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Automatic Fire Extinguishing Systems Laws and Regulations

Laws and Regulations for Automatic Extinguishing Systems (updated 05/01/2017)


Posted: April 1, 2017

The Fire Sprinkler Fitter Certification Regulation had been approved and is set to go into effect on July 1, 2017.

The following is a summary of the new regulation's key components and the anticipated impact on CALSAFE members who are performing sprinkler work.

This regulation will impact all who perform “installation” work on Water based fire protection systems.

They include:

Wet, dry, pre-action and deluge fire sprinkler systems, including small hose connections, standpipe systems, private fire service mains and their appurtenances, including hydrants and monitor nozzles, water spray systems, foam water systems, fire pumps, water storage tanks, low, medium, and high expansion foam systems, and water mist systems.

The only items that are excluded are:

One and two family residential sprinkler systems, underground water supply lines to the first joint or mechanical connection at the base of the system riser, and pre-engineered systems water-based fixed extinguishing systems (an example is a kitchen hood system)

Read Regulation Review | Read Regulation Brief



Office of the State Fire Marshal Fire Extinguisher License renewal requirement change. CALSAFE has received a number of phone calls and emails regarding notices sent to Licensees from the OSFM.

Fire Extinguisher Requirements

Do you know the fire extinguisher requirement for an Asphalt Kettle? If you were at the CALSAFE Annual Meeting you would have leaned the answer to this and many more extinguisher requirements that are not in Title 19 but in the California Fire Code. Read more about the requirements from the Fire Code you may not be aware of.”

Ask the Expert

Pressurized Flammable Liquids & Pressurized Gas Fires


In reviewing NFPA 10 and Title 19, Section 566. Page 34, it is clear that pressurized flammable gases and liquids are "to be considered a special hazard". Title 19 goes on to state that "it has been determined that a special nozzle design and rates of agent application are required to cope with such hazards". I can't find the specifics for the nozzle design or agent flow rates however. NFPA 10 section* is clearer. It states that for both pressurized and three-dimensional hazards, "large-capacity dry chemical extinguishers of 10 lbs or greater and having a discharge rate of 1 lb/sec shall be used. My question is this. Should we be installing High Flow Extinguishers at fuel stations, propane tanks, etc here in CA? I don't see a lot of 240 PSI extinguishers out there at these locations.


Don thank you for your inquiry. We applaud you for researching the matter to include looking into how NFPA10 addresses the issue. You are correct that Title 19 does state that only dry chemical agent should be used and adds as you have stated the need for special nozzle design and required rates of agent application for the hazard. As you have noted unlike NFPA10 there is not a reference to either the size or agent flow required nor is there a definition to the special nozzle design. Title 19 does state that the “selection of extinguishers for this type of hazard shall be made on the basis of recommendations by manufacturers of this specialized equipment.” Title 19 doesn’t define what it considers to be this “specialized equipment” nor which manufacturers have these extinguishers from which you can get a recommendation.

NFPA10 has more specific detail as to the capacity of the extinguisher and the nozzle flow rate. Many manufacturers have extinguishers that meet the NFPA 10 requirements that they recommend for this type application. By Title 19 referring back to the manufacturer rather than giving specific requires allows the specific application to be considered that may require something beyond the minimum requirements of NFPA 10.

As CALSAFE we are considering making a request for a formal interpretation from the OSFM to have a clearer direction.

Our recommendation in the meantime is to contact your extinguisher vendor representative and give them the specifics of your application for a recommendation to meet the Title 19 requirements. Whatever the recommendation it would be in your best interest from a liability standpoint to make sure that recommendation is equal to or greater than what the national standard (NFPA10) calls for.

CALSAFE provided Tech Tips, are prepared by various associates of CALSAFE, are provided with the understanding that they are opinions, and are not to be considered official positon of CALSAFE, or any regulatory body or agency. You should ALWAYS refer to the AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) for final determination.

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The California Association of Life Safety and Fire Equipment (CALSAFE) is pleased to announce our new advertising program for 2017. Your organization will be able to efficiently maximize your marketing dollars through CALSAFE’s uniquely targeted advertising program that offers exposure through our quarterly newsletters, our website and at our Annual Meeting.

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CALSAFE would like to congratulate Paul Cogburn and Michael Reeser on their election to the CALSAFE Board of Directors.

Thank you for your dedication and wiliness to serve our industry.

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