Impairment Procedures - Liberty Mutual Group

Impairment Procedures
from Liberty Mutual Property
Fire protection systems
are extremely reliable
when properly maintained
and tested.
An impairment, however,
could render a fire
protection system
ineffective or completely
inoperable and the result
could be catastrophic.
That Failed
to Operate
All Automatic
Systems Only
Fire protection impairments can result from planned or unplanned
shutdowns of the fire protection, detection or alarm systems. This
Risk Management Guide on impairments is intended to help you
create a program to manage impairments and minimize down time
of critical protection systems.
The National Fire Protection Association released an August 2005
update, U.S. Experience with Sprinklers and Other Fire
Extinguishing Equipment. The report addresses the effectiveness
of sprinkler systems for fires that occurred from 1999 through
2002. The major cause of system failure during this period was
due to protection systems being shut off.
Reasons for Failure
Shut Off
Defeated System
Lack of
System for
Type of Fire
Developing and implementing an effective Fire Protection
Impairment Program is fundamental in managing fire protection,
detection and alarm system impairments. A good fire protection
impairment program should include the following:
„ Written procedures that are updated annually
„ Full senior management support
„ Preparations and precautions to take before, during and after a
planned impairment
„ Methods for monitoring progress in restoring the system
„ Records and documentation of events and tasks as they occur
„ Authorized manager responsible for minimizing exposures and
promptly restoring protection
Valve Sealing Instructions
Post Indicator Valves
A: Loop seal and tighten so that wrench handle can not be moved
off of indicator post without breaking seal.
B: Loop seal as necessary and tighten so valve can not be
opened without breaking seal.
C: Four seals, loop to tighten seal so that valve can not be
operated without breaking seal.
Wall Post Indicator Valve
Seals around valve gland plate and wheel.
Outside Screw and Yoke
Seal around valve yoke and wheel.
Indicating Butterfly Valve
Loop seal and tighten so that valve cannot be
operated without breaking seal.
Quarter-Turn Ball Valve
Loop seal and tighten so that wrench
handle can not be moved.
Types of Impairments
< 8 hrs.
only 1 System
> 8 hrs.
> 1 System
Impairment less than eight hours in
Impairments greater than eight hours
duration and when not more than one
in duration or when more than one
system is out of service
system is out of service
Routine inspection, testing and
Systems requiring immediate shut
maintenance of fire protection systems
down due to an unforeseen event
or emergency
The Authorized Program or
Safety Manager
Assign responsibility to a program or safety manager with
sufficient authority to develop, implement and oversee the program. The authorized manager and other responsible persons
should have a thorough understanding of the plant operations,
special hazards and protection systems. Appoint a responsible
person and an alternate for every shift.
The authorized manager must ensure that responsible persons are
trained to handle planned and unplanned impairments and know
who to notify in the event of an impairment. Depending on the
extent of the impairment, notifications may include: production,
maintenance, and security personnel, senior management, fire
protection contractors, public fire department, alarm company
and Liberty Mutual Property.
Managing Contractors
Always supervise and follow-up on contractors performing
maintenance or repairs to systems to ensure systems are
promptly restored and operational. Do not assume or give them
responsibility for the operational status of your protection systems.
The authorized manager or another designated person should be
responsible for contractor actions.
„ Make contractors aware of established policies and
procedures and hold them accountable
„ Specifically identify the work to be completed in the contract
„ Require that contractors provide a certificate of insurance
with adequate coverage limits prior to starting work
„ Remove any wording in the contract that waives
subrogation rights
„ Require that the contractor provide written notice of
cancellation of their liability insurance
The program manager or other designated person
is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the
impairment process. Depending on the type of
impairment, their responsibilities should include
but not be limited to the items outlined below:
Managing Impairments
Planned Impairments
Make sure all materials needed to complete the project are at the
job site and repairs/alterations are ready to go before disabling
any fire protection systems or parts of any system. Notify all necessary local personnel, the fire department, alarm company and
insurance company prior to impairing the fire protection systems.
Unplanned Impairments
Preplanning is vital to effectively handle unplanned emergency
impairments. Have a list of contacts and emergency phone
numbers available to expedite notifications and arrange for
emergency repairs.
Alert Proper Personnel
Alert management, production and maintenance personnel
and emergency response team members so that the
necessary safeguards can be taken. Select, delegate and
instruct a responsible person to reopen valves or enable
systems in the event of a fire, provided it is safe to do so.
„ Notify the Fire Department
Notify the public fire department of impending or existing fire
protection system impairments. Provide them with details
of the type and extent of the impaired protection and the
buildings and processes affected. This will allow them time
to adjust any prefire planning as needed.
„ Report Impairment to Liberty Mutual Property
Use one of the means below to contact Liberty Mutual
Property before planned impairments and as soon as
possible for unplanned impairments. We have Fire Protection
Consultants available to provide direction or assistance
if needed.
[email protected]
Fax the impairment information to Liberty Mutual
Property’s Impairment Center at 603-334-8025
„ Discontinue Hazardous Operations
This may include handling flammable liquids, hot work
operations, etc.
„ Increase Private Protection
Establish an hourly fire watch for the areas covered by the
impaired protection systems. Obtain additional fire extinguishers, hoses, and other available manual fire fighting equipment.
Make sure personnel are properly trained to use the manual
„ Follow City/Town Regulations
Be aware of the regulations affecting your facility. Some
municipalities have adopted National Fire Protection
Association (NFPA) 101-Life Safety Code which states “Where
a required automatic sprinkler system is out of service for more
than four hours in a 24-hour period, the building shall be
evacuated or an approved fire watch shall be provided for all
portions left unprotected by the shutdown until the sprinkler
system has been returned to service.”
„ Expedite Work
Try to complete work while premises are fully attended. Do not
leave protection out of service any longer than necessary.
Permit & Red Tag System
The Fire Protection Impairment
Permit is completed and issued
by the Program Manager or
other authorized person. The
permit provides authorization to
disable a specific fire protection system, by a specific individual or group, for a specific
date and time. Separate permits should be issued for
each impaired system.
Red Tag Procedures
„ Verify the extent of the impaired protection, the system numbers, the building areas and operations in the affected area.
„ Verify or complete required notifications.
„ Ensure all preplanning and precautions are completed prior to
disabling the systems.
„ Fill out the Protected Area, System or Valve Number,
Responsible Person, Authorized By and Reason for Impairment
on the top and bottom portions of the Fire Protection
Impairment permit and complete the estimated date and time
for system restore on the bottom portion of the permit.
„ Detach the top portion of the permit and issue to the person
responsible for disabling and monitoring the protection system.
This “Fire Protection Out of Service” tag should be conspicuously displayed at the fire protection system control valve for
the duration of the impairment. Retain the bottom portion of
the Fire Protection Impairment Permit and post in a prominent
location as a reminder to follow-up on the impairment and
ensure prompt repairs to the protection systems.
„ For water-based extinguishing systems, complete a second
Red Tag with the same information and post it on the correct
fire department connection.
„ Check on the progress of the work periodically and check for
changes in conditions in the area of the impaired protection.
„ Upon completion of the repair work, verify that the fire
protection system is in service. Collect the corresponding
top portion of the tag and complete the remaining Restored
Date and Time and Restored By fields and sign on the Verified
By space.
„ Maintain the completed Red Tag on file for future reference.
Upon Work Completion
„ Return fire protection systems to service.
„ Open and lock or seal sprinkler system and water supply
control valves wide open and perform main drain tests on all
water-based extinguishing systems.
„ Confirm that all components of the fire protection systems
are operational.
„ Secure all fire protection control and alarm panels.
„ Remove and account for all red tags.
„ Return tags and system control keys to the authorized
Program Manager.
„ Notify alarm company that the systems are back in service.
Authorized Program Manager
„ Verify that all alarms are in service.
„ Notify appropriate plant personnel, Liberty Mutual Property
Loss Prevention, your local fire department and the alarm
company of the fire protection restoration.
NFPA 25, Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire
Protection Systems
Update on U.S. Experience with Sprinklers and Other Fire Extinguishing
Equipment, NFPA, August 2005
NFPA 101, Life Safety Code
While following the procedures and information outlined in this guide may aid in fire
safety, they do not contemplate every potential for loss or damage. Therefore, every
situation should be reviewed by the appropriate safety manager in an effort to take all
appropriate steps and precautions to minimize impairments. No duty or undertaking
is intended or assumed by Liberty Mutual Property by this publication as it is
informational in purpose.
© Copyright 2006, Liberty Mutual. This brochure is for informational purposes only.
smart & responsive
More Risk Management Guides from
Liberty Mutual Property. Contact your
account representative or your local Loss
Prevention Consultant for copies.
PE1003 „ Hurricane & Tropical Storm
Catastrophe Action Plan &
PE1004 „ Minimizing Hot Work Fires
PE1005 „ Human Element Programs
PE1012 „ Wet Pipe Systems
PE1013 „ Dry Pipe Sprinkler Systems
PE1015 „ Fire Pumps
PE1021 „ Keeping Sprinklers in Service
PE1022 „ Sprinkler Plan Reviews
PE1023 „ Transverse Flue Space
PE1025 „ Flammable and Combustible
PE1026 „ Flood Exposures
PE1027 „ Maintaining Fire Doors
PE1028 „ Avoiding Sprinkler Damage
for the Hospitality Industry
PE1029 „ Winter Threats
PE1030 „ Protection for Large Dip Tanks
PE1031 „ Idle Pallet Storage
PE3001 „ Impairment Procedures
For more information on our
Risk Management Guides and research,
contact us at:
Liberty Mutual Property
20 Riverside Rd.
Weston, MA 02493
TEL: 781-891-0230
[email protected]
PE 3001
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