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NFPA 25, The Standard for Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Sprinkler Systems is the minimum standard for building owners to properly maintain their buildings’ fire sprinkler systems. The requirement for inspection and testing of gauges can be found in Chapter 13 of the 2020 edition. Section 13.2.5 provides the inspection requirements, stating that water pressure gauges are inspected quarterly, and if constantly monitored, air or nitrogen gauges are also inspected quarterly. If not monitored, then these gauges must be inspected monthly. There are some other inspection requirements that can be found in this section for specific situations. ...
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Application of the Fire Code to Existing Buildings I remember the day like it was yesterday. As a fire code official with only a few years of experience I was assigned to a complaint inspection. In this situation, the details of the complaint were valid. The complaint revolved around an existing 200,000 square foot warehouse with high-piled storage and the business was adding on an additional 150,000 square feet of storage space. The problem? The building addition was designed by the local lumber company in town (no architect) and the owner had no intention to install fire sprinklers. After I concluded my inspection, I sat down with the owner ...
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Standpipe Branch Lines A standpipe branch line is simply a horizontal pipe connecting a standpipe to a single hose connection. Branch lines are typically added to meet travel distance requirements or where it is impracticable to install an additional vertical standpipe in a building. This pipe must be sized for the required flow and be at least 2 ½ inches in diameter. If the pipe extends more than 40 feet, measured along the pipe from the standpipe to the hose connection, a control valve must be provided. This control valve allows for isolation of the branch line for testing and maintenance without causing interruption to the rest of the system. Calculating ...
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Standpipe system working pressure definition has changed over the last few editions of NFPA 14 Standard for the Installation of Standpipes and Hose Connections . The original intent was to clarify maximum system working pressure, exclusive of surge pressure but inclusive of system design pressure required at the fire department connection (FDC). Simply speaking, the working pressure is the anticipated design pressure needed to meet system demand and must be included in the complete design aspect, including the FDC. While the intent of why the defined term was originally added has remained, the definition was incomplete, and the clarifying of ...
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Day on the Hill

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ICC Group A - OGCV October 2021 Fire Protection Voting Guide This short guide highlights the top positions for fire sprinkler systems in the proposed 2024 editions of the IBC and IFC. ICC validated code officials are encouraged to support these positions for life safety and property protection in their communities. The Cycle A Online Governmental Consensus Vote (OGCV) agenda and voting period is scheduled to open October 15 and close November 1, 2021. For more information on the voting period and how to register your vote, go to the www.cdpaccess.com website. F1-21 – Support As Modified by Public Comment 1 Automatic sprinkler system ...
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Sprinkler Systems-Winter is Coming! Lack of proper maintenance is one of the leading reasons for fire sprinkler system failures. Fire sprinkler systems shall be properly inspected, tested, and maintained (ITM) in accordance with NFPA 25, The Standard for Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems. Systems exposed to cold weather are especially vulnerable. During cold months, these systems are more susceptible to catastrophic failure. Frozen sprinkler pipes are among the more common service calls throughout winter months. Maintaining a minimum of 40 degrees (F) is imperative in ensuring the sprinkler pipes do not freeze. ...
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Pictured above, from left to right: Robert Gagnon, Dave Oliver, Kent Mezaros, Shane Ray, Walt Steinel Sr., Pat Conklin The National Fire Sprinkler Association’s 2021 Area 2 Mid-Atlantic Seminar was a success! Over 100 members attended the conference at the scenic Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, New Jersey. The agenda included presentation from a variety of guest speakers, including @Sher Grogg , Common Voices; Russ Fleming, Northeast Fire Suppression Associates; Dale Florio, Princeton Public Affairs Group; NFSA President @Shane Ray ; Gregory B. Cade of NFPA; Gary Lewis, City of Summit; and Dr. Charles Jennings, John Jay College of Criminal Justice. ...
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Supplemental vs. Supply

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Fire Department Connections We talk a lot about the requirements for the installation of Fire Department Connections (FDC), but often leave out their intended use and the priority of pressurizing or supplying systems from those FDCs. There are very different considerations as to why we install an FDC on a building. Simply speaking, we have them for two different reasons; supplement and supply. Supplemental NFPA 13 Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems requires the installation of an FDC to allow the fire department to provide supplemental pressure. The connection is not intended to deliver a ...
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What are accessory uses and how are they regulated? Accessory uses are considered minor uses in the overall occupancy of the building. These uses are often necessary or complimentary to the function of the building’s major use. The accessory occupancy is assigned to the occupancy based on its own unique characteristics. There are two considerations when accessory uses are present. They are allowable building height and allowable building area. While there are a few requirements that accessory uses must follow, they are still subject to permittable building heights and areas of Section 504 of the 2021 IBC. Additionally, the allowable area of the ...
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Many in the fire protection industry, as well as the fire service, do not fully understand what a manual wet standpipe is and how it works. This blog will focus on the basic installation and testing requirements and shed some light on this rarely understood topic. First, let’s learn what a manual wet standpipe is. NFPA 25 , The Standard for Inspection, Testing and Maintenance for Water-Based Fire Protection Systems , does not specifically define a manual wet standpipe. However, the standard breaks it into two definitions. First, a wet standpipe is defined in Section 3.3.43.5 and it states that it is a system that always contains water. A manual standpipe ...
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“Hydrant” Flow Testing

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The undefined term Hydrant flow testing is often used to describe a test conducted to determine hydrant flow performance. The reality is a flow test is used to determine the available water supply in the water main. The addition of the word hydrant does not change that test, nor does it provide specific hydrant performance data. This term creates confusion when the word hydrant is randomly added. It indicates that the flow test is being utilized to evaluate individual hydrant performance. This disconnect often leads to confusion when Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) request an annual or five-year hydrant flow test, to verify adequate individual ...
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What is an incidental use? This type of use falls into the category of a mixed-used scenario. However, it is not addressed in the same way that other mixed uses are addressed. There are times where the hazards associated with a particular use do not rise to the level of requiring a different occupancy. The hazards must still be addressed because of the nature of the hazard and its impact on the remainder of the building. These types of uses are regulated independently of the other mixed-occupancy provisions. They are one or more rooms or areas in a building that pose risks not typically addressed by the provisions for the general occupancy under which the ...
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NFSA staff was able to sit down with Pablo Cazarin of GC-Track to discuss the company’s history, services, and partnership the NFSA. GC-Track is a recent NFSA SAM member, having joined this past Spring, but Pablo knew the best way to break into the U.S. fire sprinkler industry was with an NFSA membership. GC-Track was founded in 2016 in Mexicali, in Baja California, Mexico. The company opened in 2016 but spent its first two years in operation in research and development. In 2018 the company hit the ground running, offering its services throughout Mexico, and has since expanded into Central and South America. GC-Track has some sizeable clients in Latin America, ...
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High-Rise Pumping Terin Hopkins June 25, 2021 We are entering a new era where the height of a building is being redefined and are moving from performance-based design into the regulated world of prescriptive codes and standards. For many decades, we have classified the height of a building based on fire department access limitations. A building was either a high-rise or it was not. That designation has been largely based on one basic concept, the fire department ladder capabilities or reach, which for many years has been 75 feet. The International Building Code (IBC) defines a high-rise as a building with an occupied floor greater than 75 ...
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NFSA staff had the privilege of sitting down with Lawrence Mascera of Oliver Fire Protection & Security this week to discuss the company’s history, its services, and its place in the NFSA. Anyone who has worked in the fire protection industry in the Delaware Valley, or even the Mid-Atlantic states for that matter, knows of Oliver, but this reputation as a premier shop was hard won and took over 60 years and three generations to build. Leland Oliver founded Oliver Sprinkler Company in 1957 with a staff of six working out of his home. Leland’s sons, Bill, Dick, and Bob all joined the staff. When Leland suddenly passed away, his son Bill—who was ...
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For many years, removing the solenoids on pre-action and deluge valves to ensure the valve did not trip when testing initiating devices has been a frequent practice. The requirement is to fully flood deluge systems annually and three years, full flow for preactions, with partial trip tests for the two years where a full flow was not required. If for some reason the system could not be trip tested or flooded, then the solution should be to simply close the control valve. Conducting the test with the control valve closed would ensure no water would enter the system and providing a supervisory signal at the releasing panel, if monitored by a fire alarm system. This ...
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This week NFSA staff sat down with Paul Cacioppo, Vice President of Landmark Fire Protection in Pine Brook, New Jersey to discuss the company’s history and its role in NFSA. Landmark Fire Protection was founded in 1982 by Angela Morello-Lange. The shop started out as a fire sprinkler, plumbing and mechanical contractor, but has since focused its services on fire sprinklers—and to a great effect! Landmark is known as a “big project company,” but not so much because they work on big facilities (which they do), but because they handle very complex projects. If you were to pick out a building from the skyline of a North Jersey town, odds are Landmark has worked ...
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What to Consider Before Implementing Local ITM-reporting Services Inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) reporting services improve the reliability of fire protection systems; however, the implementation of these services is not without concern and caution. This position paper addresses nearly every aspect of concern for authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ) who, by necessity or convenience, chooses to use an ITM-reporting service to enforce and track the inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire protection systems in their jurisdictions. Some of these concerns are: Security, regulatory, and liability: the reporting process must be secure and guarded ...
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  • Inspect Point was founded in 2015 and is a revolutionary software platform that focuses primarily on fire protection inspections, from scheduling to documentation, and proposals. Inspect Point’s state-of-the-art software is tailored to fire protection contractors and serves as a one stop shop wherein...
  • We could not help ourselves! After seeing this news coverage of a fire sprinkler save, a Request for Correction was submitted yesterday evening to WATE-TV Knoxville. This is the link to the story that prompted my response: https://www.wate.com/news/top-stories/dozens-displaced-after-small-fire-at...