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NFSA Participation in the NFPA Codes and Standards Process The fire sprinkler industry relies heavily on NFPA codes and standards to ensure fire protection systems are installed correctly, and that the performance of these systems will save lives and property. The National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) and the activities of the Engineering and Standards Committee (E&S) and Code Development Team (CDT) performs a very active role in the codes and standards revision process with over 80 member and staff representatives on dozens of NFPA technical committees An important step in the codes and standards revision process is the Technical Meeting (also ...
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The Magic Number is Three Signage Requirements for Fire Department Connections (FDC’s) Frist, we must address who the signage is for, and it’s intended use. The reason for placing signage on a fire department connection (FDC) is to provide the end user or fire department some basic information about the fire protection system installed within a building or structure. This allows them to properly understand what type of system is in the building, pressure requirements needed to properly supplement, or supply that system demand, and which areas are being served during an emergency. Many jurisdictions see this as an opportunity ...
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Tiny Fires in Tiny Homes

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One might assume that the size of a home is a direct indication of survivability from fire. The concept is simple, we can safely egress from smaller spaces, but the reality is many of the fire protection features found in larger or more crowded spaces are not applicable to these smaller spaces. This means no fire sprinklers systems, passive fire protection or even early warning systems. That is strange because fires start in the same places regardless of the size of the home and quickly spread toxic gases through the home, no matter the size. In fact, toxic smoke can fill small spaces even faster, with the same rules of physics applying to fire spread and the ...
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What is your sign

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NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems , provides the minimum requirements for properly maintaining water-based fire sprinkler systems. Within this standard are several requirements for maintaining proper signage. Many in the industry are unaware of the requirements for proper signage. Of course, the requirements do change from edition to edition. In this blog we will cover the requirements for these signs. Let us start with what is not required. Many technicians cite the building owner for not having signs such as main drain, inspector’s test connection, and alarm line signage. These signs are required ...
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Unsinkable Buildings

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On April 10 th , 1912, the White Star Liner, RMS Titanic, set sail from Southampton, England, on her first transatlantic crossing. At 883 feet and 52 tons, she was the largest, fastest moveable manmade object ever constructed to date. The White Star Line had produced an advertising brochure claiming the Titanic and her twin sister Olympic as being designed to be unsinkable. She was loaded with 3400 total onboard and included 2240 of the wealthiest passengers of the day. This passenger manifest included Margaret Molly Brown, an American born socialite and philanthropist. Molly was one of the 706 people to survive this tragedy and would come to be known as ...
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NFPA 13 Hose Connections This use of hose connections on sprinkler systems has caused confusion in the fire service by not recognizing that not all hose connections in a building are created equal. Some are hose connections simply installed on sprinkler systems with an added inside hose stream allowance. This allowance only provides a minimal additional water supply not intended to provide the required flow for fire operations. It is intended for ancillary occupant use or for mop-up after a fire Inside hose stream allowance is the amount of additional water that is added to the sprinkler hydraulic calculation design ,  when ...
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Hose Stream Allowance Hose stream allowance or demand is the amount of additional water that is added to the sprinkler hydraulic calculation design , when hose connections are added to sprinkler systems. This allowance is not required for most hose connections installed as part of a combined sprinkler-standpipe system using NFPA 14 Standard for the Installation of Standpipe and Hose Systems , designed as a Class I, II or III standpipe system. While sprinklers and standpipes can be supplied by a common riser in combined systems, the hydraulic system demands are done separately to the individual standard. NFPA 14 Section 7.10.1.3.1.1 ...
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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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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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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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