AUTHOR: Jonathan Hart

Man looking at tablet and working with a piping system

Weekly or Monthly No Flow (Churn) Tests of Fire Pumps

Fire pumps are an essential part of many water-based fire protection systems. They are used to increase the pressure (measured in psi or bar) of a water source when that source pressure is not adequate for the system it’s supplying. The right design, installation, and acceptance testing of these pumps will ensure that they are ready and available to protect the building on the day of the acceptance test. After that, once “the keys” are handed over to the building owner, there is no guarantee that the pump will remain in a ready state to work as designed unless it undergoes routine inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM). The requirements for ITM of fire pumps are found in NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems. &nbspWhile there is a good deal that goes into a robust ITM program for fire pumps, this blog will focus on the no-flow test of fire pumps which is often referred to as a churn test. See this blog for weekly fire pump inspections. What is the purpose of the no-flow test? NFPA LiNK where hot spots can be chosen to find more information about certain inspection and testing requirements for different components. How often is a no-flow test required? The no-flow (churn) test of fire pumps must be conducted at either a weekly or monthly basis. The frequency varies by the type of fire pump; diesel and electric; and both have allowances to extend the time between tests based on approved risk analysis.  Generally, diesel fire pumps must be no-flow (churn) tested on a weekly basis. The requirements for electric fire pumps vary. Most electric fire pumps can be no-flow (churn) tested at a monthly frequency. Electric fire pumps which (1) serve fire protection systems in buildings that are beyond the pumping capacity of the fire department, (2) have limited service controllers, (3) are vertical turbine fire pumps, or (4) those taking suction from ground level tanks or a water source that does not provide sufficient pressure to be of material value without the pump all require no-flow (churn) tests at a weekly frequency unless they are provided with a redundant fire pump. Starting The no-flow (churn) test needs to be conducted by starting the pump automatically. The pump must be started by drawing water from the sensing line to simulate a pressure drop in the system rather than using the “start” button on the front panel of the fire pump controller. An allowance is included in NFPA 25 for an automatic timer using either a solenoid valve drain on the pressure control line for a pressure-actuated controller or another means for a non-pressure-actuated controllers. Run time Electric pumps must be run for a minimum of 10 minutes while diesel pumps must be run for a minimum of 30 minutes. Personnel  Qualified personnel must be in attendance whenever the pump is in operation unless automated inspection and testing is performed in accordance with the requirements of NFPA 25. Check out this blog for more on automated and remote inspection and testing. Qualified personnel is defined in NFPA 25 as competent and capable individual(s) having met the requirements and training for a given field acceptable to the AHJ.  Relief valves NFPA 25 allows the circulation relief valve to open to flow water as a cooling measure. Allowing any additional water flow to prevent overheating is not a requirement of the standard. Flow from the circulation relief valve should be sufficient to prevent over-heating of the pump. It should be confirmed that the circulation relief valve is discharging a small flow of water during the no-flow (churn) test. There are additional details around circulation relief valves and main pressure relief valves in NFPA 25 which personnel should familiarize themselves with. Visual observations while pump is not running The following visual observations need to be conducted while the pump is not running. Record the system suction and discharge pressure gauge readings. For pumps that use electronic pressure sensors to control the fire pump operation, record the highest and lowest pressure shown on the fire pump controller event log where such information is available without having to open and energized motor-driven fire pump controller. If the highest or lowest pressure is outside of the expected range, record all information from the event log that helps identify the abnormality. Visual observations or adjustments while pump is running The following visual observations or adjustments need to be conducted while the pump is running. Pump system procedure as follows: Record the pump starting pressure from the pressure switch or pressure transducer Record the system suction and discharge pressure gauge readings Adjust gland nuts if necessary Inspect the pump packing glands for slight discharge Inspect for unusual noise or vibration Inspect packing boxes, bearings, or pump casing for overheating Record pressure switch or pressure transducer reading and compare to the pump discharge gauge For pumps that use electronic pressure sensors to control the fire pump operation, record the current pressure and the highest and the lowest pressure shown on the fire pump controller event log. For electric motor and radiator cooled diesel pumps, check the circulation relief valve for operation to discharge water Electrical system procedure as follows: Observe the time for motor to accelerate to full speed Record the time controller is on first step (for reduced voltage or reduced current starting) Record the time pump runs after starting (for automatic stop controllers) Diesel Engine system procedure as follows: Observe the time for engine to crank Observe the time for engine to reach running speed Observe the engine oil pressure gauge, speed indicator, water, and oil temperature indicators periodically while engine is running Record any abnormalities Inspect the heat exchanger for cooling waterflow Steam system procedure as follows: Record the steam pressure gauge reading Observe the time for turbine to reach running speed In addition to the above, the discharge temperature of the water must be monitored, and the pump shut down if necessary to prevent exposing the pump and/or driver to excessive temperatures. Where the recorded pressure readings on the discharge and suctions gauges show a difference that is greater than 95 percent of the rated pump pressure, the situation needs to be investigated and corrected. The weekly or monthly no-flow (churn) test is an important part of ensuring that a fire pump can be continually relied upon in the event of a fire. These tests will help to ensure that the pump will start and will not overheat in the event of a fire. At an annual frequency, flow testing will be performed to further verify the complete operating condition of the pump. NFPA has a number of resources related to fire pumps and the ITM required for them. Some of these include NFPA 20 Online Training Series, NFPA 25 Online Training Series, the NFPA 25 Handbook, the Certified Water-Based Systems Professional (CWBSP) credential, and the Certified Water-Based Systems Professional Learning Path among many others.
Man inspecting and looking at a tablet

Automated and Remote Inspection and Testing of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems

Remote inspections and automated testing were trends that were gaining momentum in codes and standards and field application for several years. Then in the first half of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic was in its early stages and strict lockdowns were being enforced, it pushed this trend to progress even faster as many more realized its potential. During this time, the development of a proposed new standard NFPA 915, Standard on Remote Inspections, continued. While the proposed NFPA 915 will be broadly applicable to any inspection or testing allowed by the AHJ, there are already provisions in NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, that allow for inspections and tests to be conducted in an automated manner. Automated inspection and testing can be a very useful option but what steps must be taken to ensure it is equivalent to a person being at the location? If a fire pump demonstrates an abnormal condition during a test what must the response be and how is the condition corrected? Let’s take a look at the requirements in NFPA 25 to allow the use of technology for automated inspection and testing and the criteria to ensure it meets the same objectives as when they are conducted in person. The first thing to address is when and where automated inspection and testing can be utilized. NFPA 25 does not limit the use provided automated inspection equipment can meet the intent of a required visual inspection and automated testing equipment can produce the same action as required by the testing requirements. Beyond that there are a few other criteria specific to when automated inspection and testing is utilized such as where automated tests do not discharge water that at least once every 3 years the discharge must be visually observed. At that point it becomes a cost-benefit analysis for the stakeholders and primarily the building owner. Activities required at greater frequencies might present more of a benefit while those required less frequently might see less of a benefit. Let’s review the requirements specific to automated and remote inspections. To start, automated test devices must be listed for the purpose of the test being conducted if they are subjected to system pressure or are integral to the operation of the system during a fire event. The equipment must be such that its failure does not impair the operation of the system unless that failure can be indicated by a supervisory signal to the fire alarm system. Similarly, any failure of a component or system to pass an automated test must result in an audible supervisory signal and failure of automated inspection and testing equipment must result in a trouble signal. The monitoring and signals required ensure that instances where there are issues with the automated testing or inspection equipment or an unsatisfactory inspection or test result notification will be made and the situation can be remedied. The testing frequencies of NFPA 25 must be maintained regardless of the functionality of automated testing equipment and a record of all inspection and testing must be maintained in accordance with the requirements that apply to all inspection and testing. One of the benefits of automated inspection and testing is that there is not necessarily a need for personnel on site. However, certain circumstances might need to be addressed quickly. This is specified for no-flow testing of fire pumps. This testing is required on a weekly or monthly basis depending on the type of pump and the building it is located in.  The 2020 edition of NFPA 25 requires that when remotely monitored automated testing of the no-flow fire pump test is being performed qualified personnel must be able to respond to an abnormal condition within 5 minutes. In all reality, this means that a qualified person must be located on site. For the proposed 2023 edition which will be approved this summer that timeframe is to be changed to 4 hours. This additional time means that someone does not need to be immediately on site but can respond quickly enough to take the needed corrective action. The use of technologies to perform automated inspections and testing will only grow in future years. As it becomes more widely used, as building owners, service providers, and AHJs gain more experience, and the use expands into other areas of fire protection and life safety with the future publication of NFPA 915, it is very likely that the requirements will continue evolve

Impairment Procedures for Sprinkler Systems That are Out of Order

NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, provides the criteria for the routine activities that must be conducted to ensure that water-based fire protection systems can be relied upon in the event of a fire. These activities range from simple visual confirmation of some things such as valve position and room temperature on a more frequent basis, to much more complex activities such as full flow tests and internal assessments at longer intervals.  All of these activities are intended to keep sprinkler systems in working order. But what about when a system needs to be shutoff for repair or maintenance? What about when a water main is broken, a frozen pipe has burst, a fire pump has failed, or another major issue has been found during inspection or testing? At that point, the building contains a compromised sprinkler system and is no longer protected at the level that is expected while the system is in service. In NFPA 25, the term for a system that is out of order, is impairment, regardless of whether or not it was planned (see Deficiencies and Impairments of Sprinkler Systems). Impairments need to be addressed and resolved as quickly as possible in order to provide the expected level of protection for life and property. If the impairment is prolonged, additional measures need to be taken in consideration of life and property protection. Planning ahead Chapter 15 of NFPA 25 is dedicated to addressing the requirements that include the measures to be taken to ensure that increased risks are minimized, and the duration of the impairment is limited. A key provision here is that the property owner or designated representative must assign an impairment coordinator to comply with the requirements of the chapter (see Responsibilities of the Building Owner for Fire Sprinkler System Inspection Testing and Maintenance). The impairment coordinator should have a detailed plan, ahead of time for how they will handle both preplanned and emergency impairments and meet the requirements detailed below. Any preplanned impairments need to be authorized by this individual prior to removing the system from service. Tag Impairment System A tag must be used to indicate that a system, or part of the system, has been removed from service. The tag must be posted at each fire department connection and the system control valve, and other locations required by the authority having jurisdiction, indicating which system, or part, has been removed from service. Anyone who is shutting down a system should use tagging procedures even if the owner does not. Tags can also be itemized in a list to facilitate proper restoration of the system to working order. As tags are retrieved, they can also be used for verification that a valve or system has been restored to service. Impairment program While the system is out of service, NFPA 25 provides details on impairment programs and what they should cover: Determination of the extent and expected duration of the impairment Inspection of the area or buildings involved and determination of increased risks Submission of recommendations to mitigate any increased risks Notification of the fire department Notification of the insurance carrier, alarm company, property owner, and other authorities having jurisdiction Notification of supervisors in the areas affected Implementation of a tag impairment system Prolonged impairments In addition to these steps, what may be the most important or impactful provision is arranging for one or more of the following measures when the fire protection system is out of service for more than 10 hours in a 24-hour period: Evacuation of the building or portion of the building affected by the system out of service Implementation of an approved fire watch program Establishment of a temporary water supply Establishment and implementation of an approved program to eliminate potential ignition sources and limit the amount of fuel available to a fire Restoring systems to service When repair work has been completed and the system is restored to service, the following items need to be confirmed: Any necessary inspections and tests have been conducted Supervisors have been advised that protection is restored The fire department has been advised that protection is restored The insurance carrier, alarm company, property owner, and other authorities having jurisdiction are notified that protection is restored The impairment tag(s) are removed While we certainly hope that fire sprinkler systems can be maintained in continuous service there are times where planned service, maintenance activities or unexpected circumstances cause the system to be out of service. Assigning an impairment coordinator, planning ahead, and understanding Chapter 15 of NFPA 25 will help to minimize the risk posed while the system is impaired.

Deficiencies and Impairments of Sprinkler Systems

NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems provides the criteria for the routine activities that must be conducted to ensure that water-based fire protection systems, such as automatic sprinklers systems, can be relied upon in the event of a fire. These activities range from simple visual confirmation of some things such as valve position or water tank temperature, on a more frequent basis; to performance of much more complex activities such as full flow tests and internal assessments at longer intervals.   There is a very large number of observations or findings during inspection or testing of a sprinkler system that can be out of compliance with the standard. With that said, there is a difference between issues that mean the system will not function in a fire event as opposed to those that do not have much, if any, of an effect on the ability of the system to function in a fire event. While each needs to be corrected, the urgency and priority of the former is clearly ahead of the latter. Here we will discuss how NFPA 25  classifies conditions of noncompliance.  Noncritical deficiency, critical deficiency, impairment Editions prior to the 2011 edition of NFPA 25 presented ITM requirements as pass/fail because no other options for identifying system status was presented in the standard. Since that edition additional definitions have been added and the standard is continuously being refined to clarify these differences with each new revision. The following are definitions form NFPA 25 (2020 edition) related to noncompliant conditions. These conditions can be classified as an impairment or a deficiency with there being two subsets of deficiency.  Noncritical Deficiency: A deficiency that does not have a material effect on the ability of the fire protection system or unit to function in a fire event, but correction is needed to meet the requirements of NFPA 25 or for the proper inspection, testing, and maintenance of the system or unit.  Critical Deficiency: A deficiency that, if not corrected, can have a material effect on the ability of the fire protection system or unit to function as intended in a fire event.  Impairment: A condition where a fire protection system or unit or portion thereof is out of order, and the condition can result in the fire protection system or unit not functioning in a fire event.  Simple but not easy While in theory the definitions allow for easy classification of issues not in compliance with the standard into one of the three levels it is often not cut- and-dried. Where the water supply is not available or has been significantly compromised it can be clearly labeled as an impairment. Where a general information sign is missing it can clearly be classified as a noncritical deficiency. Most things fall somewhere in between these two extremes and requires more of a judgement call. The image below shows a “System Tagging” feature from the NFPA 25, ITM of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems Handbook in which different conditions are evaluated along with key considerations and a tag is applied. This feature demonstrates the variables that come into making a determination. This particular example speaks to painted sprinklers. Check out this blog more information on the specific sprinkler inspection items.  There’s a Table to Help While each situation and condition still needs to be evaluated individually there is a table provided in the annex of NFPA 25 that provides a good starting place for considering how to classify a noncompliant condition. While annex material of NFPA codes and standards is not considered part of the requirements of the document it is included for informational purposes as explanatory material. With that caveat understood it is still an output of the standards development process that is voted on and passed by a consensus of the technical committee responsible for the standard. The image below provides a snapshot of a small portion of the table. It is informational because the specifics of each situation and condition must be considered for the individual situation.   View larger Tagging the System While NFPA 25 does not specifically define a “tagging structure” for identifying levels of deficiencies or impairments, many states have developed a series of color-coded tags that are placed on a system or component to identify the significance of the condition identified. Annex G of NFPA 25 providesauthorities having jurisdiction ( AHJs) with some basic guidance regarding a system status tagging program. Readers should check the requirements for tagging in the jurisdiction they are working. The NFPA 25 guidance suggest four tags to identify the condition.  A color-coded tagging system that mirrors the standard would include the following tags:  Green tag — No deficiencies or impairments found when inspections and tests performed at the required frequency were completed as indicated on the ITM report provided to the owner  Yellow tag — Noncritical deficiencies found and recorded on the ITM report  Orange tag — Critical deficiencies found and recorded on the ITM report  Red tag — Impairments found and recorded on the ITM report (The color-coded tagging program should be kept separate from the impairment tag and other requirements outlined in Chapter 15.)  Additional information to be included on the tag is detailed in Annex G.  Mind the Edition As mentioned earlier, the standard is being continuously refined around this topic. The examples and information provided here are based on the 2020 edition of NFPA 25. While it is not likely that the overall approach outlined here will change small tweaks can certainly be expected from edition to edition. The 2023 edition of the standard will be released later this year and is proposed to have significant revisions to the annex tables and the classification of certain findings as deficiencies or impairments.  Correction or Repair of Deficiencies and Impairments The correction or repair of deficiencies or impairments are one of the responsibilities of the building owner or designated representative. The property owner is responsible for ensuring that deficiencies or impairments are corrected or repaired. Corrective action to remediate deficiencies and impairments must be done in accordance with the applicable design and installation standard. Impairments must be corrected within 10 hours or the building either needs to be evacuates, an approved fire watch established, a temporary water supply be established, or an approved program be established and implemented to eliminate potential sources and limit the amount of potential fuel.  A  number of other steps and policies on dealing with impairments  is detailed in Chapter 15 of NFPA 25. Understanding the differences between impairments, critical deficiencies, and noncritical deficiencies is necessary for properly prioritizing corrective actions.  

Visual Inspection of Sprinklers

NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems provides the criteria for the routine activities that must be conducted to ensure that water-based fire protection systems, such as automatic sprinklers systems, can be relied upon in the event of a fire. These activities range from simple visual confirmation of some things such as valve position and room or water tank temperature on a more frequent basis, to much more complex activities such as full flow tests and internal assessments at longer intervals.    This blog will focus on the requirements for visual inspection of the sprinklers themselves. Check here for  more information on the different types of sprinklers.   How often? One of the required activities is to perform an annual visual inspection of the sprinklers themselves. An annual frequency is defined as occurring once per year with a minimum of 9 months and a maximum of 15 months between inspections. See this blog more information on NFPA 25 ITM frequencies.   From the floor A key specification in the standard is that these visual inspection of sprinklers are intended to be conducted from the floor level. This means that typically there should be no special equipment needed for these routine inspections such as ladders or lifts. To further support this concept, NFPA 25 clearly states that sprinklers located in concealed spaces such as above suspended ceilings do not require inspection.    All sprinklers? It is often asked if the requirements of NFPA 25 for sprinkler inspections only require a certain percentage of sprinklers to be included as part of the inspection. There is no allowance in the standard that indicates any sprinklers are permitted to be skipped during an inspection, other than those in concealed spaces as referenced above and for those installed in areas that are inaccessible for safety considerations due to process operations, the latter of which must be inspected during each scheduled shut down. The owner or their designated representative is responsible for providing access to sprinklers at the time of the inspection. See this blog for more information the owner’s responsibilities related to ITM. If certain sprinklers cannot be accessed for inspection it is common to note that on inspection reports.   What is being inspected? The following are items that NFPA 25 includes as part of the visual inspection of sprinklers.  Leakage Corrosion detrimental to sprinkler performance Physical damage Loss of fluid in the glass bulb heat-responsive element Loading detrimental to sprinkler performance Paint other than that applied by the sprinkler manufacturer Sprinklers installed in the incorrect orientation Minimum clearance to storage is maintained  The conditions in this list can have a detrimental effect on the performance of sprinklers by adversely impacting water distribution patterns, insulating thermal elements which could delay operation, or otherwise rendering the sprinkler inoperable or ineffectual.   The visual inspection does not include any sort of verification of the design or layout of the sprinkler system. This is true of all of the ITM activities specified by NFPA25. If NFPA 13 needs to be referenced to cite an issue then it is likely outside the scope of inspection activities of NFPA 25. Some inspectors might provide items related to the design of a system if they are noticed as a separate report. It is the responsibility of the owner to have a design evaluation performed if changes have been made.    Leaking Sprinklers that are leaking or that have been damaged must be replaced without testing. Dissolved minerals and other residues in the water can solidify as the sprinkler leaks, hampering the operation of the sprinkler by changing internal clearances or acting like an adhesive, preventing parts from moving as intended. Annex material in NFPA 25 makes a distinction between “spraying or running” water and “dripping” water. The sprinkler could be damaged and might not activate as it is intended to. Either way, this condition would require action because the functionality of the device is in question.   Corrosion detrimental to sprinkler performance Corrosion found on the seat, or built up on the deflector that could affect the spray pattern, or a buildup on the operating elements that could affect the operation can have a detrimental effect on the performance of the sprinkler. Lightly loaded sprinklers or sprinklers having limited corrosion that does not impact the water distribution characteristics can continue to be used if the samples are selected for testing in accordance NFPA 25 based on worst-case conditions and if the samples successfully pass the tests. Surface discoloration that does not impact the performance of the sprinkler should not warrant replacement or testing.     Figure 1: Corroded Sprinkler (Courtesy of Wiginton Fire Systems)   Physical damage Damaged deflectors should not be overlooked, although they can be difficult to detect from floor level. What might appear to be only slight damage to the deflector can have a drastic impact on the distribution of the spray pattern and the density of the water that is delivered.      Figure 2: Damaged Sprinkler Deflector (Courtesy of Wiginton Fire Systems)   Loading detrimental to sprinkler performance Any loading used to require replacement however in recent editions the criteria for sprinkler replacement depend on whether the corrosion or loading is detrimental to sprinkler performance. This introduces a certain level of subjectivity into the inspection of sprinklers and further explains the necessity of those conducting the inspection to be qualified as defined in NFPA 25. Sprinklers that upon inspection show signs that they will not operate correctly are required to be replaced. However, those with light loading can be cleaned with a vacuum or a blast of compressed air.   Figure 3: Close-Up of Loaded Sprinkler (Courtesy of Wiginton Fire Systems)   Paint other than that applied by the sprinkler manufacturer Sprinkler must be free of paint other than that applied by the manufacturer. Painted sprinklers are never permitted to be cleaned and/or reinstalled, because the potential of damaging the assembly is too great. A “light” overspray or loading can be tolerated when a representative sample is tested to verify that the sprinklers will operate as intended   Figure 4: Painted Sprinkler (Courtesy of Josh Elvove)   Sprinklers installed in the incorrect orientation Sprinklers installed in the incorrect orientation such as an upright sprinkler installed in the pendent position will not develop an effective spray pattern. Where this happens, the situation must be corrected by repositioning the branch line, drop, or sprig, or the sprinkler must be replaced. While this is not always easy to tell from floor level, where it is observed it must be corrected.   Figure 5a: Upright Sprinkler Incorrectly Installed in the Pendent Position   Figure 5b: Pendent Sprinkler Incorrectly Installed in the Upright Position   Minimum clearance to storage is maintained Obstructions to sprinkler distribution patterns, such as storage that is too close to sprinkler deflectors, can hamper the effectiveness of sprinklers. Obstructions that are closer than 18 in. (457 mm) below the sprinkler have a greater impact on distribution patterns than do obstructions located further away. These are easy to visually spot as opposed to many of the other obstruction distances specified by NFPA 13 so they are the only ones referenced by NFPA 25.   Figure 6 Typical Obstruction: Storage    There is much more that goes into a complete inspection of a sprinkler system than just the visual inspection of sprinklers. NFPA 25 should be referenced in full as it applies to a specific system. Sprinklers themselves should be visually inspected at an annual frequency for the items listed in this blog. 
Man looking at tablet and working with a piping system

Responsibilities of the Building Owner for Fire Sprinkler System Inspection Testing and Maintenance

NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems provides the criteria for the routine activities that must be conducted to ensure that water-based fire protection systems, such as automatic sprinklers systems, can be relied upon in the event of a fire. These activities range from simple visual confirmation of some things such as valve position or room or water tank temperature on a more frequent basis to much more complex activities such as full flow tests and internal assessments at longer intervals.  NFPA 25 also includes responsibilities for inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) of water-based fire protection systems that specifically fall to the owner or their designated representative. This information is essential for building owners and their designated representatives to know and understand. A designated representative can include the occupant, management firm, or managing individual through specific provisions in the lease, written use agreement, or management contract. Wherever this blog mentions the responsibilities of the owner it also applies to the owner’s designated representative where applicable. This information is also valuable for all ITM service providers to have a good understanding of these requirements to improve communication with their customers. The following details some of the items listed as the responsibility of the owner or designated representative. Chapter 4 of NFPA 25 should be reviewed for a complete listing of these.  Overall ITM program The owner or designated representative is responsible for the overall ITM of system(s) in their building. They must ensure that these activities are completed within the specified frequencies. While often the performance of these activities are contracted with a service provider, the ultimate responsibility for ITM falls on the building owner. We could just stop here since it covers most everything, but there are other specific requirements that the building owner must be responsible for.  Impairment procedures Impairments to a system can be either planned or unplanned. There needs to be a plan in place for either situation. The owner is responsible for this. Chapter 15 of NFPA 25 includes the requirements for what must be included in an impairment program.  Minimizing water damage Anytime water is released, consideration must be given to where that water may ultimately end up. This is not only the responsibility of the person performing the ITM, but it must also involve the owner. The owner or designated representative, such as maintenance personnel, is often more familiar with the condition of the plumbing system or the drainage characteristics of the surrounding area.  Freeze protection The owner is responsible for ensuring that all areas of the building containing water-filled piping that does not have another means of freeze protection shall be maintained at a minimum temperature of 40°F (4°C).  Providing ready access The owner must provide ready access to components of the systems that require inspection, testing, and maintenance. This is intended to address the all-too-common practice of placing objects — such as file cabinets or stock — in front of sprinkler risers and other control equipment. This requirement is not limited to the interior of the building. Exterior components of the system must be kept accessible as well.  Notification of systems shutdown or testing The property owner is responsible for notifying the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ), the fire department, if required, and the alarm-receiving facility before testing or shutting down a system or its supply.  Testing a system without proper notification might—and often does—result in a false alarm. False alarms must be avoided since they remove emergency services personnel from service at a time when their services might be needed for an actual emergency. At the conclusion of such tests, the alarm-receiving facility should be notified that any alarms received from that point on are not test-generated and should be responded to appropriately.  Correction and repairs The property owner is responsible for ensuring that deficiencies or impairments are corrected or repaired. Corrective action to remediate deficiencies and impairments must be done in accordance with the applicable design and installation standard. Understanding the differences between impairments, critical deficiencies, and noncritical deficiencies can be helpful in prioritizing corrective actions.  Change management The evaluation shall consider factors that include, but are not limited to, the following:   Occupancy changes such as converting office or production space into warehousing  Process or material changes such as metal stamping to molded plastics Building revisions such as relocated walls, added mezzanines, and ceilings added below sprinklers Removal of heating systems in spaces with piping subject to freezing Changes to the storage method, arrangement, height, or commodities Changes in water supplies   Records management Records must be made for all ITM activities undertaken on a system and its components. The property owner is responsible for maintaining these records which can be hard copy or stored and accessed electronically. The records must be made available for the AHJ upon request. Some jurisdictions require the submittal of ITM records to the AHJ while others will check for them while the building is due an inspection or at another time they determine.   Closing  While a substantial percentage of fire protection systems have their ITM work contracted to a service provider there are still many responsibilities placed on the building owner. Those building owners that understand what these responsibilities are and where they come from can see improved communications with their service providers and a more complete picture of what is needed to maintain fire protection systems. This knowledge can lead to more robust ITM programs and contribute to ensuring a safe environment for people in the building and an added layer of protection for the property. 
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