New FDNY Sprinkler Rules & Regulations
On May 8, 2007 the Fire Department of New York will assume responsibility of the annual sprinkler test from the Department of Housing Preservation. You most likely received a letter from HPD informing you of this change. We have received numerous questions regarding the letter; we hope this helps explain in clearer detail how all of this affects you as a building owner/manager.
If you have either a converted dwelling or dwellings used for single room occupancy, then you must perform an annual flow test as well as a monthly visual inspection of the sprinkler system. Below is the definition of a converted dwelling:
Converted dwelling: Any building built before April 18, 1929 as a 1 or 2 family home that was converted to a multiple dwelling (3 units or more) OR any building built after April 18, 1929 originally used as a 1 or 2 family home of up to 3 stories converted to a 3 family house.
If your building falls under the specifications above, your must have a Flow Test performed annually by a Licensed Plumber or Fire Suppression Contractor and reported annually to the FDNY. The purpose of this test is to ensure that if the system should become activated, there will be adequate water pressure to the uppermost section of the sprinkler system to provide fire protection. The minimum water pressure must be 15 PSI at the test station. Once every five years the FDNY must witness this test. The Fire Department will notify you by mail with the scheduled test date to conduct this test.
In order to conduct this test, the building must have a “Residential Flow Test Setup” installed on your sprinkler system. This “Setup” is a testing port that allows the Fire Department to measure the pressure in the sprinkler system. It must be located on the upper most floor of the building, in a public hallway, directly after the sprinkler head furthest from the building’s entrance. It is identifiable by pressure gauges, a hose valve and a small white sign stating ‘Inspector’s Test Valve’. You should also have a small bucket (plastic or metal) and a garden hose on the premise.
Monthly Visual Inspections:
The FDNY is also requiring monthly visual inspections of the sprinkler system performed by a competent person holding a Certificate of Fitness. This service is to ensure that on a month-to-month basis, the sprinkler system appears to be in proper working condition and that no alterations to the existing system have been made.
To be proactive and avoid any FDNY violation, please call today for pricing and to schedule a time to begin compliance with these new regulations.