Disciplines

Technical Info

LINKS

National Fire Protection Association
National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors
Georgia Association of Fire Safety Equipment Dealers
National Institute for Certifying Engineering Technicians
 
Georgia Fire Sprinkler Association
Georgia State Fire Marshal
International Code Council

FIRE EXTINGUISHERS

WHY DO I HAVE TO INSPECT THEM?

From 12.3.3 State Minimum Fire Safety Standards
120-3-3-.04 State Minimum Fire Safety Standards with Modifications.
(1) Unless otherwise stated in this chapter, the edition of the International Fire Code (IFC), and the following editions of the codes, standards, recommended practices, guides and methods, as published in the National Fire Codes (NFC) by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), as adopted and modified in this Chapter, shall be the state minimum fire safety standards. Where any of the adopted publications of the NFPA references NFPA 1 or NFPA 5000, it shall be construed that such references apply to the International Fire Code (IFC) or the International Building Code (IBC) respectively, as adopted by this Chapter 120-3-3 and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Where the IFC or IBC does not specifically address the referenced issue, NFPA 1 or NFPA 5000 may be applied subject to the approval of the authority having jurisdiction.
The above requires conformance with the International Fire Code.

IFC Requirement for the systems is as follows:

901.6 Inspection, testing and maintenance. Fire detection, alarm and extinguishing systems shall be maintained in an operative condition at all times, and shall be replaced or repaired where defective. Nonrequired fire protection systems and equipment shall be inspected, tested and maintained or removed.

901.6.1 Standards. Fire protection systems shall be inspected, tested and maintained in accordance with the referenced standards listed in Table 901.6.1.

TABLE 901.6.1
FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEM MAINTENANCE STANDARDS
SYSTEM STANDARD
Portable fire extinguishers NFPA 10
Carbon dioxide fire-extinguishing system NFPA 12
Halon 1301 fire-extinguishing systems NFPA 12A
Dry-chemical extinguishing systems NFPA 17
Wet-chemical extinguishing systems NFPA 17A
Water-based fire protection systems NFPA 25
Fire alarm systems NFPA 72
Water-mist systems NFPA 750
Clean-agent extinguishing systems NFPA 2001

The IFC also requires records to be maintained.

901.6.2 Records. Records of all system inspections, tests, and maintenance required by the referenced standards shall be maintained on the premises for a minimum of 3 years and made available to the fire code official upon request.

WHO CAN INSPECT MY FIRE EXTINGUISHERS?

IFC Requires conformance to NFPA 10 as noted above.

7.1.2 Personnel.
7.1.2.1 A trained and certified person who has undergone the instructions necessary to reliably perform maintenance and has the manufacturer's service manual shall service the fire extinguishers not more than 1 year apart, as outlined in Section 7.3.
7.1.2.2* Maintenance, servicing, and recharging shall be performed by trained and certified persons having available the appropriate servicing manual(s), the proper types of tools, recharge materials, lubricants, and manufacturer's recommended replacement parts or parts specifically listed for use in the fire extinguisher.
7.1.2.3 The certification of service personnel shall be required after August 17, 2008.

From the State of Georgia Rules and Regulations for Fire Extinguishers – 120.3.23.
120-3-23-04. Requires Companies to be licensed by the State to perform work on Fire Extinguishers.

120-3-23-05. Requires Technicians to be licensed by the State to perform work on Fire Extinguishers.

DOES IT MATTER WHICH KIND OF FIRE EXTINGUISHER I USE?

There are four classes of fires. All fire extinguishers are labeled, using standard symbols, for the classes of fires on which they can be used. A red slash through any of the symbols tells you the extinguisher cannot be used on that class of fire. A missing symbol tells you only that the extinguisher has not been tested for a given class of fire, but may be used if an extinguisher labeled for that class of fire is not available.
Types of Fires:

CLASS A: Ordinary combustibles such as wood, cloth, and paper.

CLASS B: Flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil, and oil-based paint.

CLASS C: Energized electrical equipment, including wiring, fuse boxes, circuit breakers, machinery and appliances.

CLASS D: Combustible metals such as magnesium or sodium.

WHEN SHOULD I USE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER?

Portable extinguishers are not designed to fight large or spreading fires. Even against small fires, they are useful only under certain conditions:

  • The operator must know how to use the extinguisher.
  • The extinguisher must be within easy reach, in working order, and fully charged.
  • The operator must have a clear escape route that will not be blocked by fire.
  • The extinguisher must match the type of fire being fought. (Extinguishers containing water are unsuitable for use on grease or electrical fires.)
  • The extinguisher must be large enough to put out the fire. Many portable extinguishers discharge completely in as few as eight to ten seconds.
  • Always be sure the fire department inspects the fire site, even if you think you've extinguished the fire.

WHERE DO I NEED TO PUT MY FIRE EXTINGUISHERS?

NFPA 10, and the International Fire Code are both relevant to the placement of fire extinguishers in most jurisdictions, including all in the State of Georgia. Essentially, the following rules are common to both:

1. Class A fire extinguishers shall be placed based on a travel distance not to exceed 75 feet measured from the most distant point of the occupancy to the fire extinguisher. This means this measurement may be from deep within an office, or deep within a residence in an apartment. The distance does not start from the front door of a suite or apartment.

2. This travel distance is measured based on actual travel distance, whether it be horizontal down a hall, or vertical down a stair. It is as you walk, and not a straight line.

3. Class B fire extinguishers shall be placed based on a maximum travel distance not to exceed 50 feet.

4. The minimum rated extinguisher is a 2A rating, normally a 5lb unit. This unit normally has the B rating for the 50’ distance requirement as noted above.

5. Extinguishers are also placed based on sq. ft. The maximum for a single unit of A is 3,000 sq. ft., 11,250 sq. ft. maximum per extinguisher.

6. NFPA 10 states that fire extinguishers should be placed on a “floor by floor” basis.

7. NFPA 10 and the IBC also state that fire extinguishers shall be in conspicuous location, and shall be unobstructed and unobscured.

8. NFPA 10 and the IBC state that fire extinguishers shall be conspicuously located where they are readily accessible and immediately available in the event of fire and that fire extinguishers shall be located along normal paths of travel, including exits from areas.

9. As a practical matter, best practices suggest that fire extinguishers be placed to aid in egress should a fire block the path leading to an exit. For example, if a fire on the second floor stair blocks egress from the 3rd, a fire extinguisher located on a “floor by floor” basis can aid with egress.

FIRE SPRINKLER

WHY DO I HAVE TO INSPECT MY FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEM?

The State of Georgia has established minimum fire safety standards that are required by law. All properties are covered under these standards.
The State of Georgia Law is as follows:
RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE SAFETY FIRE COMMISSIONER
CHAPTER 120-3-3 RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR THE STATE MINIMUM FIRE SAFETY STANDARDS
120-3-3-.01 Promulgation and Purpose
(1) These rules and regulations of the Safety Fire Commissioner entitled, “Rules and Regulations for the State Minimum Fire Safety Standards” are promulgated to establish the State’s minimum fire safety standards as specified in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, (O.C.G.A.) Section 25-2-4.
As part of the State Law, Georgia has adopted the International Fire Code. See below.

120-3-3-.04 State Minimum Fire Safety Standards with Modifications.
(1) Unless otherwise stated in this chapter, the edition of the International Fire Code (IFC), and the following editions of the codes, standards, recommended practices, guides and methods, as published in the National Fire Codes (NFC) by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), as adopted and modified in this Chapter, shall be the state minimum fire safety standards. Where any of the adopted publications of the NFPA references NFPA 1 or NFPA 5000, it shall be construed that such references apply to the International Fire Code (IFC) or the International Building Code (IBC) respectively, as adopted by this Chapter 120-3-3 and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Where the IFC or IBC does not specifically address the referenced issue, NFPA 1 or NFPA 5000 may be applied subject to the approval of the authority having jurisdiction.
In using the International Fire Code, and the use of NFPA Standards as part of the IFC, all fire code are adopted as part of the State Law. The 2002 Edition of NFPA 25 is currently adopted by the State as noted below.
Current Edition Noted in the State Fire Regulations
(18) NFPA 25, 2002 Edition, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems

As the International Fire Code is adopted as part of the regulations, the specification for sprinkler systems located in the IFC is as follows:

901.6.3 Automatic sprinkler systems and other water based fire extinguishing systems, including fire pumps, required or installed, shall be maintained in accordance with NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, adopted by this Chapter.
(as modified by the state regulations).

901.6 Inspection, testing and maintenance. Fire detection, alarm and extinguishing systems shall be maintained in an operative condition at all times, and shall be replaced or repaired where defective. Nonrequired fire protection systems and equipment shall be inspected, tested and maintained or removed.

901.6.1 Standards. Fire protection systems shall be inspected, tested and maintained in accordance with the referenced standards listed in Table 901.6.1.

TABLE 901.6.1
FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEM MAINTENANCE STANDARDS SYSTEM STANDARD
Portable fire extinguishers NFPA 10
Carbon dioxide fire-extinguishing system NFPA 12
Halon 1301 fire-extinguishing systems NFPA 12A
Dry-chemical extinguishing systems NFPA 17
Wet-chemical extinguishing systems NFPA 17A
Water-based fire protection systems NFPA 25
Fire alarm systems NFPA 72
Water-mist systems NFPA 750
Clean-agent extinguishing systems NFPA 2001

FROM NFPA 25 2002.
4.1 Responsibility of the Property Owner or Occupant.
4.1.1* Responsibility for Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance. The responsibility for properly maintaining a water-based fire protection system shall be that of the owner of the property.
4.1.2* Accessibility. The property owner or occupant shall provide ready accessibility to components of water-based fire protection systems that require inspection, testing, or maintenance.
4.1.2.1 Inspection, testing, and maintenance shall be implemented in accordance with procedures meeting those established in this document and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
4.1.2.2 These tasks shall be performed by personnel who have developed competence through training and experience.
4.1.2.3 Where the property owner is not the occupant, the property owner shall be permitted to pass on the authority for inspecting, testing, and maintaining the fire protection systems to the occupant, management firm, or managing individual through specific provisions in the lease, written use agreement, or management contract.
4.1.2.4 Where an occupant, management firm, or managing individual has received the authority for inspection, testing, and maintenance, the occupant, management firm, or managing individual shall comply with the requirements identified for the owner or occupant throughout this standard.

WHO CAN INSPECT / INSTALL A FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEM?

As part of the qualifications, the State of Georgia requires Certificates of Competency holders for Fire Sprinkler Companies, and Licensed Inspectors.

FROM 120-3-19 FIRE SPRINKLER ACT (State of GA)

120-3-19-.09 Requirement that installation, repair, etc., be performed or supervised by certificate holder.
(1) No person shall act as a fire protection sprinkler contractor unless a certificate holder is employed full time, in office or on site or combination thereof, to supervise or perform the installation, repair, alteration, addition, maintenance, or inspection of water-based fire protection systems.

120-3-19-.12 Individuals authorized to inspect and maintain systems.
(1) All inspections, testing and maintenance of water-based fire protection systems shall be done in accordance with the requirements of NFPA 25 as adopted by the Georgia Safety Fire Commissioner’s Rules and Regulations Chapter 120-3-3. All inspections, maintenance, and testing required by NFPA 25 and/or other appropriate standards adopted by Chapter 120-3-3 shall only be performed by licensed fire protection system inspectors, certificate of competency holders, or representatives of the building owner
as applicable, unless exempted by this chapter.

(2) Representatives of the building owner shall indicate in writing to the Authority Having Jurisdiction their intent to do such inspections and shall provide to the Authority Having Jurisdiction proof of knowledge and expertise pertaining to the systems to be inspected by providing:
(a) the name and physical location of the facility/facilities to be tested, inspected and maintained by the owner’s representative(s);
(b) the names and qualifications of the individual(s) conducting such inspections, testing and maintenance which shall be submitted to the Commissioner for evaluation;
(c) the qualifications for each such individual which shall be set forth in as much detail as possible, including but not limited to, an exacting and detailed outline of their qualifications with dates, type and length of related experience;
(d) resumes prepared by each such individual including a statement describing and setting forth their personal qualifications to do the inspections, testing and maintenance; and,
(e) a detailed description of each such individual’s knowledge of NFPA-25.
(3) Said representatives of the building owner are exempt only from the license requirements specified in Code Section 25-11-6. All work conducted by said representatives shall be done in accordance with the minimum State Standards as adopted by the Safety Fire Commissioner.
(4) Duly authorized manufacturers' representatives while they are acting in their official capacities are exempt from this chapter.
(5) Inspections and maintenance of water-based fire protection systems owned by a firm, business, or corporation and installed on property under control of the firm, business, or corporation may be performed by an employee of the firm, business, or corporation if annual inspection and maintenance of the water-based system are performed by a current certificate of competency holder or inspector as defined in this chapter. Said employees are exempt from the license requirements specified in Code Section 25-11-6.

How often should my system be inspected?

The National Fire Protection Association publishes NFPA 25 Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems. This document recommends that control valves without electronic supervision be checked on a weekly basis, just to make sure that they are in the open position. Other system components have different requirements. Check with the NFPA 25 or the manufacturers’ literature for details.

At least four times each year, a full sprinkler system inspection should be performed by a knowledgeable professional. Some states and cities require more frequent inspections. Most sprinkler contractors offer economical long-term service agreements. These contractors can provide you with the test certificates which will comply with your insurance company and local fire department inspection requirements.

Are there other times when the system should be checked by knowledgeable professionals?

Yes! Fire Sprinkler systems are designed to the conditions which exist, or are expected to exist, within a building when the sprinkler system is installed. After any changes to the building or the use of the building an analysis should be done to determine if the sprinkler system is adequate. Similarly, even if the building and its use remain the same, changes in the water supply or changes to equipment in the sprinkler system necessitate a reevaluation of the system. Any time a sprinkler system is reviewed for these reasons, it should be done by a fire sprinkler contractor or a registered fire protection engineer. The following is a partial list of situations where a full reevaluation should be performed.
1. Change or addition of backflow preventer or water meter.
2. Change of building occupancy or use.
3. Change in building (walls, partitions, additions).
4. Reduction in public water supplies (sometimes done in areas for water conservation).

Is there anything building occupants or employees can do?

Yes! Although members of the general public are generally not knowledgeable enough to inspect, test, or maintain a fire sprinkler system, there are a few simple ways in which they can help:
1. Never paint any fire sprinkler.
2. Never hang anything from any part of a fire sprinkler system.
3. Never stack items close to fire sprinklers. (Tops of storage or furniture should be at least 18 inches below fire sprinklers.)
4. Always report damage to any part of a sprinkler system immediately.
5. Always make sure control valves are in the open position.

How does inspection affect my insurance rate?

Buildings which are completely sprinklered enjoy special reduced rates. However, if the insurance company does not receive verification of system inspection, penalties in the form of higher insurance rates apply.
The Insurance Services Office (ISO) publishes a Commercial Fire Rating Schedule (CFRS). Section 402 of the CFRS requires building owners to have annual inspections of sprinkler systems to enjoy the “sprinklered” insurance rate.
If an inspection is overdue for up to 12 months, a 5% penalty applies. If the inspection is overdue for 12-24 months a 20% penalty applies. If an inspection is 24-36 months overdue, a 60% penalty applies. If after 36 months an inspection is still not performed, a fully sprinklered building is rated as “Unsprinklered” for the purpose of insurance, with no credit allowed.
Check with your insurance carrier about the rate for your building. Even though it is fully sprinklered you may not be getting as big a discount you’re entitled to. Get your sprinkler system inspected and take full financial advantage of your fire sprinkler system.

Are there financial benefits other than insurance for maintaining a sprinkler system?

Yes! Regular inspections of fire sprinkler systems will help reveal problems (if they exist) long before they become major. Sprinkler system repair can then be scheduled for a convenient time, saving you the cost of unnecessary business interruption.

What about liability?

Recent court decisions have held building owners and managers liable because they did not have a fire sprinkler system in a building which had a fire. Even though sprinkler systems were not required in these buildings by fire or building codes, owners still had to pay out millions of dollars. Similarly, an owner or manager of a building with a fire sprinkler system would be held liable if he failed to maintain that system in a working condition.

In addition, owners and managers of commercial and business facilities have an obligation to maintain safe conditions for employees and occupants. By working in a sprinklered building, employees come to expect a certain level of protection. It is incumbent on the owner to maintain this level of protection. Remember!

Owning a sprinkler system without having it inspected is like owning a car and never changing the oil.

HOW EFFECTIVE ARE FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEMS?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has no record of a fire killing more than two people in a completely sprinklered public assembly, educational, institutional or residential building where the system was working properly. Cases in which fatalities occur in a building equipped with fire sprinklers, the deceased are almost always in intimate contact with the fire and were burned severely before the sprinkler activated (i.e., smoking in bed, explosions, etc.), Sprinklers typically reduce chances of dying in a fire and the average property loss by one-half to two-thirds in any kind of property where they are used.

Do any studies exist that document the effectiveness of fire sprinklers?

"U.S. Experience with Sprinklers" (September, 2001) by Kimberly Rohr provides an excellent study of the use and experience of automatic fire sprinklers. This report was produced by and is available from the National Fire Protection Association. (click here to see report from NFPA)

Are fire sprinklers prone to accidental discharge?

The odds of a sprinkler activation due to a manufacturing defect are about 1 in 16 million. Fire sprinklers have a long history of proven dependability and reliability. Although sprinklers can be damaged and activated through intentional or accidental abuse, this is rare. Sprinkler piping is no more likely to leak than existing plumbing piping in every home and building.

Don't fire sprinkler activation results in a lot of water damage?

No, fire sprinklers are designed to control a fire in its early stages where less water is required. Most fires are completely controlled with the activation of only one or two sprinklers. Fire hoses, on average, use more than 8 times the water that sprinklers do to contain a fire. Reduced water damage is a major source of savings.

How much does a fire sprinkler system cost?

The cost per square foot can vary widely due to great differences in installation requirements so this question can be answered effectively only after a review of the occupancy. A system installed in a warm-climate area with ample water supply and good water pressure will cost much less than a system installed in a cold-climate area with poor water pressure or an undependable/inadequate water supply. New installations will cost much less than retrofit installations.

Why are fire sprinklers required in some areas, and not in others? Why are there variations in sprinkler requirements?

Fire sprinkler systems are installed in accordance with consensus standards developed through the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). These standards are very specific in defining how sprinklers are to be installed in different types of occupancies and different hazard classifications. The three primary standards that define the installation requirements are NFPA-13 (Installation of Sprinkler Systems); NFPA-13R (Installation of Sprinkler Systems in Residential Occupancies Up to and Including Four Stories in Height); and NFPA-13D (Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes). The standards adopted by NFPA represent the best recommended practices, but the standards by themselves are not "law." Development of the consensus is a dynamic process and the standard is changed to reflect new technologies, science, and experience. Every three years a new version of the standard is issued that contains changes and updates.

The requirements for the installation of fire sprinklers are adopted as law by state or local jurisdictions as a part of their building code or local ordinance. At times jurisdictions may vary some of the requirements contained in the NFPA documents. Differences in requirements will vary from city to city based on local changes made to the NFPA standards, or the year of the standard adopted by the local jurisdiction. For example, if one city adopts the 1999 NFPA 13 standard, and another city adopts the 2002 issue of the same standard, there will be differences.

Aren't fire sprinklers required in all high-rise offices, public assemblies, and hotels / motels?

No, they are not always required. Many buildings were built prior to modern-day standards and were "grandfathered" so a retrofit was not required. Some local jurisdictions have seen the many advantages of fire sprinklers and required buildings to be retrofited over a period of years.

Are there any federal laws that require automatic fire sprinklers?

The Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990 (PL101-391) was passed into law by Congress to save lives and protect property by promoting fire and life safety in hotels, motels and other places of public accommodation. The law mandates that federal employees on travel must stay in public accommodations that adhere to the life safety requirements in the legislation guidelines. PL101-391 also states that federally funded meetings and conferences cannot be held in properties that do not comply with the law. PL101-391 is applicable to all places of public accommodation, and requires that such properties are equipped with hard-wired, single-station smoke detectors in each guest room and an automatic sprinkler system, with a sprinkler head in each guest room. Properties three stories or lower in height are exempt from the sprinkler requirement.

US Fire Administration has been charged with carrying out FEMA's responsibilities with respect to the Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990. In addition to compiling, maintaining and publishing the National Master List, USFA is also responsible for taking steps to encourage states to promote the use of automatic sprinkler systems and automatic smoke detection systems. The USFA list of hotels and motels meeting the requirements can be viewed at: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/applications/hotel/
Sources of Information on Fire Sprinklers:
American Fire Sprinkler Association
National Fire Protection Association

FIRE ALARM

WHY DO I NEED TO HAVE MY FIRE ALARMS INSPECTED?

GEORGIA CODE TRAIL REQUIRING QUALIFIED FIRE ALARM SYSTEM INSPECTIONS.
From 12.3.3 State Minimum Fire Safety Standards
120-3-3-.04 State Minimum Fire Safety Standards with Modifications.
(1) Unless otherwise stated in this chapter, the edition of the International Fire Code (IFC), and the following editions of the codes, standards, recommended practices, guides and methods, as published in the National Fire Codes (NFC) by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), as adopted and modified in this Chapter, shall be the state minimum fire safety standards. Where any of the adopted publications of the NFPA references NFPA 1 or NFPA 5000, it shall be construed that such references apply to the International Fire Code (IFC) or the International Building Code (IBC) respectively, as adopted by this Chapter 120-3-3 and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Where the IFC or IBC does not specifically address the referenced issue, NFPA 1 or NFPA 5000 may be applied subject to the approval of the authority having jurisdiction.
The above requires conformance with the International Fire Code.

IFC Requirement for the systems is as follows:
901.6 Inspection, testing and maintenance. Fire detection, alarm and extinguishing systems shall be maintained in an operative condition at all times, and shall be replaced or repaired where defective. Nonrequired fire protection systems and equipment shall be inspected, tested and maintained or removed.
901.6.1 Standards. Fire protection systems shall be inspected, tested and maintained in accordance with the referenced standards listed in Table 901.6.1.

TABLE 901.6.1
FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEM MAINTENANCE STANDARDS
SYSTEM STANDARD
Portable fire extinguishers NFPA 10
Carbon dioxide fire-extinguishing system NFPA 12
Halon 1301 fire-extinguishing systems NFPA 12A
Dry-chemical extinguishing systems NFPA 17
Wet-chemical extinguishing systems NFPA 17A
Water-based fire protection systems NFPA 25
Fire alarm systems NFPA 72
Water-mist systems NFPA 750
Clean-agent extinguishing systems NFPA 2001

The IFC also requires records to be maintained.
901.6.2 Records. Records of all system inspections, tests, and maintenance required by the referenced standards shall be maintained on the premises for a minimum of 3 years and made available to the fire code official upon request.

IFC Requires conformance to NFPA 72:
10.2.2 Responsibilities.
10.2.2.1* The property or building owner or the owner’s designated representative shall be responsible for inspection, testing, and maintenance of the system and for alterations or additions to this system.
10.2.2.2 The delegation of responsibility shall be in writing, with a copy of such delegation provided to the authority having jurisdiction upon request.
10.2.2.3 Inspection, testing, or maintenance shall be permitted to be done by a person or organization other than the owner if conducted under a written contract.
10.2.2.4 Testing and maintenance of central station service systems shall be performed under the contractual arrangements specified in 8.3.3.
10.2.2.5* Service Personnel Qualifications and Experience.
10.2.2.5.1 Service personnel shall be qualified and experienced in the inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire alarm systems. Qualified personnel shall include, but not be limited to, one or more of the following:
(1)* Personnel who are factory trained and certified for fire alarm system service of the specific type and brand of system
(2)* Personnel who are certified by a nationally recognized fire alarm certification organization acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction
(3)* Personnel who are registered, licensed, or certified by a state or local authority
(4) Personnel who are employed and qualified by an organization listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory for the servicing of fire alarm systems
10.2.2.5.2 Evidence of qualifications shall be provided to the authority having jurisdiction upon request.

Per NFPA 72, only qualified individuals can perform work on fire alarm systems.

EXIT / EMERGENCY LIGHTING

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE INSPECTION AND TESTING OF EXIT AND EMERGENCY LIGHTING?

The State of Georgia has established minimum fire safety standards that are required by law. All properties are covered under these standards.
The State of Georgia Law is as follows:
RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE SAFETY FIRE COMMISSIONER
CHAPTER 120-3-3 RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR
THE STATE MINIMUM FIRE SAFETY STANDARDS

120-3-3-.01 Promulgation and Purpose
(1) These rules and regulations of the Safety Fire Commissioner entitled, “Rules and Regulations for the State Minimum Fire Safety Standards” are promulgated to establish the State’s minimum fire safety standards as specified in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, (O.C.G.A.)
Section 25-2-4. As part of the State Law, Georgia has adopted the International Fire Code. See below.
120-3-3-.04 State Minimum Fire Safety Standards with Modifications.
(1) Unless otherwise stated in this chapter, the edition of the International Fire Code (IFC), and the following editions of the codes, standards, recommended practices, guides and methods, as published in the National Fire Codes (NFC) by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), as adopted and modified in this Chapter, shall be the state minimum fire safety standards. Where any of the adopted publications of the NFPA references NFPA 1 or NFPA 5000, it shall be construed that such references apply to the International Fire Code (IFC) or the International Building Code (IBC) respectively, as adopted by this Chapter 120-3-3 and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Where the IFC or IBC does not specifically address the referenced issue, NFPA 1 or NFPA 5000 may be applied subject to the approval of the authority having jurisdiction.
In using the International Fire Code, and the use of NFPA Standards as part of the IFC, all fire codes are adopted as part of the State Law. The 2003 Edition of NFPA 101 is currently adopted by the State as noted below.
Current Edition Noted in the State Fire Regulations
(18) NFPA 101, 2003 Edition, Life Safety Code

As the International Fire Code is adopted as part of the regulations, and NFPA 101, the specification for emergency lighting (and exit lighting) located in the NFPA 101 is as follows:
7.9.3 Periodic Testing of Emergency Lighting Equipment.
7.9.3.1 Required emergency lighting systems shall be tested in accordance with one ofthe three options offered by 7.9.3.1.1, 7.9.3.1.2, or 7.9.3.1.3.
7.9.3.1.1 Testing of required emergency lighting systems shall be permitted to be
conducted as follows:
(1) Functional testing shall be conducted monthly with a minimum of 3 weeks and a maximum of 5 weeks between tests, for not less than 30 seconds, except as otherwise permitted by 7.9.3.1.1(2).
(2)* The test interval shall be permitted to be extended beyond 30 days with the approval of the authority having jurisdiction.
(3) Functional testing shall be conducted annually for a minimum of 1½ hours if the emergency lighting system is battery powered.
(4) The emergency lighting equipment shall be fully operational for the duration of the tests required by 7.9.3.1.1(1) and (3).
(5) Written records of visual inspections and tests shall be kept by the owner for inspection by the authority having jurisdiction.

SPECIAL HAZARDS

What is special hazards fire protection?

Special hazards are defined by the critical nature of an operation or how easily the protected items or functions can be replaced. To determine if you need a special hazards fire suppression system, start by asking these questions:

  • Can the items be replaced?
  • Can you afford down time caused by fire damage or clean-up?
  • Are there redundant systems? Can you still operate if this system goes down?

If you answer no to these questions, then you need to look at fire protection not only for the structure of the building, but for the assets it contains. That is special hazards fire protection.
The special hazards family consists of five types of suppression systems. They include:

  • clean agent
  • foam
  • dry chemical
  • carbon dioxide
  • water mist systems

What are clean agents?

Clean agents are gaseous fire suppressing agents. Because they suppress fire as gases, there is no damage to protected areas from the discharge and no residue to clean up. Thus, the term "clean" agents.
Halon 1301 is a recognized clean agent and is safe for occupied areas at recommended design concentrations. However, some people consider carbon dioxide a clean agent as well because it shares the non-corrosive, no clean-up features. While carbon dioxide is a very effective fire suppressing agent, it is not safe for use in occupied areas.

PERFORMANCE BASED CODES

What are Performance-Based Codes and Performance-Based Design?

Performance-Based Codes are an alternative to the current "prescriptive-based" code requirements. The Prescriptive Code is a code or standard that prescribes fire safety for a generic use or application.

Fire safety is achieved by specifying certain construction characteristics, protection systems or limiting dimension without referring to how these requirements achieve the desired fire safety goal. A Performance-Based Code is a code or standard that specifically states its fire safety goals and references acceptable methods that can be used to demonstrate compliance with its requirements. It uses an engineering approach to fire protection design based on (1) established fire safety goals and objectives; (2) deterministic and probabilistic analysis of fire scenarios; (3) quantitative assessment of design alternatives against the fire safety goals and objectives using accepted engineering tools, methodologies, and performance criteria.

A performance based approach allows for greater design flexibility, accommodates greater innovation in construction techniques and materials, provides for equal or better fire safety and maximizes the ratio of benefit-to-cost during the design/construction process.