Fire Protection & Life Safety Systems

A Building Owner is Responsible for their Fire Protection & Life Safety Systems

Responsibility for the maintenance of fire protection and life safety systems (essential safety measures) in a building ultimately lies with the building owner. Building Owners need to be aware of their obligations.

The CA Fire Code states:

901.6 Inspection, Testing and Maintenance. Fire detection and alarm systems, emergency alarm systems, gas detection systems, fire-extinguishing systems, mechanical smoke exhaust systems and smoke and heat vents shall be maintained in an operative condition at all times and shall be replaced or repaired where defective.

Both the CA Fire Code and the California Code of Regulations, Title 19 determine the standards for which most fire protection and life safety systems must be inspected, tested and maintained (ITM). The applicable standards determine the inspection and testing frequencies for a building owner’s fire protection & life safety systems.  The inspection and testing frequencies can range from quarterly to annually and 5-year depending on the system or equipment. Additionally, the applicable standards dictate what qualifications are necessary of an individual performing the inspection/testing.  For example, the standards may allow for the building owner (or, a representative of his/her choice) to perform the inspection/testing as opposed to a licensed contractor.

A building owner must be knowledgeable of the ITM requirements for their building’s fire protection and life safety systems. Please consider consulting with your Fire Protection and Life Safety contractor(s) to make sure your fire protection and life safety systems are being maintained as dictated by the standards.

The Northstar Fire Department has created a table that highlights the minimum frequency intervals that owners should perform ITM servicing to their various fire protection and life safety systems. Found here:

Fire Protection _ Life Safety Systems – Minimum Testing Intervals and Codes_Standards

Inspection, Testing & Reporting Must Be Reported to the Northstar Fire Dept.

The Northstar Fire Department (NFD) has instituted a report submittal process for service providers who inspect, test, and maintain (ITM) fire protection systems within our jurisdiction, and in accordance with the requirements of Title 19, Public Safety, Division 1, CA State Fire Marshal (CSFM) regulations.  Effective immediately, all compliant & non-compliant (deficient) fire protection system inspection,  testing, and maintenance (ITM) reporting is required to be submitted via The Compliance Engine’s (TCE) online submittal system at www.thecomplianceengine.com.

The Northstar Fire Department is dedicated to delivering 100% compliance with our adopted codes and standards. This partnership with TCE’s web-based service attempts to aggregate, track, and streamline the collection of compliance data of fire protection systems within our jurisdiction. Property owners will receive timely proactive notifications of their inspections and testing requirements, and the Northstar Fire Department will gain the ability to better mitigate the risk within our community by improving public safety to our citizens.

All contractors performing inspection, testing and maintenance of the fire protection and life safety systems work must possess a valid license to perform such ITM work within the Northstar community. Please note that the Northstar Fire Department will verify a contractor’s license upon the submittal of an ITM inspection report. 

ITM Reports are required to be uploaded to TCE in PDF digital format. Per the California State Fire Marshal’s (CSFM) office, fire suppression systems shall be submitted on AES forms. All other systems noted below can be submitted on an ITM report of a contractor’s choice.  However, such ITM reporting chosen by the contractor must provide all pertinent and relevant information.  Should the Northstar Fire Department determine that the ITM reports are insufficient, contractors may be required to submit their ITM on certain designated forms.  To obtain copies of certain forms please contact the California Office of the State Fire Marshal or the National Fire Protection Association.

Contractors shall submit all reports in accordance with the following NFD intervals and form-type:

Report Type

Semi-Annual

Annual

5-Year

Form

Automatic Closing Fire Assemblies

X

Contractor’s Choice

Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning

X

Contractor’s Choice

Deluge System

X

CSFM-AES 2

Dry Pipe Sprinkler System

X

CSFM-AES 2

Elevator

X

Contractor’s Choice

Emergency Power Generator

X

Contractor’s Choice

Emergency Responder Radio Coverage System

X

Contractor’s Choice

Fire Alarm

X

Contractor’s Choice

Fire Escape

X

Contractor’s Choice

Fire Pump

X

CSFM-AES 5

Fire Sprinkler Monitoring

X

Contractor’s Choice

Foam Water Sprinkler System

X

CSFM-AES 8

Gas Detection Systems

X

Contractor’s Choice

Hood Suppression System (Wet, Dry, Special)

X

CSFM-AES 20, 10

Pre-Action

X

CSFM-AES 2

Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV’s)

X

Contractor’s Choice

Private Fire Hydrants

X

CSFM-AES 4

Refrigerant Detection Systems

X

Contractor’s Choice

Smoke Control System

X

Contractor’s Choice

Special Suppression (Clean Agent / CO2)

X

CSFM-AES 22

Sprinkler System (Wet)

X

CSFM-AES 2

Standpipe

X

CSFM-AES 3

Trash Chute

X

Contractor’s Choice

Water Storage Tanks

X

CSFM-AES 6

For a printable version that provides further notes and explanations regarding this table, please click here: Fire Protection _ Life Safety Systems – Reporting Intervals _ Submittal Forms

Business Inspections

The Northstar Fire Department performs business inspections within our Community annually.  We perform the annual inspections between the months of January and April.  Owners are typically given 20 days from the date of notice to correct any and all violations. We will also perform impromptu inspections should we have cause to believe that such a property or premises are hazardous.

Should you want to be pro-active and self-inspect your business for “in-house” purposes or in prep for the fire department’s annual inspection, please consider reviewing the following helpful documents:

Top Inspection Items

Common Code Violations