2020 NFPA 25 Standard - Current Edition
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  • Description

    Help ensure the integrity of critical life safety water-based fire protection systems with the newly revised NFPA 25.

    Properly functioning fire sprinklers can significantly reduce the extent of property damage and increase the chance of building occupants escaping a fire. However, keeping these systems in optimal condition calls for a thorough understanding of complex mechanics, equipment, and practices.

    NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, is incorporated by reference in many US states and offers comprehensive requirements for helping to ensure suppression systems are ready to respond in the event of an emergency.

    The updated and expanded NFPA 25, 2020 edition, is the most current and complete document covering ITM of water-based fire protection systems.

    NFPA 25 is the industry benchmark for inspection, testing, and maintenance, including fire pump operation and flow tests, evaluation techniques such as sprinkler inspections, valve status tests, internal piping assessments, and forward flow tests for backflow preventers. From risk assessments and preparing preplanned impairment reports to performance-based testing programs and hydrant flushing and testing, you get expert-developed content reflecting the most current standards and technologies.

    Significant changes and additions to NFPA 25 include:

    • The addition of the definition for the term electrically operated sprinklers and of inspection, testing, and maintenance requirements to account for the new technology
    • New provisions addressing recalled sprinklers in Chapter 4 and a new section on dry hydrants in Chapter 7
    • Modifications of dry sprinkler test intervals from 10 years to 15 years
    • Clarifications to automated testing requirements for waterflow alarm devices
    • Edits in Chapter 8 to clarify that energized pump controllers for safety reasons should not be opened; and the introduction of the concept of an isolating switch in a separate compartment as part of the pump controller
    • Revised requirements for fire pump annual flow tests and evaluations
    • The inclusion of several new requirements in Chapter 12 regarding water mist systems

    Minimize hazards and help protect lives and property by complying with the latest standard.

    The importance of NFPA 25 to sprinkler system effectiveness cannot be overstated—NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems, requires that installers leave a copy of NFPA 25 with property owners.

    Get the quintessential resource for helping building owners, facility managers, inspectors, and service providers collaborate to improve fire suppression in commercial and residential installations. Order your copy of NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, today.

  • Table of Contents

    NFPA® 25 Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, 2020 Edition

    Chapter 1 Administration
    1.1 Scope.
    1.2 Purpose.
    1.3 Application.
    1.4 Units.
    Chapter 2 Referenced Publications
    2.1 General.
    2.2 NFPA Publications.
    2.3 Other Publications.
    2.4 References for Extracts in Mandatory Sections.
    Chapter 3 Definitions
    3.1 General.
    3.2 NFPA Official Definitions.
    3.3 General Definitions.
    3.4 Deluge Foam-Water Sprinkler and Foam-Water Spray Systems Definitions.
    3.5 Valve Definitions.
    3.6 Water-Based Fire Protection System Definitions.
    3.7 Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance (ITM) Task Frequencies.
    Chapter 4 General Requirements
    4.1 Responsibility of Property Owner or Designated Representative.
    4.2 Manufacturer's Corrective Action.
    4.3 Records.
    4.4 Water Supply Status.
    4.5 Inspection.
    4.6 Testing.
    4.7 Performance-Based Compliance Programs.
    4.8 Maintenance.
    4.9 Safety.
    Chapter 5 Sprinkler Systems
    5.1 General.
    5.2 Inspection.
    5.3 Testing.
    5.4 Maintenance.
    5.5 Component Action Requirements.
    Chapter 6 Standpipe and Hose Systems
    6.1 General.
    6.2 Inspection.
    6.3 Testing.
    6.4 Maintenance.
    6.5 Component Action Requirements.
    Chapter 7 Private Fire Service Mains
    7.1 General.
    7.2 Inspection and Corrective Action.
    7.3 Testing.
    7.4 Maintenance.
    7.5 Component Action Requirements.
    Chapter 8 Fire Pumps
    8.1 General.
    8.2 Inspection.
    8.3 Testing.
    8.4 Reports.
    8.5 Maintenance.
    8.6 Component Replacement Testing Requirements.
    Chapter 9 Water Storage Tanks
    9.1 General.
    9.2 Inspection.
    9.3 Testing.
    9.4 Maintenance.
    9.5 Automatic Tank Fill Valves.
    9.6 Component Action Requirements.
    Chapter 10 Water Spray Fixed Systems
    10.1 General.
    10.2 Inspection and Maintenance Procedures.
    10.3 Operational Tests.
    10.4 Ultra-High-Speed Water Spray System (UHSWSS) Operational Tests.
    10.5 Component Action Requirements.
    Chapter 11 Foam-Water Sprinkler Systems
    11.1 General.
    11.2 Inspection.
    11.3 Operational Tests.
    11.4 Maintenance.
    11.5 Component Action Requirements.
    Chapter 12 Water Mist Systems
    12.1 General.
    12.2 Inspection.
    12.3 Testing.
    12.4 Maintenance..
    12.5 Training.
    Chapter 13 Common Components and Valves
    13.1 General.
    13.2 General Provisions.
    13.3 Control Valves in Water-Based Fire Protection Systems.
    13.4 System Valves.
    13.5 Pressure-Reducing Valves and Relief Valves.
    13.6 Hose Valves.
    13.7 Backflow Prevention Assemblies.
    13.8 Fire Department Connections.
    13.9 Automatic Detection Equipment.
    13.10 Air Compressors and Nitrogen Generators.
    13.11 Component Testing Requirements.
    Chapter 14 Internal Piping Condition and Obstruction Investigation
    14.1 General.
    14.2 Assessment of Internal Condition of Piping.
    14.3 Obstruction Investigation and Prevention.
    14.4 Ice Obstruction.
    Chapter 15 Impairments
    15.1 General.
    15.2 Impairment Coordinator.
    15.3 Tag Impairment System.
    15.4 Impaired Equipment.
    15.5 Preplanned Impairment Programs.
    15.6 Emergency Impairments.
    15.7 Restoring Systems to Service.
    Chapter 16 Special Requirements from Other NFPA Documents
    16.1 General.
    16.2 Small Residential Board and Care Occupancies.
    Annex A Explanatory Material
    Annex B Forms and Reports for Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance
    Annex C Possible Causes of Pump Troubles
    Annex D Obstruction Investigation
    Annex E Hazard Evaluation Form
    Annex F Connectivity and Data Collection
    Annex G Color-Coded Tagging Program
    Annex H Informational References
  • How the NFPA Handbooks Differ from Codes and Standards


    Ever wonder what the difference is between an NFPA® handbook and a code or standard? We’re glad you asked.

    NFPA codes and standards both provide requirements for achieving outcomes. Handbooks take a deeper dive, providing the full text of a code or standard as well as expert commentary and features such as graphics, decision trees, testing procedures, case studies, sample forms and checklists, and other helpful aids to give a better understanding of the reasoning behind the requirements and how to apply them.


    • A code or standard is a framework—a set of rules to follow with a goal to achieve a certain result
    • A handbook is a connector—linking requirements to application by helping you understand the reasoning behind a code or standard

    The simplest way to think about it is that codes and standards list the technical requirements while handbooks explain those requirements to clarify how to apply them.

  • Prior Editions

    Prevent fire tragedies and loss with sprinkler care based on NFPA 25.

    Improper maintenance of automatic sprinkler systems can result in less effectiveness, reduction of service life, or even catastrophic failure. That's why maintenance professionals, inspectors, and building owners rely on NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems. Maximize time and efficiency without compromising reliability with requirements governing fire sprinkler systems -- including foam-water and fixed water spray systems, standpipe and hose systems, fire pumps, fire service piping and appurtenances, and water storage tanks. The Standard is so essential to proper sprinkler care, it's adopted by jurisdictions nationwide, and NFPA 13 requires installers leave a copy of NFPA 25 with property owners.

    The 2017 edition of NFPA 25 includes revised and updated ITM tables throughout; new residential sprinkler replacement requirements address sprinklers that are no longer available; New requirements clarify steps to take if inspections reveal missing escutcheons, or if listed escutcheons are no longer available; added criteria cover automated inspections and testing; significant changes in Chapter 13 address waterflow alarm devices, preaction and deluge valves, air compressors, and general pressure gauge criteria; fire pump terms are aligned with NFPA 20, Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection; new Annexes address connectivity and data collection, and color-coded tagging programs.

    The 2014 edition of NFPA 25 offers comprehensive guidance on maintaining suppression systems for optimum performance, and this edition introduces an expanded scope that includes water-mist systems. Changes include updated fire pump operating test-frequency rules; new fuel-supply testing procedures for diesel-driven fire pumps; a modified definition of "sprinkler system" for consistency with NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems; clarification about inspecting the insides of sprinkler pipes; as well as the addition of valve status testing to ensure water is reaching the sprinkler system.

    The 2011 edition of NFPA 25 clarifies the role the Standard plays in a fire protection plan. New terms in this edition define "critical deficiencies" and "noncritical deficiencies," so maintainers and owners can accurately identify corrective actions and prioritize repairs. Updated testing frequencies are based on the growing database of inspection, testing, and maintenance records. Other revisions clarify the roles and responsibilities of the building owner and the designated owner's representatives, to avoid critical oversights in sprinkler care. New Annex E classifies sprinkler repairs and has examples of sprinkler repairs and their classifications based on the new terms. A new Hazard Evaluation Form in Annex F helps you identify how building renovations could impact the adequacy of fire protection systems.

    The 2008 edition of NFPA 25 introduces guidelines for a performance-based testing option that offers alternate, flexible means of compliance. While the previous edition of the Standard included performance-based testing on a limited basis in the "equivalency" option, the 2008 edition presents practical guidance on how to implement and monitor the process, subject to approval by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). New coverage includes what variables to take into account when adjusting frequencies, which factors to consider in the transition to a performance-based test program, and how to establish a failure rate -- complete with suggested calculation methods and examples. Other changes include new component replacement testing tables for each type of water-based system, first-time coverage of dry pipe system testing, a new chapter on water mist systems maintenance, and a new impairment procedures requirement.

    The 2002 edition of NFPA 25 adds new testing requirements for dry sprinklers, revised 5-year water tank inspection requirements, and new timing for testing of waterflow and supervisory switches. Other changes permit the use of ultrasonic (UT) and radiographic (RT) examinations to comply with obstruction investigation provisions. The 2002 edition also expands guidance for detecting Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion (MIC) and strategies for treatment.


    Interested in other editions of NFPA 25? Use the drop down menu above to select the edition year you need.

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  • NFPA eForms

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  • eForms Table of Contents (2020 Current Edition)

    eForms Table of Contents

    • Wet Pipe Sprinkler Systems Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance
    • Dry Pipe Sprinkler Systems Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance
    • Preaction/Deluge Sprinkler Systems Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance
    • Standpipe and Hose Systems Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance
    • Water Spray Systems Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance
    • Water Mist Systems Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance
    • Foam-Water Sprinkler Systems Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance
    • Private Fire Service Mains Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance
    • Private Fire Service Mains Hydrant Flow Test Report
    • Water Storage Tanks Inspection
    • Fire Sprinkler System Hazard Evaluation
    • Contractor’s Material and Test Certificate for Aboveground Piping
    • Contractor’s Material and Test Certificate for Underground Piping
    • Fire Pump Weekly Inspection
    • Fire Pump Weekly Operating Tests
    • Fire Pump Monthly Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance
    • Fire Pump Quarterly Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance
    • Fire Pump Semiannual Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance
    • Fire Pump Annual Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance
    • Fire Pump Annual Performance Test
    • Possible Causes of Fire Pump Troubles
  • Historical Editions

    Previous editions of NFPA® documents are available for sale. Please see applicable NFPA codes and standards product pages to confirm which editions are available for purchase. If you have any questions, contact NFPA Customer Support at 1-800-344-3555 or nfpa.org/customerservice.

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