One of the stated goals of the IFSA is the “development of information systems to protect product integrity and industry identity.” Two key components of achieving this goal are certification programs that ensure product quality and ensure that those designing, installing, and maintaining water based fire protection systems have the necessary skills.
Product certification programs are those carried out by accredited laboratories in accordance with published product standards for fire sprinklers and related equipment, including items such as fittings, valves, pipe supports, and fire pumps. It is essential that the certifying laboratories not only test products for initial compliance with minimum standards of performance, but that follow-up services ensure the continuing quality of production. More information on product certification services is available from internationally-recognized product approval laboratories including:
Because the health, safety, and welfare of the public is at risk, fire protection industry professionals and regulators should mandate that only those products certified by reputable testing laboratories be employed in automatic sprinkler systems.
The risks that result from of not using certified products can put the public in danger!
Why Certified Products Are Essential
The 6-minute video focuses on the shortcomings of non-certified fire sprinklers, some of which were removed from service in occupied buildings When these products were subjected to recognized product testing protocols, they routinely fail to demonstrate adequate performance.
The video is available in 6 languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, Turkish and Arabic.
For more information regarding the non-certified fire sprinklers and their performance under standard testing protocols, please see the referenced reports:
UL LLC: Evaluation of Model ZSTX-15 SSP and ZSTZ-15 SSU Non-Certified Sprinkler Samples (PDF)
UL LLC Evaluation of Non-Certified ESFR Sprinkler Samples Technical Report (PDF)
FM Approvals: Test Report of Model 2013 KT, 2014 SHKT and 2015 SHKT Non-Certified Sprinklers (PDF)
The IFSA encourages sharing these links with other fire engineers, fire officers, building officials, and legislators. It is IFSA’s goal to highlight the dangers of non-certified fire sprinklers to the design community and government regulators in an effort to convince them to prevent the installation of the substandard products in their countries. This goal is best achieved by adopting and enforcing regulations to protect the people they serve.
Design Technician Certification
While many countries regulate system design through the enforcement of minimum educational and practice credentials for design professionals, there are also specific testing and certification programs available to ensure that individuals involved in the application of sprinkler system design and installation standards such as NFPA 13 – Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems.
In the United States and Canada, such certification programs have been administered through the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) since the 1980s.
Beginning in 2015, a Spanish language technician certification program was initiated by the Mexican AMRACI in cooperation with the IFSA. The program is administered through a separate organization designated as CETRACI.