Commercial Fire Inspections
NFPA #10, Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers NFPA #13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems NFPA #14, Standard for the Installation of Standpipes and Hose Systems NFPA #20, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection NFPA #22, Standard for Water Tanks for Private Fire Protection NFPA #25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-
Based Fire Protection Systems
NFPA #72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code NFPA #101, Life Safety Code
NFPA #25 in particular is a handy reference for all fire inspectors and should constitute mandatory reading material. The current (2008) edition covers just 98 pages, and is about as complete a document as a building engineer could reasonably expect. Requirements, recommendations, and procedures are outlined in cogent fashion with regard to fire sprinkler systems and related fire suppression equipment and systems including fire pumps, underground piping, standpipes, water mist systems, and water storage tanks. Recommended intervals for various maintenance and testing procedures of all fire protection equipment are organized in easy-to-read tables. Of note, Section 3.3.18 defines an inspection as one that consists of “A visual examination of a system or portion thereof to verify that it appears to be in operating
condition and is free of physical damage.” With that being said, the inspector’s responsibility is limited to a walk-through visual inspection from the floor. That is not to say that the inspector cannot climb a ladder to examine a space above a ceiling with a flashlight. Many will do just that, but this type of activity is not necessarily a required duty of the inspector.