The Communicator - Volume 4, Issue 2 - (Page 14)

WHAT EXACTLY IS A FIVE-YEAR CERTIFICATION? The most common five-year certification procedure consists of a set of inspections, testing and maintenance procedures performed on wet sprinkler systems. All systems encountered in northern and central California will likely be wet systems. Dry systems are generally installed in systems with temperatures below freezing. Once a building is certified, the issuing contractor will state that the sprinkler system meets all the requirements of NFPA 25 California Edition. The owner/responsible party (for most of our readers this will be either the community association or the owner of a separate interest) and local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) will be delivered a detailed report, and an actual certificate per system stamped with the month, year, and type of certification performed. While there is no requirement in the code about delivering a report, this author believes that it is a best practice issue. This author maintains that the best companies will always let their clients fix deficiencies before giving the fire department a copy of the report. Some contractors may use this practice as leverage to gain additional work; however most ethical companies do not engage in this practice. All deficient items must be corrected before the system will be issued a certificate. Five-Year Fire Sprinkler Certification? What Is a By Jason Hudgins Director of Inspection Testing and Maintenance Transbay Fire Protection THE WORLD OF fire sprinkler inspection, testing and maintenance (ITM) can be very confusing. The California Office of the State Fire Marshal has adopted and amended NFPA 25 for the inspection, testing and maintenance of water-based fire protection systems. The NFPA 25 provides instruction on how to conduct inspection, testing, and maintenance activities. It also stipulates how often such activities are required to be completed. Requirements are provided for impairment procedures, notification processes and system restoration. It is not intended to be a stand-alone guide, but instead is designed to be used in conjunction with Chapter 5 Automatic Fire Extinguishing Systems, Title 19 California Code of Regulations to address the state fire marshal’s automatic fire extinguishing system requirements. The most recent California addition is modified from the 2002 NFPA 25 (amended in 2006). In addition, local fire jurisdictions may further modify these requirements. The most common question posed by new clients is, “Our fire inspector asked for a five-year certification; does our fire inspection/testing company do that?” Of course, the answer is (or at least should be) yes! 14 • The Communicator WHAT WORK IS PERFORMED? Certification is classified by component. For example, wet standpipes, fire hoses, dry standpipes, wet sprinkler systems all have five-year requirements. Since each building is different, the specific work required to certify your system will be a little unique. For most wet sprinkler systems, here is what you should expect: • Articulation of all valves in the system • A new gauge or calibrated gauges per riser • Inspection and testing of the alarm devices • Above-ceiling inspection of sprinkler pipe, pipe hangers, sprinklers, and seismic bracing • Main drain test • Back flushing of the fire department connection • Internal inspection of any check valves • Inspection of all sprinklers, sprinkler pipe, and hangers WHAT SHOULD A COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION EXPECT TO PAY FOR THE INSPECTION? The price for these services varies greatly depending on the work it will take to complete the five-year certification. Every building is different. This author has encountered a number of problems arising from sprinkler companies quoting numbers per riser over the phone. This author highly

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Communicator - Volume 4, Issue 2

The Communicator - Volume 4, Issue 2
President’s Message
Editor’s Corner
Short Sales – Crisis or Opportunity?
Don’t Get Burned This Barbecue Season
What Is a Five-Year Fire Sprinkler Certifi cation?
CLAC Corner
Events & Educational Calendar
New Members
Index to Advertisers/

The Communicator - Volume 4, Issue 2