Fire protection certifications

The Philadelphia Fire Code requires property owners to have fire protection systems inspected and certified by qualified tradespeople.

What systems require inspection and certification?

Fire protection systems include:

  • Sprinkler and standpipe systems.
  • Special hazard suppression systems.
  • Fire alarm systems.
  • Smoke control systems.
  • Dampers (includes smoke dampers, fire dampers, combination fire/smoke dampers).

All sprinkler and standpipe, special hazard suppression, fire alarm, and smoke control systems must be inspected unless they are in a one-or two-family dwelling.

Dampers must be inspected when they are in:

  • Special assembly occupancies, such as nightclubs and music venues that hold 50 or more people.
  • Hospitals and other I-2 occupancies.
  • High rise buildings. Separate damper certification is not required where dampers are part of a smoke control system.

Inspection requirements

Require annual inspection;

  • Sprinkler and standpipe systems
  • Special hazard suppression systems
  • Fire alarm systems

Initial Smoke control inspections must be completed by January 1, 2021, and then annually after that.

Initial Damper inspections must be completed by January 1, 2021, and then every 4 years after that.

Hospitals and other I-2 occupancies must be inspected by January 1, 2021 and then every 6 years after that.

Inspections must be performed by specific types of licensed contractors:

  • Sprinkler and standpipe
    • Fire suppression system worker employed by a fire suppression system contractor
  • Fire alarm
    • Fire alarm inspectors
    • Electrical contractor 
  • Emergency and standby power
    • Electrical contractor
    • Emergency and standby power system manufacturer
  • Smoke and fire dampers
    • Qualified sheet metal systems technician employed by a master plumber, contractor, fire suppression system contractor, or electrical contractor.
  • Smoke control systems
    • Smoke containment systems are to be tested by a qualified sheet metal technician employed by a licensed contractor  unless otherwise required by the smoke control testing and operations plan.
    • Smoke management systems are to be tested in accordance with the smoke control testing and operations plan.
      • Initial certification of a system must be performed by a licensed special inspector.
      • Inspectors of individual system components must be licensed in accordance with Title 9 of the Philadelphia Code.

Process

A certification that the system passed inspection or testing must be given to the property owner. A copy of the certification must be submitted to L&I.

If a system fails inspection, the property owner is required to correct the problem and have the system reinspected and certified.  Unless the failure is corrected within 45 days (sprinkler and standpipe, special hazard suppression, and fire alarm systems) or within 90 days (smoke control systems and dampers) of the inspection, the inspector must send a deficiency notice to L&I.

 


Where to submit forms

Submit forms online using eCLIPSE.

All forms must use the legal address established by the Office of Property Assessment (OPA). You must have a contractor license in order to submit any building certifications or reports.

Visit Help using eCLIPSE for step-by-step instructions on how to submit a fire protection inspection certification.


For more information

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Questions

If you have any questions, contact 311.


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