Published September 25, 2015
PSI had been called to a client’s facility to review some proposed modifications to a fire sprinkler system. After our project manager arrived and reviewed the proposed system modifications with the customer, they both walked the facility to see what we would be “up against,” as the facility was in full production. Upon reviewing the proposed work (which was all code compliant) our PM noticed that the existing sprinkler system was an ESFR system. These systems are subject to extremely tight guidelines and allow for almost no deviation in design and installation.
Then, our PM noticed that the existing system had been installed incorrectly. He pointed out some items to the customer and suggested that he return to the office to verify some of the items that did not appear to be up to code. He promised him he would get back to him after the research was completed.
NFPA (National Fire Protection System) is the “go-to” organization for anything relating to fire safety—including fire protection systems. The organization promulgates codes that we follow when we install, test and inspection fire protection systems.
After researching the NFPA codes and manufacturers’ recommendations, our PM found and documented numerous deficiencies to the client’s existing fire protection system. As promised, he followed up with a call and informed the client that we would not be able to do their intended modifications, because, if ever an issue arose, PSI would be held liable for the entire system—even though we had not installed the original piping.
Needless to say, the customer was not happy with our response and we were told that this might impact further work at the facility. The client then asked if our PM could reference the section of the code indicating the problems, so he could forward that on to the “higher ups.”
In the end, the facility did contact the contractor who had installed the original system and had them make the corrections to all the system deficiencies. He then went further and sought an independent inspector’s review when the work was completed. Our PM was thanked for his honesty and assistance in helping the facility get what they had paid for originally.
Since then, PSI has been awarded numerous projects at the facility.