Building Inspection


FIRE SPRINKLER FAQS

Sustainable Development and Construction
Building Inspection

Fire Protection Plan Review | Fire Sprinkler
Frequently Asked Questions


How do I register with the City as a Fire Sprinkler Contractor?
What are the fees for fire sprinkler permits?
What are the City's backflow requirements?
What kind of water metering device is required for fire sprinkler systems?
What building and fire codes are presently enforced?
When does a building have to be sprinklered?
How do I fill out the sprinkler permit application?
Is a permit required for all sprinkler projects?
What is the process for submitting sprinkler plans?
Are sprinkler plans required to be submitted for all projects?
How do I get an inspection?
What information must be submitted for fire sprinkler plan review?
How much information must be provided for a remodel or addition to an existing system?
How do I get hydrant test data?

How do I register with the City as a Fire Sprinkler Contractor?

Fill out the Fire Sprinkler Contractor Registration Form, and fax it along with your State Fire Marshall’s registration certificate to Rick Matsuda, fax (214) 948-4374.

What are the fees for fire sprinkler permits?

There are two fees required for fire sprinkler permits, a permit fee and a plan review fee. The general contractor normally pays all permit fees for the project. However, if there is no general contractor and you are contracted by the building owner for renovations, then the new permit fee will be approximately $0.009652 per dollar value of the proposed work with a $100 minimum. The exact fee is calculated by the permit office depending on the total dollar value .

The plan review fee is $0.008 per sq. ft. of building area with $150 minimum. For example, a 10,000-sq. ft. project will cost the $150 minimum, while a 100,000-sq. ft. project will cost $800. As the fee is based on square footage, you must fill in the blank on the permit application or the plans will not be accepted for review. Please note that this is a "plan review fee" based on square footage; it is not a "permit fee" which is based on the dollar value of the project. If you are the only contractor on the project, then you will be responsible for both plan review and permit fees.

Effective April 1, 2008, the plan review fee will be required for plans which require a review including, but not limited to the following: fire sprinkler systems, underground fireline piping, dry standpipe systems, FM-200 or Halon suppression systems, and dry chemical extinguishing systems. For remodeling projects with added/relocated sprinklers, the fee will be based on the square footage of the affected areas only, not including areas where sprinklers are not added/relocated. For projects which are not “sprinkler” projects, the fee will be $150.

Presently, there are no resubmittal fees.

What are the City's backflow requirements?

Call the Building Inspection plumbing department at (214) 948-4464 or (214) 948-4468, and also call Dallas Water Utilities at (214) 670-8521.

What kind of water metering device is required for fire sprinkler systems?

Call Dallas Water Utilities at (214) 670-8509.

What building and fire codes are presently enforced?

IFC 2006 and IBC 2006 (effective April 1, 2008).

When does a building have to be sprinklered?

Call (214) 948-4480 and ask to speak to a Building Code plan reviewer. The requirements for when a building is required to be sprinklered are dependent upon several issues, size, occupancy, and construction classification. In addition, minimum fire department access distances and fire hydrant distances must be satisfied if sprinklers are not required.

How do I fill out the sprinkler permit application?

Complete the entire Permit Application, including the description of the proposed project, the value, and your signature. If the project is part of the GC’s permit, please include the GC’s permit number in the “DBA” line of the permit application; no fees will be charged. If there is no GC, then the fee must be paid at the time of the application.

Your contractor number is not the same as your SCR number; this is a City of Dallas contractor number which was assigned to your company.

Your PIN number is a number which you determined as part of your City contractor registration. The current Permit Application form found on-line does not include a space for your PIN number as normally the clerk will as for this information when you are applying in person. So, if you are mailing or faxing your application, please include your PIN number after your name in the “Applicant” space.

The information you should provide in the “description of proposed project” space should describe the work which you are doing, i.e., “install wet pipe system” or “install underground fireline".

Sign the application.

A completed Permit Application must be submitted with all plans or processing may be delayed.

Is a permit required for all sprinkler projects?

The Dallas Building Code requires a permit for any alterations or improvements to a sprinkler system. A permit is not required for “repair or replacement in kind of any automatic fire extinguishing system head that does not alter the existing system design or operation.” A permit is required if heads are added or relocated, but a permit is not required if heads are replaced.

The City has set-up a “one-stop permit” process. The general contractor (GC) normally completes a permit application which is based on the total value of the project and lists all the subcontractors by trade. As each subcontractor is selected, they must also submit a completed permit application which adds their company’s name to the general contractor’s permit. As each subcontractor submits an application (validates), they receive a permit for their portion of the project. This permit (contractor’s authorization) is required before any work is started, and is needed when calling for inspections. If the GC does not include a “fire sprinkler” trade on his permit application or if there is no GC for the project, then a separate permit must be obtained for the proposed fire sprinkler work. A permit fee will be charged based on the value of the work.

What is the process for submitting sprinkler plans?

Submit four (4) copies of the plans, one copy of the hydraulic calculations, specification sheets for all devices, a completed permit application, and the plan review fee to the permit office at 320 E. Jefferson, Room 118. Please refer to NFPA-13, chapter on “Plans and Calculations” for information required for our review. Lack of the required information may be cause for rejection of your submittal and/or delay in our review process.

Generally, plans will be “approved with comments”, and a resubmittal will not be necessary. Two copies of the plans and the hydraulic calculations will be retained for our files. Two copies of the plans will be stamped and returned to you along with our review letter. Reviewed plans can be picked up at the cashiers booth, 320 E. Jefferson, Room 118. A stamped copy of the plans and the review letter must be at the jobsite when the fire inspector makes his inspection.

Are sprinkler plans required to be submitted for all projects?

Permits are required for all sprinkler projects, even if only one sprinkler is added or relocated.

Plans must be submitted for all sprinkler projects where 20 or more sprinklers are added or a total of 100 or more sprinklers are added or relocated on one floor area, and for all underground supply piping. Plans must also be submitted for projects with any number of sprinklers installed on a new system or in a previously unsprinklered area, i.e. a small preaction system in a computer room with only 10 sprinklers.

Plans need not be submitted for projects where 19 or less sprinklers are added or 99 or less sprinklers are relocated on one floor area, provided there is no change in occupancy, i.e., offices to offices. If there is a change in occupancy or if extended coverage sprinklers are added, i.e., offices to retail, then plans must be submitted.

Any “significant” changes from the approved plans may require a resubmittal and approval of the changes at the discretion of the field inspector.

How do I get an inspection?

There are Senior Fire Prevention Officers in each of the four Building Inspection substations. For all sprinkler projects where plans were required to be submitted, these officers will make the field inspection. The city is divided geographically (roughly), and the officers and their phone numbers are listed on the Fire Alarm and Pre-Test Certification letter.

At the bottom of your permit (contractor’s authorization), there is a note which gives you the office number for the substation which will handle your project. Please call the Fire Department Scheduler or the Fire Prevention Officer to make an appointment for inspection or hydrostatic pressure test. The automated 24-hour phone number can be used for calling for inspections for only the smaller sprinkler projects which do not require plan submittal; these projects will be inspected by a building inspector.

What information must be submitted for fire sprinkler plan review?

Please refer to NFPA-13, chapter on “Plans and Calculations” for information required for our review. Lack of the required information may be cause for rejection of your submittal and/or delay in our review process.

If some data is missing, a phone call or an additional fax submittal may clarify the omission. However, if the plans are incomplete, vague, or indecipherable, then an entire resubmittal will be required which causes delays and loss of work time.

Please refer all your designers to NFPA-13, chapter on “Plans and Calculations” and insist that they check their work for completeness before submitting to the City. This will save both you and the City time lost due to delays in our review.

How much information must be provided for a remodel or addition to an existing system?

Even if the extent of your contract is only relocating or adding heads to an existing system, some information about the existing system must be provided. We cannot conduct a review of plans which only shows head locations and arm-overs. Sufficient information and data must be supplied for us to conduct a reasonable hydraulic analysis of the work. This information should include but not be limited to, existing system design information, hydrant flow data, existing main, riser, and underground supply piping. If the project is part of a high-rise building, please provide piping details for the standpipe system (size, approximate pipe lengths, elevations) and data for any fire pump (copy of latest pump test results).

How do I get hydrant test data?

All hydraulically designed sprinkler systems are based on having a satisfactory water supply, and the hydrant test that you use for the system design is critical to the system performance. With all submittals, please show on a site plan the location of the test hydrants in relation to the building, and provide the date and source of the data.

Customers can check the availability of existing hydrant flow test data, free of charge, at (214) 670-8095. New hydrant flow test data can be ordered at (214) 948-4536. Presently there is a $150 fee for new hydrant tests. Since the City has several water service levels with differing water supply capacities; it is possible to have a hydrant flow test one block away from your project but on a different service level. You should verify the hydrant flow test data that you are using is hydraulically representative of the city main to which you are connecting by checking the static pressure available at the spigot piece as soon as possible. Do not design using a hydrant flow test which indicates 90-psi static pressure and connect to a city main with only 50-psi static pressure.