Q: We recently acquired a hospital that has been performing segments of their own fire system testing. What are the specific requirements or qualifications for an individual conducting testing or inspections on fire alarm systems and sprinkler systems?
A: NFPA 72-2010, section 10.4.3.1 requires a certified individual to perform service, testing, inspection and maintenance on fire alarm systems and components. The certification must be one (not all) of the following:
- Factory trained and certified for the specific type and brand of systems being serviced
- Persons who are certified by a nationally recognized certification organization (NICET, IMSA, etc.)
- Persons who are registered, licensed or certified by the state
- Persons who are employed and qualified by an organization listed by a national recognized testing laboratory for servicing fire alarm systems.
I have seen some larger hospitals that do employ people who meet one of the above requirements, but most hospitals contract this work to a qualified vendor who has these credentials. When it comes to sprinkler system testing/inspecting, NFPA does not require certification of the individuals performing the test/inspection. However, please check with your state and local AHJ to determine if they have additional requirements.