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Automatic Sprinkler System Checklists and Resources

Resources and  Checklists for Plan Review, Inspection, and Design

Automatic sprinkler systems can be complex life safety systems which require maintenance and proper installation.  Automatic sprinkler systems are based on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 13, Standard for Design and Installation of Sprinkler Systems.  Sprinkler systems require proper design, installation, and maintenance (inspection too).

Sprinkler submittals are usually prepared as show drawings or deferred submittals under the adopted building code.  The shop drawings are typically prepared by the installing contractor although some projects they are prepared by the design professional or fire protection engineer.  Sprinkler systems must be designed based on the use of the space, not necessary the classification of the occupancy under the building code.

Proper plan review will look to ensure adequate informaiton is provided to compare the design to the anticipated use, sprinkler spacing, and proper informaiton is included in the design calculations.  NFPA 13 provides a very detailed listing of information required on the shop drawings and calculations in Chapter 22 (2007 edition).  Contractors should refer to this chapter to ensure shop drawings meet the minimum requirements.

You can view all of our educational posts on sprinklers here. The following resources will aid in the inspection, plan review, and maintenance of sprinkler systems.


  • Resources for forward flow of back-flow devices
  • FM Data Sheets are now free and available on line.  These data sheets are used by many businesses and insurance carriers to protect the interests of the property.  Many times the requirements meet or exceed those identified in NFPA 13.
  • Did you know that if you have a 4″ riser or less, the designer shall account for the friction loss of the paddle flow switch?  See the potter memo for more


Take a look at our other posts and future posts will take an indepth look into resources availalbe for residential systems or proper spacing of sprinkler systems.  Feel free to add links to your favioriate sprinkler resources.

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Arsnman4 December 29, 2008, 5:51 pm

    Now with all that being said, how many of us have run into improperly designed systems for the hazards encountered. These situations now that the operations, usage or hazard commodity has changed requires some type of corrective action. What would you do?

  • Ed December 29, 2008, 9:17 pm

    Good question. This is from a contractors viewpoint.
    NFPA 13, now has an “owner’s certificate” that should be submitted to the owner prior to bid time if possible. It will tell you what the owners intent is or what his current use is if its an existing structure.
    One can only design to what the current occupancy is or what the intended occupancy was told to you by spec or the owner.
    I always try to be very specific in my proposals outlining exactly what the end user is getting.
    If things change at the time of turnover then all bets are off.
    The AHJ should intervene and the system gets modified or removed.
    The process starts all over again.
    Should occupancy change on an existing system, the owner should be notified that the current system is not adequate for the hazard and the AHJ should be notified at the same time. Enforcement by the AHJ is critical at this time to make sure that corrective action is followed through. The occupants insurance carrier can also be a motivating factors on getting changes going forward.

  • Nick Markowitz Jr. January 19, 2009, 6:49 am

    Heres a good site for inspection forms of all types


  • Brian Wilk September 15, 2009, 9:44 am

    Need info on Red Tag sprinkler systems. procedures or info how to start a sprinkler imperament program

  • Mikey September 17, 2009, 9:19 pm

    Brian, are you looking for information from the building owner side, or as an inspector?

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