Why are quarterly inspections important for an automatic sprinkler system?

April 21, 2021

by Nils Deacon, Manager, Inspections and Rating Services

The great majority of sprinkler documentation obtained by an insured is from annual inspections, which are tests by a sprinkler contractor. These are not the same as quarterly inspections.

A quarterly inspection is one done by the authority having jurisdiction, most typically the sprinkler contractor. Important elements for quarterly inspections are the condition of the control valves, control valve supervisory devices and water flow alarms.

These inspections are a standard requirement according to NFPA 25, Standard for Testing & Maintenance for Water-Based Fire Protection Systems

An inspector was told by a property manager that the quarterly inspection of the water flow supervisory device found it was not functioning. If a fire had occurred or water flowed for some other reason, no alarm would have gone out. As a result, major damage could have occurred. This illustrates why quarterly inspections are important.

DISCLAIMER: This information reflects the interpretation of MSO, Inc. with regard to NFPA Standards and Codes. It does not represent NFPA’s official position on the items discussed.