Many NFPA codes and standards establish minimum frequencies for periodic inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) for fire protection systems, including for example, NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, and NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. These frequencies are often historical requirements that are often not based on empirical ITM data or observed deficiencies. In recent years there has been growing interest in risk/occupancy-based and performance-based ITM frequencies; however, to be effective there is a need for a more data-based approach to ITM frequencies. While the use of digital ITM data collection software are evolving, there remains great variation in the format that ITM data is collected, stored, and analyzed. Due to the inconsistency in ITM data collection methodologies, it is difficult to implement data-informed decision making regarding system reliability, ITM frequencies, and risk acceptability.
The Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) has previously lead projects on ITM Data Collection and Analytics that have concluded that additional work needs to be done in order to evaluate and correlate fire protection equipment reliability with code requirements. Some of the identified gaps are the lack of standardization of ITM data format, collection, and submission processes, as well as unresolved issues regarding data access, ownership, security parameters, and others.
Data from the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Fire Protection Systems have value to a large variety of stakeholder groups including Contractors (i.e. inspectors), Building Owners/Facility Managers, Authorities Having Jurisdiction, Equipment Manufacturers, Insurance companies, NFPA Codes and Standards Technical Committees, Consultants, and others. Despite the widespread appreciation of the importance of ITM data, there is currently no universally adopted data model, or standardized data format, that all stakeholders utilize to share and compare data. This lack of standardization not only limits the ability to determine sound performance-based inspection frequencies, but it also limits the abilities of all stakeholder groups to exchange and analyze data to inform decisions for their own local needs.
To address these challenges, the intent of this RFP is to solicit proposals for the development of a flexible and extensible ITM data exchange model to facilitate data sharing. The emphasis of this project is upon generating a process, utilizing industry best practices, in which similar data received in various formats can be transformed to a common format to enhance the comparison process and enable data sharing.
Please go to the Foundation’s website at www.nfpa.org/foundation for more information, and submit your proposals by May 31, 2019 at 5:00pm EST.