Phew, I made it. It's still Friday so this post is in just in time! I've been fortunate enough to have spent most of the past two days attending the launch of NFPA's new training program: Hands-on 2-Day Training for Facilities Managers – Essentials for Life Safety and Fire Protection. The training incorporates information and hands on activities for Facility Managers related to NFPA 101, NFPA 80, NFPA 72, NFPA 25, NFPA 3, NFPA 4, and NFPA 96. It was a great program and a great experience being able to attend the first event!
One of the portions of the program that I was most looking forward to was the education and training on NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, as this is a document that I have little background on, but is so relevant to many other NFPA codes and standards. NFPA 25 establishes the minimum requirements for the periodic inspection, testing, and maintenance of water-based fire protection systems and the actions to undertake when changes in occupancy, use, process, materials, hazard, or water supply that potentially impact the performance of the water-based system are planned or identified.
I learned that the inspections required by NFPA 25 are intended to focus on general wear and tear of the system. Design evaluations are outside of the scope of an NFPA 25 inspection. They are not intended to reveal installation flaws or code compliance violations, rather to assess the operating condition of the system.
NFPA 25 is referenced a number of times throughout NFPA 1
, Fire Code,
and is an important reference for AHJs just as it is Facility Manager. Chapter 13 of the Code addresses fire protection systems, including requirements for standpipe systems, automatic sprinklers, fire pumps, water supply, portable fire extinguishers, and fire alarms. For each of the water-based systems addressed by Chapter 13 a reference to NFPA 25 is provided. In addition, some sections from NFPA 25 are directly extracted into Chapter 13 to provide additional guidance to the code official.
Examples of Code references to NFPA 25 are as follows:
18.104.22.168 A standpipe system installed in accordance with this Code shall be inspected, tested, and maintained in accordance with NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems.
22.214.171.124 A sprinkler system installed in accordance with this Code shall be inspected, tested, and maintained in accordance with NFPA 25.
126.96.36.199 Backflow prevention devices shall be inspected, tested, and maintained in accordance with the requirements of NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems.
NFPA 25 is a staple for Facility Managers, code officials, and contractors. NFPA offers a variety of resources on this document including Handbooks, online training, classroom training and additional NFPA 25 specific hands-on training.