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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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NFSA staff were able to sit down with Martin Talgø of Snap Drill, one of the Association’s newest SAM members. Martin, Manager at Snap Drill, was excited to talk about the history of his company and his plans for breaking into the U.S. market. The Start of Snap Drill Snap Drill was founded in September of 2020 but the concept started 4 years ago over a discussion during a Christmas dinner. The conversation, which was between brothers-in-law Tor Ole and Thomas, turned to problem solving at work. Thomas, a plumber, and Tor Ole, a machinist, were having a spirited discussion about issues that come with drilling holes in steel pipe. As the conversation grew ...
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Left to right: John, Charles & Kurt NFSA staff stopped by All State Fire & Security for a visit with President Kurt Juliano, Operations Manager John Bielecki, and Davis Ulmer Rep Charles Buckley. All State Fire & Security has grown since its founding in 2007 to include over 50 employees. In December of 2020, All State was acquired by Davis-Ulmer, and joined the APi Group. All State is a full-service fire protection shop and offers everything from fire sprinkler installation and services, to fire alarm installation and services, hood cleaning, fire extinguisher services, and CCTV installation and card access systems. All State serves all ...
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No matter what time of year it is, there is always a deadline. Food expires, taxes are due, bills to be paid, end of month/year reports to be filed, or new codes to be enforced. Some of these happen on a regular basis. Some are enacted immediately. There are some that are enacted and give time to comply due to cost or innovation. Antifreeze systems fall in the last category. Antifreeze systems have been a part of fire sprinkler protection since codified in the 1940 edition of NFPA 13 where it allowed “non-freezing solutions to be used for maintaining automatic sprinkler protection in minor unheated areas which would be otherwise unprotected during freezing ...
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CONFLAGRATION -SAY IT THREE TIMES FAST High-Rise Standpipe Terin Hopkins October 12, 2020 Conflagration is defined as, a large disastrous and destructive fire that threatens human life, animal life, health, and/or property. We have started to hear words like this, along with new ones like Megafire, a large fire devastating areas of 100,000 or more acres. Only three percent of fires reach the Megafire level, but they are responsible for fifty percent of the total burned areas on the planet. Today, we also talk in terms of Giga fires, these fires are typically classified as fires greater than one million acres. While the terms are often being ...
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Terin Hopkins Public Fire Protection Specialist- NFSA The consistency of color coding is widely varied by localities and jurisdictional preferences. It is also governed by many national agencies like American Water Works Association (AWWA), Occupation Safety, Health Administration (OSHA), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Codes council (ICC) to name a few. Typically, there are three types of fire hydrants, public, private and yard. Those hydrants supplied by public mains and water supplies are referred to as public fire hydrants. These fire hydrants are classified by their rated flow as outlined in NFPA 291 Recommended ...
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Terin Hopkins Public Fire Protection Specialist - NFSA The requirements for the installation of standpipe systems comes from locally adopted building and fire codes. The International Code Council (ICC) confirms that all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, New York City, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico have adopted the International Building Code (IBC) for use in new construction. The International Fire Code (IFC) is adopted in 41 states and NFPA 1 – Fire Code in 20 states. The installation requirements for those standpipes can be found in NFPA – 14 Standard for the Installation of Standpipes and Hose Systems. ...
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What is FLC?

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In 2013, several long-time National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) board members recognized the need for a structured way to facilitate engagement with the rising generation of fire sprinkler professionals. Their passion and vision led to the creation of the Future Leadership Committee (FLC), whose charter is to, “promote and support the development of future leadership within the Association.” The chair of the FLC has a non-voting seat on the NFSA board of directors and provides valuable insight into developing trends within the industry and feedback from the FLC to board of directors. The FLC is as diverse as our industry, with representatives from each ...
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