Standard: NFPA 25 HDBK


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This document establishes the minimum requirements for the periodic inspection, testing, and maintenance of water-based fire protection systems and the actions to undertake when changes in occupancy, use, process, materials, hazard, or water supply that potentially impact the performance of the water-based system are planned or identified.

The scope of NFPA 25 is intended to help users determine if they are using the correct standard and summarizes what the document addresses.

Several important terms are used in this section. Minimum requirements are the basis for the rules that this standard sets forth. However, nothing prohibits the user from exceeding them. Periodic establishes that the requirements are performed on a set frequency. Those frequencies are defined in 3.7.1. The phrase actions to undertake signifies that further requirements are provided in the document. Lastly, the phrase planned or identified implies the following: (1) there are requirements that are meant to be observed as changes are planned, and (2) these actions are meant to be followed anytime those changes are discovered, even if they were intended to be dealt with beforehand. Primary among these is the requirement that the owner have the system evaluated before making changes to the use, occupancy, hazard, or water supply. See 4.1.6 and 4.1.7 for more detailed information.

The minimum requirements specified in NFPA 25 must be met in order for a system to comply with this standard. Also, Section 4.7 permits alternative means of compliance using a performance-based program that could result in less frequent ITM activities.


The purpose of NFPA 25 is to ensure that the operational status of a system is maintained. This section also provides the AHJ with the flexibility to deal with extenuating circumstances such as a product recall or other situations specific to a particular area or project.

History has shown that the performance reliability of a water-based fire protection system under fire-related conditions increases where comprehensive inspection, testing, and maintenance procedures are enforced. Diligence during an inspection is important. The inspection, testing, and maintenance of some items in the standard might not be practical or possible, depending on existing conditions. The inspector should use good judgment when making inspections.

Sprinkler systems have an excellent success record. In those instances when they do fail, the majority of failures can be attributed to closure of control valves or lack of proper maintenance. Commentary Table 1.1 lists some types of failures related to maintaining the operational status of the fire protection system. The failures attributed to manual intervention defeating the equipment occur when equipment is manually shut down after a fire starts but before sprinklers operate

The purpose of this document is to provide requirements that ensure a reasonable degree of protection for life and property from fire through minimum inspection, testing, and maintenance methods for water-based fire protection systems.

In those cases where it is determined that an existing situation involves a distinct hazard to life or property, the authority having jurisdiction shall be permitted to require inspection, testing, and maintenance methods in excess of those required by the standard.

Organization: National Fire Protection Association
Document Number: nfpa 25 hdbk
Publish Date: 2017-01-01
Page Count: 720
Available Languages: EN
DOD Adopted: NO
ANSI Approved: NO
Most Recent Revision: YES
Current Version: YES
Status: Active

Document History

Document # Change Type Update Date Revision Status
NFPA 25 HDBK Change Type: STCH Update Date: 2014-01-01 Revision: 14 Status: INAC
NFPA 25 HDBK Change Type: STCH Update Date: 2011-01-01 Revision: 11 Status: INAC
NFPA 25 HDBK Change Type: Update Date: 2008-01-01 Revision: 08 Status: INAC
NFPA 25 HDBK Change Type: Revision: 02 Status: INAC