The Importance of Fire System Inspection and Documentation

Fire systems can be found in nearly every building because they are required in standard building codes. However, fire systems are not something that can be installed and then forgotten about. For example, fire sprinkler systems must have inspections, tests, and maintenance documented at least once per year and sometimes more often. Failing to do so could result in citations, fines, or an uncontrolled fire emergency.

Importance of Fire System Inspections

Periodic fire system inspections are important because they ensure safety by making sure the fire system would work properly during a fire emergency. There are fire sprinkler system inspection standards published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for building owners to reference. Many of their standards are recognized by the industry and used by local authorities to evaluate fire system installation, inspections, and tests. Continue reading “The Importance of Fire System Inspection and Documentation” »

Fire Protection Engineering Services

Fire protection engineering is the combination of principals and practices that aim to predict fire hazards and protect property against the possible damages caused by fire. Fire engineering can be provided through many different services.


  • Design Services- In the preliminary stages, fire protection engineering would include design services for fire protection solutions based on a risk and hazard analysis, code consultation, and hydraulic analysis.


  • Fire Hazard Assessments- Fire protection engineering involves evaluating whether there are fire hazards, what the risk of a fire is, and measuring what damages a fire would cause. This evaluation can be done using a hazard analysis.

Continue reading “Fire Protection Engineering Services” »

Water Supplies for Fire Protection Service, Part 1

By Chad Lueders, P.E.

The vast majority of fire protection systems utilized in buildings today rely partially or completely on the municipal water system to provide the water necessary to control or suppress the fire.  While seemingly only a small part of the overall fire protection system, an understanding of how municipal water systems are operated, and what their limitations are, is vital to ensuring a reliable and functional fire protection system.

At the most basic level, water departments typically maintain their system pressure or hydraulic grade in one of two ways.

The first, and probably most common, is with an elevated storage tank(s), commonly referred to as a water tower.  With this arrangement the water system “floats” on the level Continue reading “Water Supplies for Fire Protection Service, Part 1” »

How to Choose a Fire Sprinkler System

Most people think that fire sprinkler systems are triggered by small amounts of smoke, but in fact, fire sprinkler systems are set off by intense heat, one sprinkler head at a time. Fire sprinkler systems have been designed to use the minimum amount of water required to do the job, saving you from costly water damage as well as the fire damage they are designed to stop.

Huge improvements have been made in fire sprinkler systems over the last 200 years. Early versions caused severe water damage, but modern fire sprinkler systems have reduced loss of property and deaths by a whopping 65%. Since each sprinkler head is triggered separately by a specific temperature, one or two sprinklers can contain a fire to the room where it started, minimizing property damage. Fire hoses use six times more Continue reading “How to Choose a Fire Sprinkler System” »

Fire Sprinkler Maintenance

Annual fire sprinkler maintenance is vital to ensure the effective operation of your system in the event of a fire.  If you aren’t sure when your last fire sprinkler maintenance took place, please contact AIE today to schedule an inspection.

Fire sprinkler maintenance is especially important for nightclubs, motels and factories, as those structures tend to have the highest death tolls caused by fires.

Proper maintenance support includes checking all fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and fire sprinkler systems throughout the building, including commercial kitchens.

Without proper fire sprinkler maintenance, you run the risk of damages caused by ineffective operation or operational failure of your sprinkler system. Continue reading “Fire Sprinkler Maintenance” »

Why You Should Choose a Third Party to Perform a Fire Hydrant Flow Test

By Scott Repke, P.E.

When designing a fire sprinkler system for any building, one of the first, and most important, steps is to analyze the water system in the area by having a fire hydrant flow test performed. Why is this so important? To work properly and control a fire, a sprinkler system must flow a certain amount of water with enough pressure to be effective. The entire design must be based upon how much water flow and pressure is available from the water system – if this information is not accurate, the design may fail and the fire will not be controlled!

There are many choices when it comes to getting a flow test done. Some will go right to the source and have the water department or fire department perform a test. Others have the fire sprinkler contractor working on the project go out and run a test, while yet another Continue reading “Why You Should Choose a Third Party to Perform a Fire Hydrant Flow Test” »

Evaluating Fire Sprinkler System Cost: Part 3

Insurance Savings

Fire sprinklers were invented nearly two centuries ago in the mid 1800s.  Even then, insurance companies recognized the value of fire sprinklers and provided incentives to building owners who had them installed.

Insurance companies know that fire sprinkler systems will substantially improve the safety of a building resulting in less money paid out for losses.  Therefore, the discounts offered on insurance premiums have always been one of the considerations for offsetting the fire sprinkler system cost.

Insurance Rating Systems 

Although it is standard for insurance companies to offer discounts on premiums for fire sprinkler systems, exact discounts cannot be expressed because every insurance Continue reading “Evaluating Fire Sprinkler System Cost: Part 3” »

Evaluating Fire Sprinkler System Cost: Part 2

Federal Income Tax Incentives for Fire Protection 

Businesses and individuals are all required to pay taxes on income.  Since income tax rules vary from state to state, we will focus on deductions that can be allowed on federal income taxes.

Businesses that install fire sprinkler systems in their buildings can benefit from three types of federal income tax deductions:

  1. A tax deduction can be taken for the interest spent on a loan that is used to install a fire sprinkler system.
  2. Renovations of older or historic buildings may qualify a business for a federal Qualified Rehabilitation Tax Credit of 10-20% of renovation expenses.
  3. A depreciation allowance can be taken each year for the value of a fire sprinkler system.

Continue reading “Evaluating Fire Sprinkler System Cost: Part 2” »

Evaluating Fire Sprinkler System Cost: Part 1

Fire sprinkler systems are required by most local codes and ordinances because they have been proven to provide very necessary protection while also being simple and affordable to install.  For building owners and business operators, it is greatly worth the fire sprinkler system cost of proper installation because the financial benefits of protection are substantial.

If you own or are planning on purchasing a building that isn’t already properly equipped, retrofitting the building with an effective fire sprinkler system is a sound investment.  The National Fire Sprinkler Association conducted research regarding fire sprinkler system cost savings.  They found that properly installed fire sprinkler systems resulted in Continue reading “Evaluating Fire Sprinkler System Cost: Part 1” »

Why Worry About Keeping Fire Protection Systems Up to Date?

Fire Protection SystemsEvery day is busy for a growing business, whether it’s a business in St. Louis or any other across the country. So, taking the time to have maintenance completed on a fire protection system doesn’t normally land at the top of a great big list of things needing to get done, and more often than not, business owners overlook it. It’s vitally important for your business, however, to keep your fire protection system up to date.

Why Is It Important?
Ensuring your fire protection and monitoring systems are working properly isn’t something that only needs to be done every few years; you should be checking it on an annual basis. Even though it’s relatively easy to get accomplished, it can be a hard task to remember because it doesn’t directly affect your day-to-day business. You’ve put a lot of time and money into keeping your business running and growing, so ask yourself what you would do in the following situations: Continue reading “Why Worry About Keeping Fire Protection Systems Up to Date?” »