Inspections & Testing

These are just a few of the mandatory inspection and testing requirements from NFPA 25.  Without the proper and regular inspections many insurance companies will void coverage.   As it say’s in 4.1.1 in NFPA 25   “The responsibility for properly maintaining a water based fire protection system shall be that of the owner.”

Big Red Fire Protection can help you maintain your fire sprinkler system in compliance with insurance and NFPA standard’s as well as local regulations.

List of inspections and the codes

25 NFPA Inspection Codes and Standards

Outlined below are the guidelines that must be followed by the owners, occupants, management firms and/or managing individuals.

4.1.2: The responsibility for properly maintaining a water based fire protection system shall be that of the owner of the property Where sprinklers have been in service for 50 years, they shall be replaced Sprinklers manufactured using fast-response elements that have been in service for 20 years shall be replaced Dry sprinklers that have been in service for 10 years shall be replaced A supply of spare sprinklers (never fewer than 6) shall be maintained on the premises Hydrostatic test shall be conducted every 5 years on manual standpipe and automatic-dry standpipe systems, including piping in the fire department connection An annual test of each pump assembly shall be conducted

13.2.5: A main drain test shall be conducted annually at each water-based fire protection riser” System’s where the sole water supply is through a backflow preventer and/or pressure reducing valves, the main drain test shall be conducted quarterly Mechanical Alarm devices “shall be tested quarterly Gauges shall be replaced every 5 years Alarm valves and their associated strainers. Filters and restriction orifices shall be inspected internally every 5 years

13.4.2: Check valves internally every 5 years, Each deluge, preaction and dry valve shall be trip test annually and the interior of the valve shall be inspected. All backflow preventers installed in fire protection system piping shall be tested annually

14.2.1: An inspection of piping and branch line conditions shall be conducted every 5 years


Quarterly Inspection Includes:

  • Inspect water flow alarm devices such as mechanical water motor gongs, Vane-type water flow devices and pressure switches that provide audible or visual signals
  • Verify alarm devices are free of physical damage and that covers are in place and appear to be in proper working condition Inspect the hydraulic nameplate for hydraulically designed systems.
  • Verify it is attached securely to the sprinkler riser and is legible Inspect fire department connections; if a cap is missing, verify there is no debris
  • Perform main drain test if supplied through a backflow device

Semi-annual inspection includes: above

  • Test valve tamper supervisory switches to make sure they report to the panel
  • Test vane-type and pressure switch type water flow devices to make sure they report to the panel and monitoring company.

Annual inspection includes: above

  • Inspect and verify before the onset of freezing weather; buildings with wet pipe systems should be inspected to verify all areas are adequately heated. A minimum of 40°F is needed to prevent freezing
  • Inspect all visible sprinkler heads, pipe, fittings, hangers and braces from the floor level
  • Freezing point of solution in antifreeze to ensure specific gravity is within specs
  • Each control valve shall be operated through its full range and returned to its normal position to test the integrity of the valve
  • Each deluge or pre-action valve shall be trip tested at full flow in warm weather and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and NFPA
  • Conduct main drain test at the system riser after the valve has been operated
  • Test backflow preventers on fire lines when applicable and submit paperwork to proper authorities
  • Review storage heights to verify storage is not too close to the sprinkler heads and the minimum needed clearance is provided
  • Conduct main drain test at each water-based fire protection system riser to determine whether there has been a change in the condition of the water supply piping and control valves
  • Trip dry valves and inspect the interior condition of the valve

Three-year inspection includes:

  • Trip test dry pipe valve with the control valve fully open and the quick-opening device, if provided, in service
  • Trip test time recorded to verify water reaches the furthest point in the specified time as required

Five-year inspection includes:

  • Replace or test by gauges by comparison with a calibrated gauge. Gauges must be accurate within 3 percent of the full scale, otherwise recalibrated or replaced
  • Inspect alarm valves and their associated strainers, filters and restriction orifices internally unless tests indicate a greater frequency is necessary
  • Inspect valves internally to verify all components operate correctly, move freely and are in good condition
  • Investigate piping and branch line conditions by opening a flushing connection at the end of one main and removing a sprinkler toward the end of one branch line. Conduct a complete flushing program if an investigation indicates the presence of sufficient material that obstructs sprinklers
  • Standpipes, hydrostatic test and flow test
  • Replace sprinklers of high temperature rating
  • Flow Pressure reducing valves
  • Hose racks, connections and hoses

Ten-year inspection includes:

  • Test or replace dry sprinklers that have been in service for 10 years. If maintained and serviced, they shall be retested at 10-year intervals.
  • Dry sprinkler heads are removed and sent to a lab for testing at the 10-year inspection. If the sprinkler heads pass the inspection, the sprinkler heads are not lab tested for another 10 years. If one or all of the sprinkler heads do not pass the inspection, we are required to replace all sprinkler heads

Twenty year inspections

Sprinklers manufactured using fast or quick response elements that have been is sevrice for 20 years shall be replaced.

Fifty year inspections

Standard response sprinklers shall be replaced