Dear PoPville – sprinkler inspections in condo buildings?

Photo by PoPville flickr user ianseanlivingston

“Dear PoPville,

We are a newly formed condominum in DC and are wondering if your management company recommmends an annual sprinkler inspection? We are a small building with less than ten units.

The building was recently renovated and new sprinklers were installed in 2013. A sprinkler inspection was conducted this year (no issues) and are wondering whether this inspection should be done on an annual or less frequent basis. Of course we are concerned about safety, but also trying to find out what is specifically required and business practices. Also, if you have any companies that you would recommend, we would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!”

6 Comment

  • I manage a commercial building and we work with Maryland Fire Equipment Corporation for testing of all our fire systems. Our sprinkler systems are on an annual schedule but I’m sure the requirements are different for residential and probably depend on the size of your building. MFEC and/or the fire department can give you details to help make sure you’re up to code.

  • Not a recommendation but a caution, avoid Tilton Bernstein.

  • I used to live in a small building and if I recall they did an annual inspection. its important that they have access to people unit. They also check to make sure the fire extinguishers are still pressurized enough.

  • Recommend annual sprinkler system and fire alarm inspections. They’re each $325 for our 8-unit building. Have been happy with Guardian Fire and Fireline. Make sure you get in-unit sprinkler inspections included in your contract.

  • I have a different question – is there a certain size or other distinction which triggers a requirement for apartment/condo buildings to have sprinklers in its units? It just occurred to me that I don’t have sprinklers in my unit (we do have smoke detectors which are hard-wired), and I live in a small-ish condo building (30-40 units).

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