An AHJ’s Guide to Fire Sprinkler Systems

To aid in the contractor/AHJ relationship and the long-term reliability of future fire sprinkler installations, CLSE developed a series of affordable, easy-to-access online seminars designed to assist inspectors and plan reviewers in gaining a more thorough understanding of fire sprinkler systems installations – how they are designed, how they follow NFPA standards, and what to look for to ensure that they meet the goal of good fire protection.

These programs have been developed in series, with each three-part level building upon the understanding gained in earlier programs.

 

3-Part Series (9 Sessions)

 

The target audience for all three presentations includes:

  • Architects
  • Building Officials
  • Designers
  • Plan reviewers
  • Fire Marshals
  • Sprinkler salesmen
  • Sprinkler installers
  1. Online Audio Seminars allow participants to listen to a seminar while viewing a slide presentation.
  2. Files for the  audio seminars may be viewed in real time or downloaded for use at a later time.

Fees

90-minute sessions
$15
  / $20 with CEU

Double Sessions
$20 / $30 with CEU

NOTE: This series often references particular sections, paragraphs or figures in the 2007 edition of NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems. To enhance the learning experience and more easily follow the presenter’s specific references, students are encouraged to have a copy at hand before beginning these programs. If you do not have a copy of the referenced standard, a downloadable pdf can be purchased from the National Fire Protection Association at: NFPA Online Catalog Store.

 

In addition, if your jurisdiction has adopted the International Building Code, it will be helpful to have a copy of that code at hand for quick reference as well. For more information on the International Code Council

FIRE SPRINKLERS 100

Approx 90 minutes – 4 parts

CEUs = 0.15   /   CPDs = 1.5   (CEUs/CPDs are OPTIONAL)

Speakers: Bob Caputo / Roland Huggins, P.E.

Purchase this Seminar


There are many issues within NFPA 13 that are assumed to be understood. This leads to conflicts between contractors and AHJs in interpreting the criteria. Fire Sprinklers 101 begins the discussion of underlying principles and requisite issues that are assumed to be understood by users of the sprinkler standards prior to applying them. It touches upon NFPA 13D and 13R, but the main focus is requirements of NFPA 13.

FS 101 includes discussion of the three CRITICAL Considerations — Choosing the Correct Sprinkler Standard, Water Supply & Arrangement appropriate to the selected standard, and Occupancy. The course addresses what the AHJ should look for from the building owner, the sprinkler layout technician/designer, and the fire sprinkler contractor; discusses the scope of NFPA 13; and discusses the use of formal and informal interpretations of NFPA standards.

This program will introduce participants to NFPA 13, including the basic layout, format and editorial markings used to navigate the standard.

Upon completion of this program, participants should be able to identify and locate basic information from NFPA 13, describe the four basic types of systems and identify types of sprinklers used in fire sprinkler systems.

Approx 90 minutes

CEUs = 0.15   /   CPDs = 1.5   (CEUs/CPDs are OPTIONAL)

Speakers: Bob Caputo / Roland Huggins, P.E.

Purchase this Seminar


Choosing the correct basis of design as it relates to the sections or chapters in NFPA 13 is as important as any decision made. The layout technician gets to select the design basis, but the AHJ must accept or approve the choice in terms of correct application.

Among the critical topics covered in this program is Acceptable Water Supplies. The requirements for water main supplies are found in NFPA 24; however, the installation rules are reproduced in NFPA 13. Also discussed are required water supply duration (time) specified for Occupancy Hazard, Commodity Classification and Special Designs respectively, and what types of water supplies are acceptable to meet the requirement.

Finally, Fire Sprinklers 102 explains Occupancy Classifications and how they impact fire sprinkler spacing and the amount of water (density) required. The course discusses the evaluation of commodity classes, type of structure and ceiling type and how they impact design issues, as well as types of systems and where they are used and their limitations, and finally, types of sprinklers.

This program will introduce participants to design methods for occupancy hazard classifications and commodities stored in warehouses.

Upon completion of this program, participants should be able to classify building uses and storage commodity classifications and describe associated methods for sprinkler system design and installation for the protection prescribed by NFPA 13.

Participants will be able to define the difference between fire suppression and fire control as well as evaluate whether plans submitted for review and approval are provided with correct information related to design requirements.

Participants will be able to evaluate the adequacy and acceptability of proposed water supplies for sprinkler systems.

The target audience for all three presentations includes:

  • Architects
  • Building Officials
  • Designers
  • Plan reviewers
  • Fire Marshals
  • Sprinkler salesmen
  • Sprinkler installers

Approx 90 minutes – 4 parts

CEUs = 0.15   /   CPDs = 1.5   (CEUs/CPDs are OPTIONAL)

Speakers: Bob Caputo / Roland Huggins, P.E.

Purchase this Seminar


Design criteria refers to the basis of design or the prescription for how much water will be required to be applied to a pre-determined area of application. This program covers what the Authority Having Jurisdiction should expect the owner to provide; discusses control versus suppression, Design approach choices, Density/Area curves; and addresses restrictions, modifiers, area adjustments, as well as room design method applications and Storage occupancies.

This program will introduce participants to fire sprinkler system types, sprinkler head characteristics, rules for spacing and location of sprinklers and obstruction rules.

Upon completion of this program, participants should be able to review sprinkler shop drawings to determine if sprinklers are properly spaced and located based upon the construction features of the building and obstructions to sprinkler discharge.

Participants will be able to recognize sprinkler types and temperature ratings required based upon conditions described on shop drawings and should be able to conduct a comprehensive review of computer generated hydraulic calculations with a high degree of confidence.

The target audience for all three presentations includes:

  • Architects
  • Building Officials
  • Designers
  • Plan reviewers
  • Fire Marshals
  • Sprinkler salesmen
  • Sprinkler installers
FIRE SPRINKLERS 200

Approx 90 minutes – 4 parts

CEUs = 0.15   /   CPDs = 1.5   (CEUs/CPDs are OPTIONAL)

Speakers: Kenneth W. Wagoner, S.E.T., Parsley Consulting

Purchase this Seminar


This 90-minute program is the first in a three-part 200-level series which will build on what was covered in the initial 100 level series: Fire Sprinklers 101 – Introduction, Building Codes, Water Supplies; Fire Sprinklers 102 – Occupancy Classifications, Types of Systems; and Fire Sprinklers 103 – Design Options

Our goal for this program is to improve your skills in reading, interpreting and evaluating building plans, site plans and fire sprinkler system plans to determine the conformance or lack thereof of for a fire protection system or systems to the codes, standards and local ordinances that are applicable in your jurisdiction.


The presentation will provide information to increase your understanding of what you should be able to determine from the plans and other submittal documents, and on the relevance of what is presented on those documents to the eventual approval, acceptance, or rejection on the part of your jurisdiction for the project under consideration on those plans.

Completion of the 100 series is a helpful prerequisite to this program.

On completion of this program, you will be able to:

  • Identify the information provided on submittal documents:  building plans, site plans, and fire sprinkler system plans
  • Describe relevant building codes and NFPA standards that identify types of building construction and relate to fire walls, fire doors, etc.
  • Recognize the various types of building construction
  • Describe the Room Design Method
  • Calculate the most remote hydraulic design area
  • Explain the basic criteria that define a “Small Room”
  • Explain the difference between the “Room Design Method” and “Small Room” designations 
  • Identify the different commodity classifications defined in NFPA 13
  • Demonstrate the use of area/density curves in the design of a sprinkler system

Approx 90 minutes

CEUs = 0.15   /   CPDs = 1.5   (CEUs/CPDs are OPTIONAL)

Speakers: Kenneth W. Wagoner, S.E.T., Parsley Consulting

Purchase this Seminar


This second 90-minute program of the three-part 200 series will continue to provide information to increase your understanding of what you should be able to determine from the plans and other submittal documents, and on the relevance of what is presented on those documents to the eventual approval, acceptance, or rejection on the part of your jurisdiction for the project under consideration on those plans.

Program 202 will focus on the review and analysis of the hydraulic calculations which are used to support the design of automatic sprinkler systems. This program is not intended to conduct an in-depth explanation of the science of hydraulics, which is not the focus of this series or program. For an in-depth course on learning hydraulic calculations, go to the Fire Sprinkler eCampus.

On completion of this program you will be able to:

  • Interpret the limitations on the use of pipe schedules in sprinkler system design
  • Recognize the information required by NFPA 13 to be on the cover sheet of submitted hydraulic calculations supporting sprinkler system design
  • Identify the location of all reference points on the sprinkler system drawings
  • Explain the use of equivalent K-factor in sprinkler system hydraulic calculations
  • Perform node analysis of fire sprinkler system hydraulic calculations to evaluate compliance with requirements for each flowing sprinkler
  • Calculate the area of coverage for each sprinkler using the S´L method from NFPA 13
  • Discuss the Hazen-Williams formula and the Darcy-Weisbach formula used in NFPA 13 calculations
  • Complete a 1.85 exponential (hydraulic) graph paper in plotting water demand in relation to supply

Approx 90 minutes – 4 parts

CEUs = 0.15   /   CPDs = 1.5   (CEUs/CPDs are OPTIONAL)

Speakers: Kenneth W. Wagoner, S.E.T., Parsley Consulting

Purchase this Seminar


The final 90-minute segment of this 200 level series is an introduction to the processes and procedures required for acceptance and placing a fire sprinkler system into service. There are a number of activities that must be undertaken prior to signing off on the installation of a fire sprinkler system, and there is a substantial amount of paperwork required to support those activities and verify that they have indeed taken place. This program discusses the types of tests that must be performed and documentation that verifies the success of those tests.

On completion of this program you will be able to:

  • Explain the hydrostatic pressure test of wet pipe and dry-pipe systems
  • Explain acceptance testing of the water flow alarms and the inspectors’ test valve
  • Explain the acceptance testing for the main system drain
  • Describe the requirements for flow testing a backflow prevention assembly
  • Recognize the information provided on a Contractor’s Material and Test Certificate for Underground Piping
  • Recognize the information provided on a Contractor’s Material and Test Certificate for Aboveground Piping
  • Describe the items that are verified in the field inspection of a fire sprinkler system at acceptance
FIRE SPRINKLERS 300

Approx 90 minutes – 4 parts

CEUs = 0.15   /   CPDs = 1.5   (CEUs/CPDs are OPTIONAL)

Speakers: Bob Caputo

Purchase this Seminar


Among the most confusing fire protection systems faced by a plan review or inspecting authority are those designed to protect facilities that include extensive storage of commodities. Until 1999, NFPA covered protection of specific storage commodities, such as on-floor and rack storage of Class I, II, III, IV and plastic commodities, rubber tires, baled cotton and roll paper within individual standards — 231, 231C, 231D, 231E and 231F. Beginning with the 1999 edition, those standards were included in NFPA 13, and this change caused additional confusion for many in the industry.

CLSE 301 discusses the basics of Storage Protection based on the building codes, as well as the storage chapters of NFPA 13, 2007 edition. It answers the questions: What is storage? When is it storage? What do we mean by storage occupancies? and, How do we protect storage occupancies?


The program describes what the approving authority should know about the occupancy and its use, types of protection schemes and the types sprinkler devices available. It also addresses how the occupancy and the stored commodity, as well as the protection scheme and device selections available impact the decisions made by the fire sprinkler system layout technician.
Subsequent programs in the 300 series will go into greater detail about rack storage and solid-pile storage.

Approx 90 minutes

CEUs = 0.15   /   CPDs = 1.5   (CEUs/CPDs are OPTIONAL)

Speakers: Bob Caputo

Purchase this Seminar


Among the most confusing fire protection systems faced by a plan review or inspecting authority are those designed to protect facilities that include extensive storage of commodities. Until 1999, NFPA covered protection of specific storage commodities, such as on-floor and rack storage of Class I, II, III, IV and plastic commodities, rubber tires, baled cotton and roll paper within individual standards — 231, 231C, 231D, 231E and 231F. Beginning with the 1999 edition, those standards were included in NFPA 13, and this change caused additional confusion for many in the industry.
CLSE 302 builds upon the basics of Storage Protection discussed in CLSE 301 and will introduce participants to sprinkler system design requirements for storage occupancies with a focus on commodity classifications, design methods and sprinkler types used for storage facilities.

Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to describe and locate NFPA 13 requirements criteria on design issues such as excessive clearance, modifiers to the size of the remote area, K-factor/density relationship; locate and apply commodity classifications, including mixed commodities; understand the impact that plastic pallets have on the commodity classification; and discuss the design criteria protection of idle pallet types used in storage arrangements.

The target audience for all three presentations includes:
• Architects
• Building Officials
• Plan reviewers
• Fire Marshals

Subsequent programs in the 300 series will go into greater detail about miscellaneous storage and solid-pile, palletized, bin-box, and shelf storage.

(1) FIRE SPRINKLERS 303 – Sprinkler Protection for Storage Occupancies

(2) FIRE SPRINKLERS 303 –  Misc. Storage and Solid Piled, Bin Box & Shelf Storage (non-rack)

 

Approx 90 minutes – 4 parts

CEUs = 0.15   /   CPDs = 1.5   (CEUs/CPDs are OPTIONAL)

Speakers: Bob Caputo / Roland Huggins, P.E.

 

Purchase this Seminar

 


Among the most confusing fire protection systems faced by a plan review or inspecting authority are those designed to protect facilities that include extensive storage of commodities. Until 1999, NFPA covered protection of specific storage commodities, such as on-floor and rack storage of Class I, II, III, IV and plastic commodities, rubber tires, baled cotton and roll paper within individual standards — 231, 231C, 231D, 231E and 231F. Beginning with the 1999 edition, those standards were included in NFPA 13, and this change caused additional confusion for many in the industry.

CLSE 303 builds upon the basics of Storage Protection discussed in CLSE 301 and 302 and will introduce participants to sprinkler system design requirements for storage occupancies with a focus on miscellaneous storage (chapter 13) and solid pile storage (chapters 14 and 15).

Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to describe and locate NFPA 13 requirements on design issues such as where miscellaneous storage criteria can be applied and what commodities it covers, the design criteria for the different allowed sprinkler types and understand the differences in what they can protect, and how to address areas smaller than the minimum assigned remote area; be able to identify the different storage arrangements and understand its impact on the allowed type of sprinkler; be able to define the required density and understand the modifiers and storage variables that impact the design basis; and understand the relative water demands between the different types of sprinklers.

The target audience for all three presentations includes:
• Architects
• Building Officials
• Plan reviewers
• Fire Marshals