Fire Protection Research Foundation workshop summary: "Guide to Applying Reliability Based Decision Making to ITM Frequency for Fire Protection Systems and Equipment" (PDF, 8 MB)
Author: Fire Protection Research Foundation
Date of issue: April 2013
Many NFPA fire protection system standards contain requirements for periodic inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM). These are often historical requirements that are not based on ITM data or on observed deficiencies. As NFPA develops new documents, such as NFPA 4, Standard for Integrated Fire Protection and Life Safety System Testing, the need for a more data-based approach to ITM frequencies will be important. Further, in the case of water-based systems, the required resources associated with testing are increasing at a rapid rate. Recently, four requests were received by the Fire Protection Research Foundation from NFPA Technical Committees to develop a project on a risk/reliability-based approach to ITM requirements. Although these requests and the applicable technical committees impacted by these topics are responsible for standards related to different fire protection systems that have unique ITM issues and purposes, the fundamentals of a reliability-based approach to determining desirable ITM frequency is the same. The Foundation carried out a workshop that involved the discussion of approaches to determining ITM frequency for a given fire protection system or equipment based on reliability concepts.