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Understanding 61G15-32 Florida Laws and Rules Concerning Fire Protection Plans. By Robert Dewar, P.E. Hazard Fire Protection Engineering, Inc. Welcome!!!. Breaks every hour Questions are welcome any time Classroom exercises Highly interactive format Who do we have here?. July 2014. 2.

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Understanding 61g15 32 florida laws and rules concerning fire protection plans

Understanding 61G15-32

Florida Laws and Rules Concerning Fire Protection Plans

By Robert Dewar, P.E.

Hazard Fire Protection Engineering, Inc.


Welcome

Welcome!!!

  • Breaks every hour

  • Questions are welcome any time

  • Classroom exercises

  • Highly interactive format

  • Who do we have here?

July 2014

2


Robert bobby dewar p e

Robert “Bobby” Dewar, P.E.

  • Vice President of Hazard Fire Protection Engineering

  • FSU College of Engineering

  • 11+ years experience as fire protection system designer and fire protection engineer

  • Worked as fire sprinkler system installer

  • Specializes in multi-family residential and commercial fire protection systems

July 2014

3


Survey

Survey

  • What are the biggest problems you see these days regarding the PE/Contractor interface in preparing plans?

  • On a scale of 1-10, how well do you think the laws are understood in FL

July 2014

4


Legal structure florida law 101

Legal Structure - Florida Law 101

  • Florida Statutes

    • http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes

    • Chapter 471 – Engineering

    • Chapter 633 – Fire Prevention and Control

    • Chapter 553 – Building Construction Standards

July 2014

5


Florida law 101 cont d

Florida Law 101 Cont’d

  • Florida Administrative Code

    • 61G15 – Florida Board of Professional Engineer Rules

    • Provides detailed guidance on how exactly to enact requirements of Florida Statutes

July 2014

6


Why 61g15 32

Why 61G15-32?

  • A line had to be drawn between engineers and contractors

  • Prevent bad behavior

    • Under-specification “Design per 13”

    • Over-specification without responsibility

    • Plan stamping

    • Contractors in engineering business

July 2014

7


Historical background

Historical Background

  • Fire, as a destroyer of property and assailant of people has long been recognized as a basic hazard of civilization.

  • General sentiment of business up until the turn of the 20th century was that fire was inevitable.

  • During the Post Civil War Recovery and Industrial Revolution FIRE was deemed acceptable by business, as long as economic recovery was available through insurance.

  • This view was not shared by everyone.


Historical background continued

Historical BackgroundContinued

  • The first arrangement for carrying water through a system of pipes, to protect against fire, is traced back to John Carey of England in 1806.

  • The first automatic sprinkler device patented in the United States was byHenry S. Parmalee in 1874.


Historical background continued1

Historical BackgroundContinued

  • In 1895 a group of insurance underwriters and engineers met for exploratory conversations on establishing consistent rules for fire sprinkler systems.

  • In March of 1896 the first release of fire sprinkler installation rules entitled “Report of Committee On Automatic Sprinkler Protection” was issued. (To be later known as NFPA #13)

  • In November of 1896 the National Fire Protection Association was officially formed to establish and administer fire sprinkler system installation rules.


Historical background continued2

Historical BackgroundContinued

  • Since it’s inception in 1896, NFPA Standards have provided prescriptive engineering guidelines and direction based upon empirical testing and consensus building debate.

  • These National Fire Protection Association (“NFPA”) standards are the basis for design and installation of fire sprinkler systems, and have been adopted as code throughout the United States, including Florida.


Historical background continued3

Historical BackgroundContinued

  • From the time the first fire sprinkler system was invented to the time, approximately 100 years later, fire sprinkler systems were installed, not as a code requirement but rather as a means to reduce property insurance losses and costs.

  • During this time, insurance companies took primary responsibility to provide the contractors with the necessary engineering direction and oversight.


Historical background continued4

Historical BackgroundContinued

  • Sometime during the 1970’s fire sprinkler systems became code driven and the market for fire sprinkler systems exploded.

  • The demand explosion caused the insurance industry to re-evaluate the amount of “free” direction and oversight they were able to provide which ultimately left huge void to be filled.

  • What began as a property preservation issue, all of a sudden, became a public safety issue as well and government had to respond.


Historical background continued5

Historical BackgroundContinued

  • In Florida, government did respond.

    • First – Engineering decisions were assigned to licensed engineers.

    • Second – Fire sprinkler installation standards and contractors became regulated under the State Fire Marshal.

    • Third – Fire prevention departments were formed and filled with plans examiners and onsite inspectors.

  • This occurred one generation ago and included the same diverse group of stakeholders.


History of 61g15 32

History of 61G15-32

  • HennRebane, Buddy Dewar, Don Wiginton, a condo in South Florida, and a really mad legislator

  • What can happen when people work together

July 2014

15


Stakeholders

Owners

Public and Private

Design Professionals

Architects and Engineers

Code Enforcement Officials

Building and Fire Prevention

Contractors

General and Fire Sprinkler

Stakeholders


Purpose

To Protect the Public.

Purpose


Premise

Premise

  • #1

    • Most people are honest and want to follow the rules as long as they make sense and can be understood.

  • #2

    • Everyone on the team is important and no one is more important than the other.


The difference between code enforcement contract enforcement

The difference between code enforcement & contract enforcement

  • Material deviations as explained in the rules apply to code enforcement and engineering exclusivity.

    • Deviations of the contractor to the engineer’s exclusive right to issues that involve only one right answer.

    • Deviations in things contractors are also authorized to do (layout) which may deviate from an engineer’s depiction are not considered material deviations from a code enforcement perspective although they may be from a contract enforcement perspective.


Permitting process

Permitting Process

  • Master permit is applied for using “contract drawings” – includes engineering “criteria” for fire protection systems

  • Trade permits include detailed shop drawings by contractor

  • Where is the line drawn between the two?

  • 61G15-32 tells us

July 2014

20


Requirements for all fp drawings 61g15 32 003

Requirements for All FP Drawings (61G15-32.003)

  • Scope of work

  • Applicable codes and standards

  • Occupancy or description of specific hazard

  • Structural support and openings

  • Activation and controls requirements

  • Any information deemed appropriate by the Engineer of Record

July 2014

21


Requirements for water based systems 61g15 32 004 a j

Requirements for Water Based Systems (61G15-32.004) “A-J”

  • A - Point of Service as defined by Section 633.102(24)

  • B - Applicable standard or eng. judgment

  • C - Hazard classification of each area

  • D - Design approach of system

  • E - Water supply characteristics

  • F - Flow test

July 2014

22


Requirements for water based systems 61g15 32 004 a j1

Requirements for Water Based Systems (61G15-32.004) “A-J”

  • G - Valving and alarm requirements

  • H - MIC evaluation

  • I - Backflow prevention requirements

  • J - Quality and performance specifications of all components

July 2014

23


Requirements for clean agent foam and dry chem systems 61g15 32 005 006 007

Requirements for Clean Agent, Foam, and Dry-Chem Systems (61G15-32.005, 006, 007)

  • Design per applicable NFPA standard

  • No further guidance provided by 61G15-32

  • These systems are often pre-engineered or manufacturer specific

July 2014

24


Requirements for fire alarm systems 61g15 32 008 a o

Requirements for Fire Alarm Systems (61G15-32.008) “A-O”

  • A – Plans must include:

    • Symbol legend

    • Riser diagram showing all devices

    • Survivability requirements and fire ratings

    • Occupancy of building or areas

  • B – Locate initiation and notification devices

  • C – Identify strobe intensity and speaker output ratings for each device

July 2014

25


Requirements for fire alarm systems 61g15 32 008 a o1

Requirements for Fire Alarm Systems (61G15-32.008) “A-O”

  • D – Identify circuit class for each circuit

  • E – Identify the functions of the fire alarm system (logic?)

  • F – Indicate if system is conventional or addressable and all zoning

  • G – Locate all surge suppressors

  • H – Identify environmentally affected devices and required protective features

July 2014

26


Requirements for fire alarm systems 61g15 32 008 a o2

Requirements for Fire Alarm Systems (61G15-32.008) “A-O”

  • I – Site plan showing surrounding area when devices are required outside the building

  • J – Detail on installation of smoke detection where ceiling obstructions, beams, or pitched roofs will complicate placement

  • K – Design accounting for smoke stratification where this is anticipated (i.e. tall spaces)

July 2014

27


Requirements for fire alarm systems 61g15 32 008 a o3

Requirements for Fire Alarm Systems (61G15-32.008) “A-O”

  • L – Performance-based design criteria shall be identified

  • M - Identify if general or zoned activation

  • N - Wiring requirements for underground and wet locations including protection against damage and burial depths

  • O – Operations and maintenance requirements

July 2014

28


Real life examples

Real Life Examples


Design versus layout

Design Versus Layout


The role of the engineer

The Role of the Engineer

As a minimum prescribed by law.

Purpose: To protect the public


Professional engineer

Professional Engineer

  • Florida does not license engineers by discipline.

  • An engineer who specifies the fire protection system design parameters, a.k.a. the engineer of record for fire protection, must be a licensed PE in Florida.

  • A Fire Protection Engineer (FPE) is an engineer who has successfully passed the Profession Engineer (PE) exam in fire protection engineering.

  • In Florida, it is not necessary to be a FPE to do the fire protection design, only a PE competent by education, experience or knowledge in fire protection.


Design documents required

Design Documents Required

553.79 FS  Permits; applications; issuance; inspections -


Florida building code section 105 3 1 2 2

Florida Building Code Section 105.3.1.2 (2)

  • Fire sprinkler documents for any new building or addition which includes a fire sprinkler system which contains 50 or more sprinkler heads. A Contractor I, Contractor II, or Contractor IV, certified under s. 633.318, may design the alteration of an existing fire sprinkler system if the alteration consists of the relocation, addition or alteration or deletion of not more than 49 head, notwithstanding the size of the existing fire sprinkler system.


Florida statutes 633 021 definitions

Florida Statutes 633.021 Definitions

  • (5) …A Contractor I, Contractor II, or Contractor IV may design a fire protection system the scope of which complies with NFPA 13D, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- And Two-Family Dwellings and manufactured Homes, as adopted by the State Fire Marshal, notwithstanding the number of fire sprinklers.


Summary

Summary

  • For building construction or alterations:

    • Requires full set of documents including Fire Sprinkler Design Documents

      • Prepared by a licensed engineer or a licensed contractor (small installations of 49 sprinklers or less).

    • Requires review and acceptance by both a building code official and a fire safety code official.

    • Requires Compliance to the Florida Building Code, the Florida Fire Prevention Code and the Life Safety Code

    • Refers to the General Building Permit only.


The big questions

The Big Questions

  • What constitutes a fire sprinkler system design?

    • Answer – See Administrative Rule Section 61G15-32.

  • Who can legally provide this design document?

    • Answer – See chapter 471 FS, 553 FS, 633 FS and Administrative Rule Section 61G15.


What constitutes engineering documents

What Constitutes Engineering Documents?

  • Definition

    • 61G15-32.002 (5) - Fire Protection System Engineering Documents: The fire protection system engineering drawings, specifications, prescriptive and performance criteria, water supply analysis and other materials or representations, which are submitted with the general construction documents pursuant to 553.79(6), FS, that set forth the overall design requirements and provide sufficient direction for the contractor to layout the construction, alteration, demolition, renovation, repair, modification, permitting and such, for any public or private fire protection system(s), which are prepared, signed, dated and sealed by the Engineer of Record for the Fire Protection System(s).


Common requirement for fp engineering documents

Common Requirement for FP Engineering Documents

  • Engineering requirements to be used in the preparation of Layout Document(s).

  • Acceptance testing based on applicable standards.

  • Hazard Classification Occupancy & Commodities.

  • Applicable design standard such as NFPA 13.

  • Structural support and structural openings required by the Fire Protection System Engineering Documents and referenced on the structural plans.


Engineering documents continued

Engineering Documents (continued)

  • Other Clarifications Regarding Minimum Information Required on Documents – 61G15-32.004

    • (3) Contractor submittals which deviate from the above minimum design parameters shall be considered material deviations and require supplemental engineering approval and documentation.

    • (4) In the event the Engineer of Record provides more information and direction than is established above, he or she shall be held responsible for the technical accuracy of the work in accordance with applicable codes, standards, and sound engineering principles.


Other responsibilities and duties

Other Responsibilities and Duties

  • When elements of the project are shown on an engineering document only for information or clarification and the Engineer does not intend to accept responsibility for the elements, the engineer shall clearly note on the documents the extent of his responsibility. 61G15-30.003(3)

  • Engineers shall clearly note on any preliminary engineering documents that such documents are not in final form, but are being transmitted to the public agency to receive agency reviews, comments and interpretations. 61G15-30.003(5)


Who designs fire sprinkler systems

Who Designs Fire Sprinkler Systems?

  • Affixing or permitting to be affixed his or her seal, name, or digital signature to any final drawings, specifications, plans, reports, or documents that were not prepared by him or her or under his or her responsible supervision, direction, or control. 471.033 (j) FS (grounds for disciplinary action)

  • A professional engineer may only seal an engineering report, plan, print or specification if that professional engineer was in responsible charge of the preparation and production of the engineering document and the professional engineer has the expertise in the engineering discipline used in producing the engineering document in question. 61G15-23.002(5)


Who designs fire sprinkler systems1

Who Designs Fire Sprinkler Systems?

  • … persons certified as a Contractor I, Contractor II, or Contractor IV under this chapter may design fire protection systems of 49 or fewer heads, and may design the alteration of an existing fire sprinkler system if the alteration consists of the relocation, addition, or deletion of not more than 49 heads, notwithstanding the size of the existing fire sprinkler system. Such plans may not be required by any local permitting authority to be sealed by a registered professional engineer. 633.102(3) FS

  • A Contractor I, Contractor II, or Contractor IV, certified under s. 633.521, may design a fire sprinkler system of 49 or fewer heads and may design the alteration of an existing fire sprinkler system if the alteration consists of the relocation, addition, or deletion of not more than 49 heads, notwithstanding the size of the existing fire sprinkler system. 553.79(6)(c) FS


Responsible charge 61g15 18 011 1

Responsible Charge - 61G15-18.011(1)

  • "Responsible Charge" shall mean that degree of control an engineer is required to maintain over engineering decisions made personally or by others over which the engineer exercises supervisory direction and control authority.

    • The degree of control necessary for an engineer to be in responsible charge shall be such that the engineer:

      • Personally makes engineering decisions or reviews and approves proposed decisions prior to their implementation, including the consideration of alternatives, whenever engineering decisions which could affect the health, safety and welfare of the public are made. In making said engineering decisions, the engineer shall be physically present or, through the use of communication devices, be available in a reasonable period of time.

      • Judges the validity and applicability of recommendations prior to their incorporation into the work, including the qualifications of those making the recommendations.


Responsible charge 61g15 18 011 11

Responsible Charge - 61G15-18.011(1)

  • Engineering decisions which must be made by and are the responsibility of the engineer in responsible charge are those decisions concerning permanent or temporary work which could create a danger to the health, safety, and welfare of the public, such as, but not limited to, the following:

    • The selection of engineering alternatives to be investigated and the comparison of alternatives for engineering works.

    • The selection or development of design standards or methods, and materials to be used.

    • The selection or development of techniques or methods of testing to be used in evaluating materials or completed works, either new or existing.

    • The development and control of operating and maintenance procedures.


Responsible charge 61g15 18 011 12

Responsible Charge - 61G15-18.011(1)

  • As a test to evaluate whether an engineer is in responsible charge, the following must be considered: An engineer who signs and seals engineering documents in responsible charge must be capable of answering questions relevant to the engineering decisions made during the engineer's work on the project, in sufficient detail as to leave little doubt as to the engineer's proficiency for the work performed. It is not necessary to defend decisions as in an adversary situation, but only to demonstrate that the engineer in responsible charge made them and possessed sufficient knowledge of the project to make them. Examples of questions to be answered by the engineer could relate to criteria for design, methods of analysis, selection of materials and systems, economics of alternate solutions, and environmental considerations. The individuals should be able to clearly define the span and degree of control and how it was exercised and to demonstrate that the engineer was answerable within said span and degree of control necessary for the engineering work done.


Responsible charge 61g15 18 011 13

Responsible Charge - 61G15-18.011(1)

  • The term "responsible charge" relates to engineering decisions within the purview of the Professional Engineers Act and does not refer to management control in a hierarchy of professional engineers except as each of the individuals in the hierarchy exercises independent engineering judgment and thus responsible charge. It does not refer to administrative and personnel management functions. While an engineer may also have such duties in this position, it should not enhance or decrease one's status of being in responsible charge of the work. The phrase does not refer to the concept of financial liability.


Successor engineer 61g15 27 001 1

Successor Engineer - 61G15 27.001 (1)

  • A successor engineer seeking to re-use already sealed contract documents must be able to document and produce upon request evidence that he in fact has recreated all the work done by the original professional engineer.

  • The successor engineer must take all professional and legal responsibility for the documents which he sealed and signed and can no way exempt himself from such full responsibility.

  • Plans need not be redrawn by the successor engineer, however justification for such action must be available through well kept and complete documentation on the part of the successor engineer as to his having re-thought and re-worked the entire process


Successor engineer 61g15 27 001 11

Successor Engineer - 61G15 27.001 (1)

  • A successor engineer must use his own title block, seal, signature and must remove the title block, seal and signature of the original professional engineer before reusing any sealed documents.

  • Prior to sealing and signing work a successor engineer shall be required to notify the original engineer, his successor, or assigns by certified letter to the last known address of the original professional engineer of the successor's intention to use or re-use the original professional engineer’s work. The successor professional engineer will take full responsibility for the drawing as though the successor engineer’s original product.


Who designs fire sprinkler systems2

Who Designs Fire Sprinkler Systems?

  • It is the responsibility of the prime professional engineer to retain and coordinate the services of such other professionals as needed to complete the services contracted for the project. 61G15-30.007


What constitutes material deviation

What Constitutes “Material Deviation”?

  • 61G15-32.002 (8) – Material Deviation: Any deviation from the design parameters established by the Engineer of Record.


What constitutes material deviation1

What Constitutes “Material Deviation”?

  • The Absolutes (Where’s there’s only one right answer):

    • Water Supply

    • Design Approach

    • Occupancy Classification

    • Hazard Classification

    • Reference Standard / Test Data


Workshop 1

Workshop #1

  • Fire Sprinkler System Design Document Review


The role of the fire sprinkler contractor

The Role of the Fire Sprinkler Contractor

As a minimum prescribed by law.

Purpose: To protect the public


Layout documents required

Layout Documents Required

  • 633.322 County and municipal powers

    • Nothing in this act limits the power of a municipality or county to adopt any system of permits requiring submission to and approval by the municipality or county of plans and specifications for work to be performed by contractors before commencement of the work, except that no municipality or county shall require a fire protection system contractor's shop drawings to be sealed by a professional engineer.

    • Any official authorized to issue building or other related permits shall ascertain that the applicant contractor is duly certified before issuing the permit. The evidence shall consist only of the exhibition to him or her of current evidence of certification.

  • 633.306  Requirements for installation, inspection, and maintenance of fire protection systems.--

    • Equipment shall be installed in accordance with the applicable standards of the National Fire Protection Association and the manufacturer's specifications.


Summary1

Summary

  • Local municipalities have the right to control the layout and installation of fire sprinkler systems through permitting.

    • Includes submissions of Shop Drawing (layouts) prior to installation.

    • Requires local jurisdiction to assure the contractor is duly licensed to perform the work.

    • Disallows local jurisdiction to require engineer seals on the contractor’s work product.

  • Work has to be installed correctly regardless


The big questions1

The Big Questions

  • What constitutes a fire sprinkler system layout?

    • Answer – See 633.021(29) FS and Administrative Rule Section 61G15-32.

  • Who can legally provide this layout document?

    • Answer – See chapter 633 FS and Administrative Rule Section 61G15.

  • What engineering involvement is required?

    • Answer – See chapter 633 FS and Administrative Rule Section 61G15-32.


What constitutes layout documents

What Constitutes Layout Documents?

  • Definition

    • 633.102 (19)

      "Layout" as used in this chapter means the layout of risers, cross mains, branch lines, sprinkler heads, sizing of pipe, hanger locations, and hydraulic calculations in accordance with the design concepts established through the provisions of the Responsibility Rules adopted by the Board of Professional Engineers.


What constitutes layout documents1

What Constitutes Layout Documents?

  • 61G15-32.002 (6)

    Fire Protection System Layout Documents: Layout drawings, hydraulic calculations, catalog information on standard products, and other construction data prepared by the licensed contractor or Engineer of Record that provides detail on the location of risers, cross mains, branch lines, sprinkler heads, sizing of pipe, hanger locations, and hydraulic calculations and also serves as a guide for fabrication and installation of a fire protection system. Fire Protection System Layout Documents are based upon engineering direction provided in the Fire Protection System Engineering Documents and require no additional engineering input. These documents do not require the seal of a Florida registered engineer.


What constitutes layout documents2

What Constitutes Layout Documents?

  • See Chapter 23 of NFPA 13 2013 ed.


Who can perform layout

Who can perform layout?

  • 633.336 FS

    • It is unlawful for any organization or individual to engage in the business of layout, fabrication, installation, inspection, alteration, repair, or service of a fire protection system, other than a pre-engineered system, act in the capacity of a fire protection contractor, or advertise itself as being a fire protection contractor without having been duly certified and holding a valid and existing certificate, except as hereinafter provided.

  • 633.102 (3) FS

    • The definitions in this subsection must not be construed to include fire protection engineers or architects and do not limit or prohibit a licensed fire protection engineer or architect from designing any type of fire protection system.


What engineering involvement is required

What engineering involvement is required?

  • 633.322 FS

    • …no municipality or county shall require a fire protection system contractor's shop drawings to be sealed by a professional engineer.

  • 61G15-32

    • Fire Protection System Layout Documents are based upon engineering direction provided in the Fire Protection System Engineering Documents and require no additional engineering input. These documents do not require the seal of a Florida registered engineer.


Real life examples1

Real Life Examples

  • Installation layout documents that shows different pipe sizes and configuration from design drawing but does comply with design criteria.

  • Installation layout documents that shows exactly what the engineer presented but no hydraulic calculations to prove it works.

  • Installation layout documents that meet the design criteria and NFPA standards except that it is a wet system instead of a dry system.


What about

What about?

  • Retrofits where there are no general construction engineering documents?


Understanding 61g15 32 florida laws and rules concerning fire protection plans

  • Variables involved in layout:

  • Structural Details

  • Exact Locations of all obstructions

  • Selection of allowable technology

  • Selection of allowable materials

  • Selection of allowable fabrication methods

  • Three dimensional pipe routing

  • Managing hydraulic pressures

  • Job Site Conditions

  • Construction Sequencing

  • Question: Which one of these layouts is best?

  • Question: How many other code complying layouts might there be that could be better?


Workshop 2

Workshop #2

  • Fire Sprinkler System Layout Document Review


The role of the code official

The Role of the Code Official

As a minimum prescribed by law.

Purpose: To protect the public


Enforce the process

Enforce the Process

  • 553.80  Enforcement.--

    • Except as provided in paragraphs (a)-(e), each local government and each legally constituted enforcement district with statutory authority shall regulate building construction and, where authorized in the state agency's enabling legislation, each state agency shall enforce the Florida Building Code required by this part on all public or private buildings, structures, and facilities, unless such responsibility has been delegated to another unit of government pursuant to s. 553.79(9).


Enforce the process1

Enforce the Process

  • 553.79 FS  Permits; applications; issuance; inspections

    • Except as provided in subsection (6), an enforcing agency may not issue any permit for construction, erection, alteration, modification, repair, or demolition of any building or structure until the local building code administrator or inspector has reviewed the plans and specifications required by the Florida Building Code, or local amendment thereto, for such proposal and found the plans to be in compliance with the Florida Building Code. In addition, an enforcing agency may not issue any permit for construction, erection, alteration, modification, repair, or demolition of any building until the appropriate firesafety inspector certified pursuant to s. 633.081 has reviewed the plans and specifications required by the Florida Building Code, or local amendment thereto, for such proposal and found that the plans comply with the Florida Fire Prevention Code and the Life Safety Code.


Enforce the process2

Enforce the Process

  • 633.104(5)  State Fire Marshal; powers and duties; rules.--

    • It is the intent of the Legislature that there are to be no conflicting requirements between the Florida Fire Prevention Code and the Life Safety Code authorized by this chapter and the provisions of the Florida Building Code or conflicts in their enforcement and interpretation. Potential conflicts shall be resolved through coordination and cooperation of the State Fire Marshal and the Florida Building Commission as provided by this chapter and part VII of chapter 553.


Enforce the process3

Enforce the Process

  • 553.73 (11)(a) – in the event of a conflict between the FBC and the FFPC and Life Safety Code as applied to a specific project, the conflict shall be resolved by agreement between the local building code enforcement official and the local fire code enforcement official in favor of the requirement of the code which offers the greatest degree of lifesafety and equivalent method of construction.


The big questions2

The Big Questions

  • What must Fire Protection Design Documents address?

    • Answer – Items that have only one right interpretation.

  • Do Fire Protection Design Documents need to show a version of a correct layout?

    • Answer – No

  • What constitutes a material deviation?

    • Answer – Deviation from engineering decisions which are exclusive to licensed engineers.


Exclusive engineering decisions

Exclusive Engineering Decisions

  • Diagnosis of the Issue

    • Classification of the hazard

    • Circumstances unique to the project

    • Applicable standard(s) to be applied

  • Prescription for adequate protection

    • Desired result to be achieved regardless of variables which could be applied.


Where is there only one right answer

Where is there only one right answer?

  • Code Relevant

    • The water supply

    • The occupancy

    • The standard to be applied

    • The environmental precautions

  • Contractually Relevant

    • Plans for future expansion

    • You name it


Where might there be a variety of right answers

Where might there be a variety of right answers?

  • Density point on specified curve

  • Head selection and spacing within specified Occupancy class

  • Pipe selection, routing and sizing

  • Fabrication methods


Informal interpretations

Informal Interpretations

  • FFMIA will facilitate through their website and a diverse consensus group:

    • A copy of the Power Point Presentation delivered today.

    • Answers to frequently asked questions

    • Informal interpretations of tough questions that may present themselves over time.


Complaints engineers

Complaints - Engineers

  • Contact the Florida Board of Professional Engineers and they will investigate all violations that are brought to its attention.

  • The investigative process includes evaluation of plans and specifications by a competent engineer specialist assigned by the Board

  • For Emergencies, contact the Florida Engineers Management Corporation (FEMC) staff immediately and they will assess the situation and take appropriate action.


Complaints contractors

Complaints - Contractors

  • State Statute 633.338 requires that the State Fire Marshal's office shall investigate the alleged illegal action of any fire protection system contractor certified under this chapter and hold hearings pursuant to chapter 120. The process is started by contacting the local office of State Fire Marshal, Fire prevention Section.


Web sites

Web Sites


The end

THE END!!!


61g15 32 faq s

61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Question #1 - Are 61G documents prepared by a professional engineer required for systems designed in accordance with NFPA 13D forone and two family dwellings?


61g15 32 faq s1

61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Answer #1 - No. Florida Statutes 633.102 (3) addresses system designed in accordance with NFPA 13D. A contractor I, Contractor II, or Contractor IV may design a fire protection system of which the scope complies with NFPA 13D Standard for the Installation of sprinkler Systems in One and Two Family Dwelling and manufactured Homes, as adopted by the State Fire Marshal, notwithstanding the number of fire sprinklers. Even if the system consists of more than 49 sprinklers, engineering documents are not required.


61g15 32 faq s2

61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Question #2 – Does the engineer who specifies the fire protection systems in accordance with the 61G15 requirements need to be a Fire Protection Engineer?


61g15 32 faq s3

61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Answer #2 – No. Florida does not license engineers by discipline. The requirement is for the engineer to be currently licensed in the State of Florida and competent by education, experience and knowledge in fire protection.


61g15 32 faq s4

61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Question #3 – Can the AHJ require that the fire protection system contractor's shop drawings be sealed by a professional engineer?


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Answer #3 – No. FS 633.322 (2) “Nothing in this act limits the power of a municipality or county to adopt any system of permits requiring submission to and approval by the municipality or county of plans and specifications for work to be performed by contractors before commencement of the work, except that no municipality or county shall require a fire protection system contractor’s shop drawings to be sealed by a professional engineer.”


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Answer #3 continued – Furthermore, FAC 61G15-32 states” Fire protection System documents are based upon engineering direction provided in the Fire Protection System Engineering Documents and require no additional engineering input. These documents do not require the seal of a Florida registered engineer.


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Question #4 – Can the licensed fire protection contractor design fire sprinkler system documents for a sprinkler system that involves not more than 49 sprinklers?


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Answer #4 – Yes. A Contractor I, II, or IV, certified under FS 633.318 may design fire protection systems of 49 or fewer heads, and may design the alteration of an existing fire sprinkler system if the alteration consists of the relocation, addition or deletion of not more than 49, notwithstanding the size of the existing fire sprinkler system. [FBC 105.3.1.2]


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Question #5 – Is the AHJ responsible for assuring that the permit plans and specification are reviewed and comply with the Florida Fire Prevention Code Requirements?


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Answer #5 – Yes. FS553.79 (2) states: “Except as provided in subsection (6), an enforcing agency may not issue any permit for construction, erection, alteration, modification, repair, or demolition of any building or structure until the local building code administrator or inspector has reviewed the plans an specifications required by the…


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Answer #5 continued – …Florida Building Code, or local amendment thereto, for such proposal and found the plans to be in compliance with the Florida Building Code. In addition, an enforcing agency may not issue any permit for construction, erection, alteration, modification, repair or demolition of any building until the appropriate fire safety inspector certified pursuant to s. 633.081 has reviewed the plans and specifications required by the Florida Building Code, or local amendment thereto, for such proposal and found that the plan comply with the Florida Fire Prevention Code and Life Safety Code.”


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Question #6 – If an existing occupancy equipped with an existing fire sprinkler system consisting of 40 sprinklers and there is a proposed renovation to the occupancy that would call for a modification to the existing sprinkler system requiring an additional 20 sprinklers, are 61G documents required?


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Answer #6 – No. FBC 105.3.1.2 (2) states that no permit may be issued for any building construction, modification, erection, alteration, repair or addition unless the applicant for such permit provides the local AHJ with engineering documents. Item (2) addresses fire sprinkler documents and allows for a Contractor I, II or IV to design a fire sprinkler system of 49 or fewer sprinkler or may design the alteration of an existing sprinkler system if the alteration consists of the relocation, addition or deletion of not more than 49 sprinklers, notwithstanding the size of the existing fire sprinkler system.


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Question #7 – Should signed and sealed shop drawings be automatically rejected?


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Answer #7 – It is strictly forbidden for a local AHJ to require shop drawings to be sealed by a professional engineer as addressed in Florida Statutes 633.322(2), 633.102 (3) as well as Florida Administrative Code 61G15-32.002 (6). However, nothing prohibits an engineer, if he or she so chooses, from signing and sealing shop drawings that were prepared under his/her responsible charge. It is important to note that when an engineer provides more information and direction than is established in FAC 61G15-32.004 (2), he or she shall be held responsible for the technical accuracy of the work in accordance…


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Answer #7 continued – …with the applicable codes, standards and sound engineering principles. Some owner/engineer contract agreements may require more engineer involvement than specified in current laws.


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Question #8 – Is it permitted to accept a 61G document for a building permit? If so, where can this requirement be found?


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Answer #8 – Florida Building Code (FBC) section 105.3.1.2, item (2) addresses fire sprinkler documents. This section states the fire sprinkler documents shall be prepared by Florida Registered Professional Engineer, the exception being new systems or alterations to existing system containing 49 sprinklers or less.  Since the FBC is requiring these documents to be a prepared by a Florida Registered Professional Engineer, these would be Fire Protection System Engineering Documents. Florida Administrative Code Chapter 32 outlines the rules for…


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Answer #8 continued – …Professional Engineers Concerning the Design of Fire Protection Systems. FAC 61G15-32.002 defines the Fire Protection System Engineering Document (5) as well as the Fire Protection System Layout Document (6). 61G15-32.003 outlines the common requirements to all Fire Protections Engineering documents with 32.004 (2) (a-j) outlining the minimum information to be provided on fire protection engineering documents for water based systems.  As stated in the definitions, the contractor…


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Answer #8 continued –…is to develop the layout documents based on the design criteria provided in the Fire Protection Engineering documents by the Engineer of Record for the fire sprinkler system.  The Fire Protection System Engineering documents are submitted for the master permit (building permit per FBC) and the layout documents are submitted for the fire sprinkler installation permit. 


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Question #9 – As contractors, we are required to install a code compliant system. How should situations be addressed, where fire sprinkler plans are developed by an outside professional engineer and are returned with errors?


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Answer #9 – Initially, a request for information (RFI) should be sent, in writing, to the general contractor with whom you are preparing your bid, asking for clarification of the error in question. The GC should send this information back to the engineer who should analyze the question and issue revised documents as necessary. If the error is not resolved and the engineer and the GC proceed with permitting and installing a non-code compliant system, then a complaint should be filed with the Florida Board of Professional Engineers. The FBPE will initiate a review…


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Answer #9 continued –…process and proceed with disciplinary action if necessary. It is important to note that when an engineer provides more information and direction than is established in FAC 61G15-32.004 (2), he or she shall be held responsible for the technical accuracy of the work in accordance with applicable codes, standards, and sound engineering principles.


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Question #10 – I often have AHJs requiring us to submit revised shop drawings, sealed by an the engineer of record, for the addition of an extra 45° ell in the UG fire main supplying the system or some similar minor change made in the field. They cite this as being a material deviation to the system design.


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Answer #10 – A material deviation refers to a deviation from the minimum design parameters established by the engineer as set forth in FAC 61G15-32.004. The addition of an extra ell in the UG main supplying the system or any number of fitting for that matter is not considered a material deviation. An example of material deviation would be a change in the density or system type outlined in the engineering documents. While nothing prohibits the AHJ from requesting a re-submittal based on the actual installation and requiring hydraulic calculations proving…


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61G15-32 FAQ’s

  • Answer #10 continued –…the system is still compliant, as discussed above, it is forbidden for the AHJ to require contractor developed shop drawing to be signed and sealed by a professional engineer.


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