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Is NFPA 25 Mandatory? : All That You Need to Know

Is NFPA 25 Mandatory
Written by Willie F Brodson
Last Update: March 2, 2023

Is NFPA 25 mandatory?

NFPA 25 is a standard developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for the inspection, testing, and maintenance of water-based fire protection systems. While NFPA 25 is not a law or regulation, it is mandatory in certain jurisdictions or for certain types of facilities.

For example, your local or state government may adopt NFPA 25 as part of their fire code requirements. Additionally, some insurance companies may require compliance with NFPA 25 as a condition of coverage.

It is important to check with your local or state government and your insurance provider to determine whether compliance with NFPA 25 is mandatory for your facility.

What is NFPA 25?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a non-profit organization that works to reduce the risk of fire and related hazards through developing fire safety codes, standards, and education.

The NFPA publishes over 300 consensus-based codes and standards used by different government agencies and industries to help ensure fire safety and prevent loss of life and property. Some of the most well-known NFPA codes and standards are – NFPA 101: Life Safety Code, NFPA 70: National Electrical Code, and NFPA 1: Fire Code.NFPA-25 is an important standard that follows the requirements for inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) of water-based fire prevention systems.

As said before, this is mandatory for most commercial and industrial structures, as well as some residential buildings that contain water-based fire protection systems.

Property owners and managers are responsible for ensuring that their fire protection systems are properly compliant with NFPA-25.

However, it’s not a law often adopted by local, state, and federal governments as a requirement for property administrators but it has “voluntary consensus standards”.

Moreover, many insurance companies require building owners to comply with NFPA-25 to maintain coverage.

Consequences of failing to comply with NFPA-25?

Consequences of failing to meet NFPA-25 standards may differ from one region to another, but there will be some common impacts like fines/penalties, drop in insurance coverage, and additional monitoring costs but the major damage could be done to the lives of building residents.


Failure to comply with NFPA-25 can result in verbal and written warnings, loss of ability to occupy a space, and even forced business closure.

Insurance issues

Some insurance companies will even drop coverage if a building is not adequately protected or maintained. Others will negotiate insurance pricing based on what upgrades the owner makes to protect the facility from fire loss.

Extra cost

If you don’t have a fire protection system or if it’s not working properly, the fire department can require you to pay for a fire watch, which involves a qualified individual monitoring your facility 24/7 looking for any signs of fire until the problems are solved.

Benefits of complying with NFPA-25

Complying with NFPA-25 has several benefits for building owners and managers, such as –

  • Ensuring that fire protection systems are working correctly, which can help to prevent or minimize damage in the event of a fire emergency.
  • Decreasing the risk of liability in the end.
  • Reducing insurance premiums by demonstrating to insurers that the building is well-maintained and safe.

How often do you need to comply with NFPA-25?

The frequency of ITM depends on the type of fire protection system and the building’s residency classification. For example, a residence with a high hazard requires more frequent compliance than a low-hazard residence.

In general, NFPA-25 requires that fire protection systems be inspected, tested, and maintained regularly to ensure that they are working correctly.

Who is responsible for complying with NFPA-25?

The responsibility for complying with NFPA-25 falls on the building owner or the manager. In some cases, building owners or managers may hire a qualified contractor to perform inspections and maintenance on their behalf.

History of NFPA-25

In 1913, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) was founded, and one of its early missions was to develop standards for fire safety. Over time, the NFPA developed a variety of standards for different aspects of fire protection, including fire sprinkler systems.

The NFPA published its first standard in 1942  for fire sprinkler systems, known as NFPA-13 that outlined the requirements for the design and installation of fire sprinkler systems. However, it did not address the ongoing maintenance and inspection of these systems.

NFPA-25 was published in 1964, that specifically addressed the inspection, testing, and maintenance of water-based fire protection systems.

This standard provided guidance on how to inspect and maintain fire sprinkler systems to ensure that they remain effective in protecting life and property. Over the years, NFPA-25 has been updated and revised to reflect changes in technology, building codes, and industry practices.

Today, it remains a widely recognized standard for fire protection professionals, building owners, and facility managers who are responsible for ensuring the safety of occupants and property in the event of a fire.


1. How many codes and standards are in NFPA-25?

Ans: There are more than 300 codes and standards are there to minimize the risks and effects of fire.

2. Do I need a license to perform ITM on a water-based system?

Ans: According to NFPA-25 you don’t need any certificate to perform ITM because it states that “These tasks shall be performed by personnel who have developed competence through training and experience”.

About the author

Willie F Brodson

Certified by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and a master of Science in Occupational Safety Management from Indiana State University, Willie F Brodson is an occupational safety expert who believes in the age-old saying – “It is better to be safe than sorry.”

Willie’s areas of expertise include legal guidelines for health and safety, coding and construction safety, fire prevention and theft, and environmental technology. Over a span of four decades, he has provided safety training and consultation and developed safety manuals for a number of state-owned and private organizations.

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