Sprinkler Inspections.  What’s new?

AHCA’s rules and regulations change rapidly and sometimes without notice to those very people whom the changes affect, you! We are committed to staying on the forefront of these changes and helping you understand the impact it will have on your facility.

On December 31st of 2017, the state adopted the NFPA 101 (2015 ed. ) . Chapter two includes all of the referenced NFPA standards, which are also adopted and now required.   This article focuses on NFPA 25 (2014 ed. ) ,  The Standard of Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems.

Within this standard comes three new items which must also be addressed and are on the radar for AHCA life safety surveyors. 

  1. The internal backflow inspection (fireside only ) (NFPA 25 (2014 ed. ) - )
    • Backflow prevention assemblies shall be inspected internally every 5 years to verify that all components operate correctly, move freely, and are in good condition.
  2. The Fire Department Connection (FDC ) backpressure test (NFPA 25 (2014 ed. ) – 13.7.4 )
    • The piping from the fire department connection to the fire department check valve shall be hydrostatically tested at 150 psi (10 bars ) for 2 hours at least once every 5 years.
  3. List of spare sprinkler heads (NFPA 25 (2014 ed. ) – ) )
    • The supply of spare sprinkler heads shall be inspected annually for the following
      • (3 ) The list of spare sprinklers as required by (Vendors should be placing this list on the spare sprinkler headbox )

These items should be scheduled during your 5-year internal inspection of the sprinkler system for 2 main reasons. Financially, don’t pay for extra service calls to have these completed. And consistency, keeping all of the 5-year inspections on the same schedule will help to ensure that nothing gets overlooked and cited as a deficiency later.

As always, facilities are never forewarned of code changes, until it’s too late.  From my knowledge, surveyors are interpreting these requirements in different ways.  Since this was adopted on December 31st of 2017, one would assume facilities would have five years to get them accomplished. Yet I have seen different approaches.

  1. If your 5-year internal inspection was done between the adoption and now, and the new inspections were not done, then citations are written.
  2. Even if the 5 years internal is not due until next year and the new tests have not been done. Citation
  3. Some are waiting until December 31st, 2022 before writing citations.

My Recommendations

If your facility has not had the new inspections completed and you have already had your 5-year internal inspection, schedule it now.  If your 5-year internal inspection is due within the next year or so, make sure you schedule the new inspections with it.  If you are cited with this specific citation, there is a very strong argument to have overturned.  If you have any questions please reach out to me for guidance.

Written by Life Safety Compliance Officer, Franklin Sands