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Hydraulic Placard Inspections

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Fire Protection

Under 2011 NFPA 25, there are many requirements for the inspection and testing of a building’s fire protection system and its many working components, including parts of the system that will never do anything in the event of a fire! 

These commonly overlooked parts of the system are the Hydraulic Design and General Information Signs.  Though not working parts of the system, these placards are key to identifying the specifications of the hydraulically designed system and what its capabilities are in regards to the type of building classification and storage protection. 

These signs or placards, are required to be placed at each system control valve or riser and shall be permanently marked on a weatherproof metal or rigid plastic sign and secured in a way that they will not fall off or be removed and include the following system information:

  • Name and location of facility protected
  • Occupancy classification
  • Commodity classification
  • Presence of high piled and/or rack storage
  • Maximum height of storage planned
  • Flow test data
  • Presence of flammable/combustible liquids or other hazardous materials
  • Location of auxiliary drains and low point drains on dry pipe and preaction systems
  • Original results of main drain flow test
  • Name of installing contractor or designer
  • Indication of presence and location of antifreeze or other auxiliary systems

Many times during a quarterly or annual inspection these signs are not at each system control valve or they are not legible due to damage or fading.  This is very common if they are located in storage or mechanical rooms that have chemicals and a corrosive atmosphere.

If a placard is missing or cannot be read, the inspector will note it as a deficiency and the building owner will be responsible to get a replacement sign.  Many times this is just as easy as contacting the installing contractor and they will supply a new sign at little or no cost. 

In the event the original installer is not known, no longer in business, and the original drawings cannot be located, the owner will have to contact a sprinkler contractor to do a design survey of the building and system to gather the required information to provide new placards.

For more information, contact Ahern today.

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