Third Party Fire Protection Plan Review Questions

When is FSCI supposed to inspect a project?
Depending on our agreement with the municipality or fire district, FSCI not only provides the plan review of a project, but the inspections associated with each fire protection system, as well.

Whether or not FSCI should perform the inspections for your project, can be found on our plan review letter; either in the upper, left-hand-side or in newer versions of our letter, in the very first table.

How do I schedule an inspection with FSCI?
Once the approval process has been completed and the installation is ready to be inspected, either the municipality / fire district or the installing contractor must call the responsible FSCI office in either Illinois or Michigan, to schedule the inspection; in most cases this is the responsibility of the installing contractor.

When contacting our office to schedule a date and time for your inspection, you must provide our coordinator with the following information:

  • Project Information:
    • Plan Review number
    • Project name and address
    • Specific scope of work to be inspected
  • Contractor Information:
    • Contact information of who called in the inspection request
    • Contact information of who will be present and on site
    • Email address to send a copy of the inspection report

What is required from the contractor for FSCI to perform an on-site inspection?

  • Completion of the plan review / approval process.
  • 72-hour notice, when scheduling an inspection.
  • FSCI approved / stamped drawings, must be on site for all inspections.
  • An appropriate representative from the installing contracting company must be present and on site.
  • All necessary testing equipment must be provided (depending on the type of inspection); i.e. 100W light bulb, balloons, canned smoke, lifts, ladders, etc.

 *Any/all cancellations must be done 24 hours prior to scheduled inspections.

Are there any additional fees associated with FSCI inspections?
If FSCI has been contracted by the municipality or fire district, our inspection fees, which include up to four FSCI inspections, have already been collected with the plan review fee. If you exceed the four inspection limit, there will be a fee associated with each additional inspection needed; $100 / hour with a $150 minimum.

Our normal business hours are 8AM – 5PM. Inspections before or after normal business hours can sometimes be accommodated with sufficient advance notice. Additional fees may apply.

*If an inspection is cancelled within the 24-hour window, one of the four inspections, included in the original fee, will be utilized.

Do I need to contact the municipality or fire district, to let them know of my scheduled inspection, with FSCI?
Unless otherwise directed to do so, the answer is no. When an inspection is scheduled with our office and an invite is created, FSCI will include all appropriate representatives in the calendar invite, at the specific request of the municipality or fire district.

When do I receive my inspection report?
Each FSCI inspector will generate a report for every inspection scheduled with our office.  These are generally distributed within 24 hours of the inspection time. FSCI will send a copy of the report to the email address provided to us by the contractor, as well as all appropriate representatives, per the municipality or fire district.

How do I know the status of my inspection?
There are three possible results for every inspection conducted with FSCI.  They are: RECOMMEND APPROVAL, APPROVED WITH CORRECTIONS & NOT APPROVED.

There are also sections for the INSPECTION COMMENTS, which will consist of all comments pertaining to what the inspector inspected; as well as ITEMS TO BE CORRECTED, which will consist of any / all changes that need to be made in order for FSCI to RECOMMEND APPROVAL.

Once all of the outstanding items have been addressed, the inspection will have passed and FSCI will indicate RECOMMEND APPROVAL.

Each FSCI inspector will generate a report for every inspection scheduled with our office.  These are generally distributed within 24 hours of the inspection time. FSCI will send a copy of the report to the email address provided to us by the contractor, as well as all appropriate representatives, per the municipality or fire district.

As an installing sprinkler contractor, when do I need to perform a 200 psi hydrostatic pressure test of sprinkler piping?
All new systems need to be hydrostatically tested at 200 psi for 2 hours without any loss of pressure. In addition, modifications to existing systems must be isolated and tested at 200 psi for 2 hours. For modifications to existing systems, NFPA 13 allows a working pressure hydrostatic test (this would be the static pressure of the system with no flowing water) for modifications to existing systems that affects 20 or less sprinklers. Working pressure tests are also allowed for modifications to systems that affect more than 20 sprinklers if the work cannot be isolated from existing portions of the system. One example of modifications to existing systems that may not be able to be isolated is relocating dropped sprinklers to accommodate wall and/or ceiling changes.

The code does not indicate a required minimum test time for working pressure tests so ultimately this is up to the authority having jurisdiction.

For my fire alarm system battery calculations, how much secondary and alarm capacity do I need?
There are several factors which can affect the answer, and really answers, to this question.  Which alarm monitoring option (central station service, proprietary service, or remote station) will be used?  Which edition of NFPA 72 is being used in the jurisdiction?  Does the jurisdiction have any ordinances related to secondary power?  Is the fire alarm system provided with an Emergency Voice/Alarm Communications system?  Generally, the newer editions of NFPA 72 allow 24 hours of secondary power for all types of systems no matter which monitoring option is to be used.  In older editions of NFPA 72 (up to the 1999 edition), and in some remaining jurisdictions where an amendment to NFPA 72 exists, 60 hours of secondary power is required for remote station fire alarm systems.  The 24 hour requirement can be reduced to 4 hours where an automatic starting emergency generator is provided for the building and the fire alarm system is connected to the emergency system.  Requirements for operating the system in an alarm condition vary from 5 minutes for most systems to 15 minutes when an EVAC is used.  Requirements for other systems can be found in Chapter 10 of the 2010 – 2016 editions of NFPA 72.  Also, don’t forget that a 20% safety factor for battery calculations has been required since 2010.   Always do your due diligence and check with the local jurisdiction for their specific requirements or contact FSCI if the jurisdiction is one of our clients.

Is it necessary to hydraulically calculate the flexible sprinkler piping and fittings when used to supply a drop?
Yes.  It is required to include all flexible piping in the calculations as you would with any other type of piping or fitting.  Refer to the manufacturer’s published specifications sheet for the flexible piping for friction loss information.