Standpipe and Sprinkler Systems

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    • #12430
      Lesley-Anne ColemanLesley-Anne Coleman
      Participant
      • City: Toronto
      • Department Name: Toronto Fire Services

      I’m curious as to what FPO’s in other municipalities are doing when it comes to sprinklers and standpipe systems.  Do you enforce only parts 6.4 and 6.5 of the OFC or do you enforce NPFA 25.  Under what circumstances do you use NFPA 25, when would you enforce it and if so, how?  Do you enforce it through Inspection Orders only?

    • #12453
      Joseph GardinerJoseph Gardiner
      Participant
      • City: North Bay
      • Department Name: North Bay Fire & Emergency Services

      Hello Lesley-Anne,

      I only enforce the requirements of the OFC unless the sprinkler company service report indicates they have inspected/tested as per NFPA 25. In my opinion there are no provisions for an FPO to only enforce NFPA 25. I commonly get questions from our local sprinkler companies about this very topic and I always reply I can only enforce the OFC requirements and leave it with the owner and sprinkler company to decide.

      Keeping this in mind, I always inform the owner that they should seek guidance from their insurance company because their contract may stipulate they use NFPA 25.  I find that in most cases their insurance company will require their sprinkler system to be inspect/test as per NFPA 25.

      If I am at an inspection and see violations of the OFC I will always enforce by way of a fire inspection order.

      Joe G

    • #12502
      John WilsonJohn Wilson
      Participant
      • Department Name: Perth Fire Services

      I’m quite certain that it’s beyond our scope to enforce anything beyond the Code requirements. We can advise them if there is an issue in regards to NFPA 25 but can’t enforce it. It would make SO much more sense if the Fire Code required NFPA 25 just like it does NFPA 10 for extinguishers or S536 for alarm systems.

      Good point Joe about the insurance. With my VOs, I’ve advised them to ensure if they have any specific regulations under their governing body that supersede the Fire Code. My hospital and group homes have confirmed that Fire Code is all that they require. I’m not sure off the top of my head about the retirement homes but I think they also are Fire Code. I didn’t think about insurance companies…I’ll keep that in mind next time it comes up.

    • #12621
      Elizabeth HomeElizabeth Home
      Participant

      Further to Lesley-Ann’s question I’m curious to know what other departments are accepting in regards to waterflow testing if the service company indicates that they are testing as per NFPA 25. Are you accepting quarterly waterflow testing vs monthly testing on sprinkler systems that are not electrically supervised and if the system is electrically supervised semi-annually vs every two months?

    • #13104
      Frank DevereauxFrank Devereaux
      Participant

      Question to Joe Gardiner Jon Wilson,

      If the Sprinkler Company Service report indicates the that system is inspected/tested to NFPA 25, are you asking for all deficiencies be corrected to meet the standard? or just the inspection, testing and maintenance (6.5.4. to 6.5.6)?

      For Lesley-Ann,

      If the system was a design system under design requirement prescribed by the OBC you can use 1.1.1.2.(2), to repair or maintain to ensure it operates as designed as a part of a life safety system as the Fire Code does not force then to use NFPA 25 check, test and maintain. The tricky part is the next sentence (1.1.1.2.(3)) where is states “adversely affect”, so some background knowledge on sprinkler systems would be beneficial.

      Example: The Service Company report states that the gauges on the system are over 5 years old and need to be changed would not be considered something that would adversely affect the sprinkler system.

      Hope this helps

      Frank D
      Niagara Falls

      • #13171
        John WilsonJohn Wilson
        Participant
        • Department Name: Perth Fire Services

        Frank,

        Sorry for the late reply, I just realized you commented a few weeks ago…

        If/when I get reports indicating inspect/test to NFPA 25 with deficiencies, but those deficiencies are NOT part of Pt 6, I advise the owner/owner representative that it’s beyond the minimum standards that I can enforce and OFC is the min level they are legally required to meet. Hose cabinet hose maintenance for example is one area that is literally a waste of money considering buildings don’t have trained staff to use them and every FD I’ve ever spoken with will never use them due to lack of required testing.

        I also usually tell them that it were my building, I’d be going with NFPA 25 and not OFC just for my own piece of mind.

    • #13179
      Al BastienAl Bastien
      Participant

      With any luck, the recent statement from the OFM that they are looking to harmonize with the National Fire Code will simplify matters greatly. The NFC makes it very clear with a simple sentence for all water-based fire protection systems:

      6.4.1.1. Inspection, Testing and Maintenance
      1) Water-based fire protection systems shall be inspected, tested and maintained in conformance with NFPA 25, “Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems.” (See Note A-6.4.1.1.(1).)

      I’ve always hated the fact that companies and owners can skirt around things because of the ambiguity of having two possible paths – the requirements of the OFC or being deemed in compliance if the system is tested to NFPA-25. My believe is that if you’re wanting to go the route of NFPA-25 (which we all know is more stringent), then you go all the way. Unfortunately this comes coupled with the whole reference to NFPA-1962 for fire hose testing. Hopefully the OBC will forgo the requirement for hose cabinets and look at the way other provinces do it with hookups in the stairwells to allow for better staging before breeching a door into the floor area. Or just eliminate the requirement for the cabinets to actually have unused (and almost always improperly inspected) hoses in them. Waste of time, space and money. My two cents worth.

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