Fire Protection Systems Plans Review
Fire Protection Systems Plans Examiner
Please contact Paul Mitchell at 703.746.4194 for assistance.
- Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday 8AM to 5PM (except Holidays)
- All FPS plans submissions are reviewed within 10 working days of receipt.
Fire Protection Systems Walk-Thru between 8AM - 12PM, Tues & Wed.
FPS Permit Process
FPS Plans Submittal & Review Guide
· Section 1 - Applicable Codes And Standards
· Section 2 – Permits For Fire Protection Systems (FPS)
· Section 3 – Fire Protection Systems Permit & Inspection Fee Guide
· Section 4 - Fire Protection Systems Permit Application Process and Requirements
· Section 5 – Fire Protection Systems Submittal Document Requirements
o 5.1 – Basic Information Required on all Drawings
o 5.2 - Fire Alarm & Detection Systems Submittals
o 5.3 - NFPA 13, 13R & 13D Fire Sprinkler System Submittals
o 5.4 - NFPA 14 Standpipe Systems
o 5.5 - NFPA 20 Fire Pump Installations
o 5.6 - Sprinkler Protection of High Piled & Rack Storage Of Materials
o 5.7 - Tenant Fire Sprinkler Modifications & Upgrades
o 5.8 - NFPA 24 Fire Hydrants & Underground Fire Service Mains
o 5.9 - NFPA 17, 17A & 2009 Suppression Systems
o 5.10 - Access-Controlled Egress
· Section 6 – Hydraulic Calculations
· Section 7 – Fire Protection Systems Plan Review Timeframes
· Section 8 – Fire Protection Systems Small Project Walk-Through Plan Review
SECTION 1 – APPLICABLE CODES AND STANDARDS
· 2018 Virginia Construction Code (VCC)
· International Plumbing Code 2018
· International Mechanical Code 2018
· National Electrical Code NFPA 70, 2017 Edition, as referenced in the 2018 Virginia Construction Code
· Elevator Code ASME A17.1 - 2016
· Accessibility Code ANSI A117.1 - 2009, Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities
NFPA Referenced Standards - Applicable National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards related to the design and installation of fire protection systems are listed in Chapter 35 of the 2018 VCC.
Note: The information provided in this document is a guide and does not exempt the user from consulting and complying with the requirements found in all currently adopted codes and referenced standards.
SECTION 2 - PERMITS FOR FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS (FPS)
2.1 WHAT WORK REQUIRES A FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS (FPS) PERMIT
Section 108 of the applicable VCC (Virginia Construction Code) outlines all work that requires a permit. Application for permit may be made online or at the Department of Code Administration, City Hall, 301 King Street, Room 4200, Alexandria, Virginia 22314. However, the building official may authorize work to commence pending the receipt of an application or the issuance of a permit. The building official or designee must approve this arrangement in writing.
Note: If there is any doubt regarding the requirement to obtain a permit, it is best to contact the Department of Code Administration (703-746-4194) and speak with a Fire Protection Systems Plans Examiner to discuss the particular situation.
2.2 WHO MAY OBTAIN A PERMIT?
Requirements for obtaining a construction permit are outlined in §108.3 through §108.8 of the VCC (Virginia Construction Code).
2.3 CONTRACTOR LICENSING REQUIREMENTS FOR PERMITS
In order to obtain a fire protection system permit, the contractor must possess a valid contractor's license in the Commonwealth of Virginia with the appropriate license classification. The classification is specific to the type of fire protection system and without the appropriate classification the contractor will not be able to obtain a permit. Detailed information is available from the Virginia Board of Contractors, Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation web site at www.state.va.us/dpor.
2.4 EMERGENCY PERMITS
Performing after hours emergency repairs is authorized by Section 108.1 of the VCC (Virginia Construction Code) which states: "applications for emergency construction, alterations or equipment replacement shall be submitted by the end of the first working day that follows the day such work commences."
SECTION 3 – FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS PERMIT AND INSPECTION FEES
For permit fees associated with the installation or alteration, testing and inspection of:
· Fire Suppression Systems
· Fire Alarm Systems
· Fire Mains and Fire Hydrants
· Access-Control Systems
· Fire Hydrant Flow Tests
please refer to the Building and Fire Code Fee Schedule
SECTION 4 - FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS PERMIT APPLICATION PROCESS AND REQUIREMENTS
4.1 INFORMATION REQUIRED ON ALL FPS PERMIT APPLICATIONS
1. The Fire Protection Systems application is available through APEX or the Department of Code Administration Permit Center kiosks.
2. The contractor shall complete the application with the appropriate information. Where applicable, please provide the floor or suite number on the application so the inspector can locate the area of work.
3. A Permit Technician will review the application for completeness prior to acceptance for assignment of an FPS case number.
4.2 SUBMITTAL REQUIREMENTS
1. Complete a Fire Protection Systems application as described in section 4.1.
2. Submittal package shall include two (2) sets of all system plans or shop drawings; two (2) complete, collated and bound sets of all supporting documentation for review. Supporting documentation includes manufacturer's material data sheets for ALL equipment, parts, materials the contractor will use to install the Fire Protection System, required calculations, and procedural manuals.
3. The maximum sheet size for fire protection system plans or shop drawings shall be 24" x 36".
4. The minimum scale for any system plan or shop drawing is 1/8 inch = 1 foot.
5. All fire alarm system plans shall be drawn at 1/8 inch = 1 foot only.
6. All plans shall be fully dimensioned.
7. All drawings shall be prints not original ink drawings or plots, with no handwritten changes.
8. If possible, fold all plans but if the drawing set is too thick, then rolled drawings are acceptable.
4.3 INFORMATION REQUIRED ON THE REVISION APPLICATION
1. Click here for the REVISION application. It is also available from the Department of Code Administration office.
2. The contractor shall complete the revision application with the appropriate information. Where applicable, please provide the floor or suite number on the application so the inspector can locate the area of work.
3. A Permit Technician will review the application for completeness to ensure application and submittals provide information necessary to complete the review in a timely manner.
4.3.1 REVISED SUBMITTAL REQUIREMENTS
All "Revisions" to Fire Protection System submittals where a permit has not been issued to the contractor require the following:
1. A fully completed REVISION application and the original Fire Protection System permit application.
2. All revised drawings, calculations, manufacturer cut sheets and any other related documentation.
3. The original, rejected sets of drawings, calculations, and manufacturer cut sheets. The contractor shall remove any other related documentation that no longer applies to the submittal from the Code Administration office.
4. Once assembled, the contractor shall stamp on all three sets of plans and documentation and on each new page with a "Revision" and "Date" stamp.
4.3.2 AMENDED SUBMITTAL REQUIREMENTS
All "Revisions", "As-built", and "Field Revisions" to Fire Protection Systems submittals where a permit has been issued to the contractor require the following:
1. A fully completed REVISION application.
2. The original City approved red ink stamped "Field Copy" drawings, calculations, manufacturers cut sheets, and any other related documentation.
3. Two complete sets of all revised drawings, calculations, manufacturers cut sheets and any other related documentation.
4. The original red ink stamped "Office Copy" set of drawings, calculations, manufacturers cut sheets, and any other related documentation will be retrieved from storage by a Permit Technician and given to the contractor for processing.
5. Once all required documentation has been assembled, the contractor shall insert all revised pages and supporting documentation into the "Field" and "Office" drawing sets, then stamp each new page with a "Revision" and "Date" stamp. All drawings and other documentation being replaced will be stamped "Void" over the approval stamp by the contractor. No documentation shall be removed from the submittal.
SECTION 5 - FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS SUBMITTAL DOCUMENT REQUIREMENTS
5.1 BASIC INFORMATION REQUIRED ON ALL DRAWINGS
1. Information and detail for all submitted drawings shall be provided in accordance with requirements of the adopted model codes and referenced standards listed in Section 1 of this document.
5.2 FIRE ALARM AND DETECTION SYSTEM SUBMITTALS
1. Alarm notification device circuit point-to-point wiring shall be shown on all floor plans.
2. 135ºF rate-of-rise heat detectors shall be installed to initiate elevator shunt trip and shall be coordinated with the location of sprinklers per NFPA 72.
3. Where a fire communication system is required, listed fire phones shall be installed. Phone Jacks are not permissible.
4. Where proposed work consists of the addition of notification devices to an existing fire alarm system, submit manufacturer specification sheets for the existing NAC power expander panel along with required voltage drop calculations. If the existing panel and output voltage is not listed below, submit written verification of the output voltage (20.4V minus voltage loss from battery terminals to circuit connection lugs) from the expander panel manufacturers technical department.
Expander Panel Output Voltage For Voltage Drop Calculations
Make - Model
0.1 @ 20.4
0.54 @ 20.4
0.6 @ 20.4
0.7 @ 20.4
Silent Knight 5495
0.9 @ 20.4
Gamewell Fire Force 8
0.9 @ 20.4
1.3 @ 20.4
1.3 @ 20.4
1.4 @ 20.4
5.3 NFPA 13, 13R & 13D FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEM SUBMITTALS
1. Submit one copy of city approved fire service site plan for all new construction.
2. Submitted plans shall include all applicable information / elements detailed in NFPA 13 §22.1.3 items 1 through 46.
3. All plans shall be fully dimensioned to show the distance from sprinklers to walls, the distance between sprinklers on branch lines and the distance between branch lines. Pipe length center-to-center dimensions or cutting lengths of pipe may be provided but are not acceptable alternatives to full dimensioning.
4. When installing an underground fire service or underground piping to a freestanding fire department connection, where permitted by the city approved site plan, the sprinkler contractor shall submit complete plans and installation details for the piping, fittings and configuration. The design shall comply with NFPA 13 & NFPA 24.
5. For an addition to or modification of an existing sprinkler system, please see Section 5.7 of this guide.
6. In accordance with VAWC policy, all dedicated fire service lines for NFPA 13, 13R and 13D systems require a testable double check detector backflow prevention device.
7. Show location and size and inlet configuration of all fire department connections and indicate location of FDC check valve and automatic drain. FDC inlets shall be as follows:
System Demand (gpm)
Inlet Size and Type
Up to and including 250
Single 2-1/2” NST
Greater than 250 up to and including 1,000
Single 4” Storz
Greater than 1,000
Two single 4” Storz at each required location
8. When the standpipe demand for a building exceeds 500gpm, calculations shall be provided to demonstrate FDC pipe sizing will be adequate to deliver the required flow supplied by a city pumper using the following values:
For systems with a demand up to and including 750gpm – 175, 174 @ 750
For systems with a demand of 751gpm through 1,000gpm – 175, 150 @ 1,250
9. Multiple fire department connections on the same building (high-rise) shall be interconnected.
10. Indicate location of all alarm and supervisory devices.
5.4 NFPA 14 STANDPIPE SYSTEMS
1. Hose valves shall be located at the floor level landing, not the intermediate floor level landing between floors.
2. Hose valves outside stairs shall not be considered a substitute for hose valves required inside stairs.
3. A sign shall be posted at each fire hose valve where pressure is known to exceed 150 psi. The sign shall be composed of white letters not less than 1 inch tall on a contrasting background.
4. When permitted to install pressure reducing or restricting hose valves, the pressure and water flow rate shall be noted on the riser diagram plan at the valve location on each floor.
5.5 NFPA 20 FIRE PUMP INSTALLATIONS
1. Provide details and sections to illustrate clearly the suction piping and valve arrangement, the discharge piping and valve arrangement, and the bypass piping and valve arrangement.
2. Show test header piping and valve arrangement, including manifold size, type and configuration.
3. Show main relief valve piping and valve arrangement for diesel pumps and when required for electric motor driven pumps. Relief valve discharge shall not be piped to re-circulate.
4. Show jockey pump piping, valves, and sensing lines.
5. Show fire, jockey pump controller, and associated sensing lines.
6. Provide a plan view of fire pump room showing clearances, location of fire pump and all related accessories.
5.6 SPRINKLER PROTECTION OF HIGH PILED AND RACK STORAGE OF MATERIALS
1. Note storage height and arrangement including aisle widths on the plan.
2. Note commodity classification and configuration/packaging on the plan.
3. Show hand hose outlets.
4. Multiple level storage with open grated flooring and walkways shall be designed for the entire storage height.
5. Show structural steel protection where required.
6. High Piled and Rack Storage system remote areas should be accompanied by a narrative listing design analysis referencing figures, curves and area/density modifications where appropriate.
5.7 TENANT FIRE SPRINKLER MODIFICATIONS & UPGRADES
1. Show limits / extent of contract of work by highlighting plans or with dotted lines, etc.
2. Provide the original system design criteria.
3. If original system was calculated, provide a copy of the calculation and show the following information on plans: a) Maximum calculated area per sprinkler b) Calculated pipe schedule (number of sprinklers on each size pipe) c) Safety factor of original calculations (percent).
4. Show enough of the existing system (feed mains, branch piping) to verify pipe sizing. Show all existing sprinklers in the contract area.
5. If original calculations are not available, new calculations shall be performed.
6. All new relocates shall be piped from existing original branch line tee outlets or weld-o-lets. Compound (new relocate piped from existing relocate piping) relocates are not permitted.
5.8 NFPA 24 FIRE HYDRANTS & UNDERGROUND FIRE SERVICE MAINS
1. For new developments, provide two copies of the city approved fire service site plan and highlight fire service lines, waterlines, hydrants, and control valve locations.
2. For new hydrants or waterlines in developed areas, indicate pipe sizes, note depth of cover, show hydrant, and valve locations relative to existing buildings.
3. In the case of multiple fire service mains for townhouse projects, indicated the address of each townhouse inside the footprint of each townhouse on the plan.
4. Clearly state the scope of work on the plan. For example, "Install 2" fire service from city main to curb".
5.9 NFPA 17, 17A & 2001 SUPPRESSION SYSTEMS
1. Indication that the system operation signaling device will be connected to an approved fire alarm system (existing or new) or will operate an approved local alarm provided by the contractor.
2. Provide a sequence of operation including alarm initiation and the shutdown of fuel, power, and fans.
3. Plan shall be suitably dimensioned showing appliances, hoods, duct dimensions, pipe sizes, pipe lengths, piping arrangement, location of detection devices, location of operating or actuation devices, nozzle type, hazard, proximity requirement, height, flow points, chemical cylinders, manual release, exit and local alarm device, and graphic location of the hood (particularly back-to-back hoods).
4. Provide manufacturer pipe size schedule per nozzle flow number load and manufacturer schedule for chemical cylinder capacity versus total system flow.
5.10 ACCESS-CONTROLLED EGRESS
1. Provide a narrative noting the model code year and specific section(s) proposed locking will comply with. The narrative must also describe the sequence of operation of the system and the methodology of compliance with the building code.
2. Provide a floor plan showing the location of all controlled doors and controlling devices to be installed.
3. Provide a symbol legend on each drawing assigning a unique symbol to each access-control device. These symbols are to be used to show the equipment compliment at each controlled location (see item #2).
4. Provide a directional arrow at each door to be controlled showing the direction of egress.
SECTION 6 – HYDRAULIC CALCULATIONS
6.1 HYDRAULIC DESIGN REQUIREMENTS
1. Where hydraulic calculations are required, submit two (2) physical copies of the VAWC water flow test report. The water flow test report data shall not be more than one (1) year old. In all cases, the Department of Code Administration reserves the authority to determine the location of the flow and gauge test hydrants. Hydrant flow test results may be obtained from:
Virginia-American Water Company
2223 Duke Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
2. Systems protecting movable shelving (i.e. space-saver files) that closes against one another resulting in a shielded fire shall be designed for Extra Hazard (Group I).
3. Systems equipped with a fire pump, submit a calculation showing pump run with no flow (churn) and pump run with flow at 150% of rated capacity through the test header piping.
4. Calculations for systems employing a pressure reducing or relief valve shall be performed in accordance with device manufacturer recommended practice and procedures to reflect the pressure and flow available to the system on the discharge side of the device. Submit, along with the calculation package, manufacturer calculation procedures, guidelines and device friction loss / equivalent length information for review.
5. For systems supplied by an existing fire pump, the available water supply for calculations shall be the pump output (recorded during annual testing) that is not more than one (1) year old.
SECTION 7 - FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS PLAN REVIEW TIMEFRAMES
7.1 FPS PLAN REVIEW TURN-AROUND TIME
1. The review time for all fire protection system submittals is not more than ten (10) working days. A Permit Center Technician will notify the applicant when the permit has been approved. Notification that plans do not comply with applicable provisions of the code will be made by fax or email to the applicant.
2. Applicants may track the status of any submittal via the internet by accessing APEX.
SECTION 8 - FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS SMALL PROJECT WALK-THROUGH PLAN REVIEW
8.1 HOURS OF OPERATION
Fire Protection Systems Walk-Thru plan reviews are available 8am to 12pm Tuesday and Wednesday. You may contact the Fire Protection Plans Reviewer to schedule a walk-thru review Monday, Thursday or Friday with prior approval two days before the review will be performed.
· Fire sprinkler system tenant plans involving the addition and/or relocation of 20 sprinklers or fewer.
· Fire sprinkler system maintenance and/or repair tickets generated by the retesting inspection program.
· Fire alarm monitoring of a fire sprinkler system.
Fire alarm devices, 20 or fewer, hood suppression systems, and access control.
· Fire hydrant installation, repair or relocation.
· Fire service underground installation.
Note - The final determination of system and scope eligibility for the walk-thru program will be made by the plans examiner.
8.3 WALK-THROUGH GUIDELINES
1. A maximum of two (2) walk-thru plan reviews will be permitted per contractor per day.
2. Provide two (2) complete sets of plans that include all system components as well as all basic information required on all drawings and relevant systems specific design requirements for the fire protection system.
3. No hydraulic calculations. If proposed work is found to be in a hydraulically remote part of the system thereby requiring hydraulic calculation, plans cannot be reviewed under the walk-thru program and must be submitted for standard time frame review.
4. One (1) copy of original approved plans or plan showing approved maximum calculated spacing and approved pipe sizing must accompany all fire sprinkler tenant plans for verification and reference.
5. The applicant must remain available in the waiting area to answer questions regarding the submittal while the plan is under review. Should a question arise and the applicant is not available, the review will be terminated and the application and plan package will be entered into the standard time frame review process.
6. The Department of Code Administration will provide only one stamped Field Copy to the applicant for each approved plan.