4 TIPS WHEN CHOOSING A FIRE SPRINKLER COMPANYOct 30, ’15 | Written by Capitol Fire
When choosing a fire sprinkler company to maintain your system, a lot more than just price should go into your decision-making process. You wouldn’t trust just anyone to protect you and your building in the event of a fire, would you?
1) Proper Licensing
It is crucial that the company you chose to maintain your fire sprinkler system holds the proper licensing. A question we are often asked is: can my Super perform the required inspections and testing?
So, who can do what? Lets take a look. As per NYC Fire Code:
- Certificate of Fitness (C of F) for S-11 -visual inspections only, proper notification and detail record inspection results for examination by FDNY.
- A Certificate of Fitness (C of F) holder for S-12 is permitted to perform visual inspections and detail record all inspection results for examination by FDNY.
- *Master Fire Suppression Piping Contractor (MFSPC) – with S-12 C of F can inspect, test, maintain and repair/replace sprinkler systems components, detail record maintenance, inspection and test results for examination and evaluation by FDNY.
- Master Plumber (MP) – with S-12 is limited to residential (R) occupancies 30 sprinkler heads or less.
*Psst.. this one is us!
2) Full Service
Another essential quality for a good fire sprinkler company is how many services they offer. You should ask yourself, can this company handle all my fire sprinkler needs?
Make sure the company you choose can help you with any sprinkler installation, maintenance, testing, and violation removals. Bonus points for fire extinguisher service and backflow testing (which we can handle now, in case you didn’t know!).
You shouldn’t be in a confusing situation where you need to deal with multiple vendors to address your sprinkler needs.
You should be able to rely on the company you choose, no matter what the sprinkler issue is.
Let’s picture this scenario for a moment. Your super/tenant was holding on to a violation for over 2 weeks. Problem is, you now only have 2 days to cure it (I’m sure this sounds all too familiar to some of you). Do you want a company that will take 2 days just to return your email or phone call, or do you want a company that will respond right away and does everything they can to make sure the problem is resolved?
Also, emergencies happen – usually in the middle of the night, because that’s life, right? The company you hire should have 24-hour emergency service. When that pipe freezes or a sprinkler head gets damaged, you want to know that the company you call will answer and respond to the issue right away.
You want someone who knows all the codes.
If you’re looking for an inspection and testing agreement, make sure your contract covers exactly what is required for your system. Carefully read any agreement so that everything you should be getting is included and there are no unreasonable hidden costs.
The maintenance of your sprinkler system is based on the type of system in the building. All sprinkler systems need visual inspections, but some systems require additional monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual testing. You should trust the company to do their homework and to provide the correct inspection and testing contract for your system to assure that you’re meeting all the requirements to keep your property in compliance.
Finally, a trustworthy company should let you know of any preventative measures to take care of your system. For example, Capitol Fire Sprikler offers winterization for all our customers with dry pipe valve systems to prevent their system from freezing up. We also offer pre-tests so that our customers feel more at ease during their 5-year FDNY test.
Still can’t decide? Other good indicators of a responsible company include:
- +50 years of experience
- Associated with National Fire Sprinkler Association and American Fire Sprinkler Association
- Large and diverse customer base
- Good reputation (check out Yelp or other online reviews)
- Offers NFPA25 inspections and testing