International Code Council Adopts Electronic Monitoring of Fire Extinguishers

The International Code Council (ICC) voted unanimously in June to amend its International Fire Code (IFC) in order to permit electronic monitoring of fire extinguishers in lieu of 30-day physical inspections.

According to the ICC, 32 states use the IFC. Utah was the first state in the nation to adopt standards for the electronic monitoring technology. Moreover, state fire marshals in Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire and New Jersey have also given the go-ahead for occupancies to install such equipment while the necessary code changes are in process.


The new code language, which is endorsed by the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM), does not mandate the use of electronically monitored fire extinguishers; instead it allows its use as an alternative to thirty-day physical inspections. IFC Section 906.2 was revised to include a second exception that reads, “The use of a supervised, listed electronic monitoring device shall be permitted in lieu of 30-day interval inspections, when approved.” The IFC change takes effect January 1, 2005.


Fire equipment industry studies show that 90% of 30-day physical inspections simply do not happen, according to John McSheffrey, vice president of MIJA, a manufacturer of this technology. “Large office towers can have hundreds if not thousands of extinguishers that must be checked manually each month—costing building operators both valuable time and money,” said McSheffrey. “In the event even one extinguisher is not properly inspected and it is not available in an emergency—the liability costs could be enormous. By implementing 24-7 electronic monitoring, safety is increased and liability is reduced.”


The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) code NFPA-10 for commercial facilities requires physical inspections of fire extinguishers every 30 days for presence, position, pressurization and unobstructed access. McSheffrey says that extinguishers equipped with electronic monitoring exceed these requirements by monitoring constantly for presence and position while checking every 15 hours for pressure and obstruction to access. Fire extinguisher monitoring systems are also capable of generating a log of extinguisher readiness and impairment history, which is useful to both building owners and fire inspectors. For more information, go to .

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Make Big Data and Industrial Internet of Things work for you, 2017 Engineers' Choice Finalists, Avoid control design pitfalls, Managing IIoT processes
Engineering Leaders Under 40; System integration improving packaging operation; Process sensing; PID velocity; Cybersecurity and functional safety
Mobile HMI; PID tuning tips; Mechatronics; Intelligent project management; Cybersecurity in Russia; Engineering education; Road to IANA
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
click me