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Fire Sprinkler System Inspections
The State of Maine has adopted the 2011 edition of National Fire Protection Association's standard 25. NFPA 25 is a nationally recognized standard for the inspection, testing and maintenance of water-based fire protection systems. The State has also adopted the 2010 edition of NFPA 13. NFPA 13 is the nationally recognized standard for the installation of fire sprinkler systems.
The NFPA 13 makes it clear that if a system is installed, then it must be inspected, tested and maintained in accordance with NFPA 25. The reference is NFPA 13, Chapter 26, Section 1. Both codes make it clear that it is the owners responsibility to see that this is done, (In NFPA 25 see section 4.1).
The Fire Sprinkler Law, (effective January 1st, 1990), requires that the inspection, testing and maintenance of fire sprinkler systems be done by a qualified person registered with the State of Maine. The qualified person need not be registered with the State if that person is qualified and is an employee of the owner and limits his/her inspection, testing and maintenance to the fire sprinkler system(s) of his/her employer. The exception was intended for the paper industry, which employs experienced sprinkler fitters. If that person does not have a working knowledge of NFPA 25, then they are not qualified to be doing the work. Even if they do, the State strongly recommends that the thorough annual inspection be done by a licensed inspector, since these people specialize in that field and are kept informed by the State of code/law interpretations & changes on a regular basis.
Both the current and former editions of NFPA 25 specify that the entire fire sprinkler system must have a thorough annual inspection. In addition to that, alarm devices are to be checked quarterly. A main drain test is no longer required to be done quarterly, but it is strongly recommended to have one done quarterly. Gauges and control valves are to be inspected monthly. Quarterly testing of alarm devices is required of all occupancies that are licensed with the Dept of Health and Human Services. Those quarterly inspections are the only ones that will be enforced by our office.
The State Fire Marshal's Office maintains a list of everybody who is currently licensed in the fire sprinkler industry on our web site. You can find this list by clicking "Back" at the top of your web browser, then clicking on "Licenses", then clicking on "Current Licensees". Also, the yellow pages usually have some licensed sprinkler contractors, most of which employ registered sprinkler inspectors.
[Last updated 1-11-12 to reflect currently adopted code editions & references. Previously updated 2-18-11. Change then was the reference to NFPA 25. Previously updated 4-4-08]
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