, lobbies, and other areas where people congregate and work and where the likely combustible materials do not require inert gas to suppress a fire.
Your obligations regarding testing and inspection of your sprinkler systems are summarized here.
1. Annual inspection/testing items can be done separately throughout the year as needed, does not have to be done all at the same time (not in code, just common sense).
2. Five-Year maintenance covers four distinct items and is primarily described in NFPA 25, Chapters 5 and 13. Obstruction investigation is a separate topic and is covered in Chapter 14.
“An assessment of the internal condition of piping shall be conducted on a frequency determined by 126.96.36.199 or 188.8.131.52 for the purpose of inspecting for the presence of foreign organic and inorganic material.”
3. Plastic pipe does not require internal inspection as per NFPA 25, Section 184.108.40.206.
“Nonmetallic pipe shall not be required to comply with Section 14.2.”
4. NFPA 25, Section 220.127.116.11 requires annual “inspection” of sprinkler heads from floor level. This includes attics under most conditions!
“Sprinklers shall be inspected from the floor level annually.”
5. If accessible, the roof area of a building is also inspected. People often forget or overlook roof structures. Not specifically in code (again, just common sense).
In other words, we inspect from the dirt to the sky!
NFPA 25:Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems