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Home > Fire Sprinklers > Permits > When Permits are Required

When a Fire Sprinkler Job Requires a State Permit

The Fire Sprinkler Law requires that:

"…prior to construction of any fire sprinkler system, or prior to an addition involving more than 20 new sprinkler heads to a fire sprinkler system.a fire sprinkler system contractor shall obtain a permit…"

The Fire Sprinkler Technical Policy requires in

  • Part 2, Item 6 that: "Prior to construction of any new fire sprinkler system over 6 heads or any addition to an existing fire sprinkler system of more than 20 heads, a fire sprinkler permit shall be required in accordance with 32 M.R.S.A. sub-section 1371-1382. [Relocated heads and/or the replacement of existing heads only count toward the 20 heads when there is an addition in pipe length.]
  • Part 2, Item 9 that: "Fire pumps and standpipes shall be considered part of the sprinkler system and subject to review and permitting."

Replacing sprinkler heads with new heads is maintenance and does not require a permit, regardless of the number of sprinkler heads. But once extra heads are added, or pipe is added, removed or relocated, then a permit will be required when more than 20 heads are involved.

If you are about to start a job that is borderline in requiring a permit, and suspect that it is possible that once on the project, the scope of the project may expand to where a permit is required, then email or mail or fax an application form to me in advance, with a note on it, "Informational Only at This Stage." No check, plans or calcs would be required. If the job then expands to where a permit is required, then you will not be caught installing without notification to our office. If the job expands to where a permit is required, then call and let me know that the check and plans/job description will follow shortly.

The Fire Sprinkler Law mandates regulation of the fire sprinkler industry within the State of Maine. The law does not give exceptions for private homes, non-profits, municipal, or state buildings. There are exceptions for some Federal buildings as explained on the link, "Federal Buildings & Permit Extension".

Renovation jobs do not always require a set of plans. Sometimes a typical detail and brief description of the job are adequate. It is not the intent of the office to bog the industry down with paperwork for "day-work jobs."

Please call on renovation jobs that are difficult to design. When time allows, I will be happy to do a walk-through site inspection before you begin, and then suggest how much design detail is required for the job. It could save you a lot of design time. Renovation jobs that have typical detail and brief description of the project in lieu of the plans are jobs that I prioritize for field inspection.

When in doubt about whether or not a job requires a permit, or on how much design is required, please contact me at 207-626-3889 or gerald.r.leach@maine.gov