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Coffee Break Bulletin

Planning for a Fire Protection System Shutdown

Posted: May 12, 2019

Follow these steps when a required fire protection system is out of service for repair, replacement or another problem.

Like any electronic or mechanical device, fire protection systems require periodic maintenance to assure a high degree of reliability. Occasionally, they are damaged and need repair. Often, they need replacement or upgrades. Regardless of the reason, there are times fire protection systems are shut down on purpose.

Shutdown steps

If there is a planned shutdown, advise the building owner or authorized representative to take the following steps:

  1. Identify the shutdown's extent and expected duration.
  2. Inspect and evaluate the risks in the area(s) affected by the shutdown.
  3. Notify the fire department, the insurance carrier, the risk manager, the alarm company, the building owner/manager, and any other person or agency that has jurisdiction.
  4. Notify work supervisors in the shutdown area.
  5. Place identifying tags (e.g., “Out of Service”) on the system or equipment.
  6. Have all repair tools and personnel assembled and ready to perform the work in as short a time as possible.
  7. Consider these steps if the shutdown is long term:
    • Evacuate the portion(s) of the building that is out of service.
    • Provide a competent fire watch service.
    • Establish a temporary fire protection water supply.

    For additional information refer to:

    Consider applying for these National Fire Academy fire protection systems courses.

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