FLINT, Mich. – The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) reminds Flint building owners about the importance of adhering to proper maintenance and inspection timelines for fire sprinkler systems inside their facilities. Due to concerns raised over water and fire suppression systems in Flint buildings, LARA contacted industry experts and mechanical contractors who have recently inspected Flint systems. Through these experts, the department did not find any evidence or information that the water in the sprinkler systems may have any direct impact on the functionality of sprinkler systems in an emergency. It is not uncommon for water in fire sprinkler systems to have some potential to cause issues in certain sprinkler systems if the systems are not properly maintained to industry standards.
“To date, we have not found any issues with the fire sprinkler systems inside Flint buildings or how they may respond in an emergency,” said State Fire Marshal Julie Secontine. “Flint building owners are, however, reminded to follow proper preventative maintenance and inspection guidelines to help ensure their facilities are safe.”
All fire codes reference the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 25 Standard for the Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems. This national standard requires an annual inspection of the sprinkler system by a trained technician. The standard also has requirements to inspect the sprinkler piping at a minimum of every five years to determine if organic or inorganic material is collecting within the piping that may adversely affect the system performance. If potential obstructions are observed at the five-year inspection, the piping is required to be flushed completely to remove any deposits.
Building owners have the responsibility to maintain sprinkler systems in their buildings and have them inspected and tested. Those who have questions or concerns regarding sprinkler systems in their buildings should contact a licensed mechanical contractor classified in fire suppression systems. A list of licensed mechanical contractors classified in fire suppression can be found here.