Things Every Property Manager Should Know About Fire Sprinkler Systems In Safeguarding Their Properties

Things Every Property Manager Should Know About Fire Sprinkler Systems In Safeguarding Their Properties

Regular inspection, testing, and maintenance of your fire sprinkler system along with other fire protection devices is important in protecting your property from potential fires. Besides, these are included in your responsibilities as a property owner or manager. It is also required by the law.

Here are the most important things you should know about sprinkler systems including maintenance, types, and requirements. We’ve also included helpful tips and benefits of installing and keeping your sprinkler system in good working condition.

Scout Security is your first line of defense during fire sprinkler system maintenance activities. We have certified and well-trained fire watch security guards in the Colorado Springs and Denver Metro areas offering high-caliber security services to property managers. Contact us now!

Expert Tips: Fire Sprinkler System Inspections, Testing & Maintenance

NOTE: Property owners and managers or their designated representatives are responsible for the overall inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) of water-based fire protection systems (fire sprinkler systems) as per NFPA 25.

Inspect & Test Other Fire Protection System Components Along With Your Fire Sprinkler System to Save on Costs and Ensure That All Are Working Together Properly

Inspect & Test Other Fire Protection System Components Along With Your Fire Sprinkler System

Test other components of your fire protection system at the same time such as:

  • Fire sprinkler systems
  • Fire suppression systems
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fire alarms
  • Smoke alarms and detectors
  • Emergency lights
  • Exit signs
  • Fire pumps and hydrants
  • Backflows

Your fire protection system devices are interconnected and work together to prevent fire hazards. Thus, it makes sense to perform inspections at the same time to make sure that all are working properly. This also saves you on maintenance costs especially when hiring professional service providers. Setting the maintenance schedule of your systems at the same time of the year also lessens the hassle of contacting and coordinating with service providers multiple times.

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Inspect Your Fire Sprinkler System at the Required Frequencies to Avoid Violations

Inspect Your Fire Sprinkler System at the Required Frequencies to Avoid Violations

NFPA25 (Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems) requires regular inspections of fire sprinkler systems. This helps in identifying potential issues before they lead to bigger problems that might cause your system to fail during emergencies. It also saves on unnecessary maintenance costs by fixing small issues that could lead to more expensive repairs such as missing components and accumulated debris.

ITM Frequency Requirements & Items to Include In Your Inspections

Requirements regarding the frequency of inspections and maintenance activities for sprinkler systems will depend on your location. However, NFPA 25 specified ITM frequencies which include daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semiannual, annual, every three years, and every five years along with the required time intervals between each event.

Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Visual Inspection & Testing

Daily, weekly, and monthly requirements usually involved visual inspections of:

  • Water temperature
  • Heating system
  • Sprinkler heads
  • Fire protection mains and branch lines
  • Fire alarm systems
  • Fire doors
  • Gauges
  • Control valves
  • Heated enclosures
  • Backflow device
  • Booster and jockey pumps
  • Temperature alarms
  • Water storage tank

Quarterly, Semiannual, & Annual Physical Inspection, Testing, & Maintenance

Inspections, testing, and maintenance must be done quarterly, semiannually, and annually for:

  • Gauges
  • Control valves
  • Alarm devices
  • Hydraulic nameplate
  • Pipe & fittings
  • Sprinklers
  • Antifreeze solution
  • Main drain
  • Standpipe and hose systems
  • Hose houses
  • Water storage tank
  • Fire pump
  • Hydrants

5-Year Fire Sprinkler Inspection & Maintenance

Inspection of the internal pipework aside from valves, systems, and piping including obstructions and blockages should be done every five years. Gauges and sprinklers should also be checked for needed replacements.

Other Helpful Tips When Working With Fire Sprinkler Systems

Other Helpful Tips When Working With Fire Sprinkler Systems

  • Check for any physical damage including leakages, corrosion, incorrect orientation, clearances, and other factors affecting sprinkler performance.
  • Lock control valves in the open position to avoid accidental closure
  • Avoid hanging items on sprinkler heads to avoid damage and unnecessary activation
  • Provide enough clearance around sprinkler heads to avoid obstructions.
  • Avoid painting sprinkler heads.

NOTE: Painting sprinkler heads can affect the head’s operating temperature which can prevent or delay them from containing fires promptly.

Sprinkler heads that have been painted accidentally can cost hundreds of dollars to replace. You will also need to hire fire watch services which is required by the law since your system will be down for more than four hours. Instruct your tenants or maintenance personnel to cover sprinkler heads before painting.

Also Read: 7 Top Fire Risks & Consequences of Inadequate Fire Protection Systems

Other Fire Sprinkler ITM Requirements You Should Know: Responsibilities of Building Owners & Property Managers

Responsibilities of Building Owners & Property Managers

Chapter 4 of NFPA 25 listed the responsibilities of owners or their designated representatives which include the following:

  • Overall inspection, testing, and maintenance of systems in their property which must be done at the required frequencies
  • Impairment procedures for planned and unplanned system impairments
  • Minimizing water damage every time water is released during ITM
  • Maintaining temperatures on water-filled piping that doesn’t have an antifreeze solution at no less than 40°F (4°C)
  • Making interior and exterior components that require ITM readily accessible
  • Notifying involved personnel (e.g. fire marshal, fire department) before system shutdowns
  • Maintaining records of ITM activities. Some areas require you to submit ITM records to the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) which is often the fire marshal.

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What is the NFPA code for sprinkler systems?

NFPA 13 is the standard for the installation of sprinkler systems that covers design approaches, installation, and options for sprinkler systems to prevent property loss and deaths due to fire. NFPA 25 is the standard for the inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire sprinkler systems to ensure prompt emergency response during fire outbreaks.

What maintenance does a sprinkler system need?

NFPA recommends inspecting, testing, and maintaining specific components of your fire sprinkler system daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semiannually, annually, every three years, and every five years. These requirements can be found in NFPA 25 including the intervals between each activity.

Does a sprinkler system need to be monitored?

The general answer is yes, fire sprinkler systems require monitoring to ensure that they are functional and to catch minor issues that could render the system inoperable during fire emergencies. Valve position and supervisory switches are among the things that you should focus on.

How do you determine if a sprinkler system is needed?

Local building codes will usually require fire sprinkler systems for commercial buildings including hotels and multifamily buildings. Make sure to check fire safety requirements in your local area to ensure compliance and avoid violations.

Who is responsible for the maintenance of a fire protection system?

According to NFPA 25 which is the Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, building owners and managers are responsible for any inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) activities pertaining to their fire protection system.


Regular fire sprinkler system maintenance is your responsibility as a property owner/manager. Aside from compliance purposes and avoiding penalties, ensuring that your system is in good working condition saves you from unnecessary maintenance costs. It also helps in making sure that your property and the lives of people residing in it will be safe during fire emergencies.

Contact Scout Security now for reliable fire watch services in Colorado to safeguard your property and patrons during system maintenance activities. You can trust our rigorously trained fire watch security guards to give you the highest level of security when you need it most.

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