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Fire System Impairments

Attached to Policy FIN-INS-16 link


All University–owned buildings, all campuses.


All occupants of University buildings shall comply with Indiana fire code IFC 901.7.3 regulations concerning fire systems impairments.



In an effort to create the safest possible environment for staff, students and visitors, Indiana University has adopted a program, based upon Indiana Fire Code 901.7.3, for fire system IMPAIRMENTS. This program must be followed when any FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEM is impaired by a contractor or university employee. When doing work on any FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEM, contractors must be made familiar with this program and obtain a fire protection impairment permit from the Office of Insurance, Loss Control & Claims (INLOCC) (or their designee). If any hot work is involved in the repairs, a hot work permit must also be obtained and followed.

Before a Planned IMPAIRMENT

  1. Notify INLOCC of any planned impairment at least 7 calendar days in advance.
    IUB: LossCtrl-IUB-L@list.indiana.edu (Primary: Campus Manager Mark Colglazier mwcolgla@iu.edu)

    IUPUI & IUC: LossCtrl-IUPUI-L@list.indiana.edu (Primary: Campus Manager Rodney Johnson rocujohn@iu.edu)

    IUN: LossCtrl-IUN-L@list.indiana.edu (Primary: Inspector Ed Jones edcjone@iu.edu)

    IUSB: LossCtrl-IUSB-L@list.indiana.edu (Primary: Inspector Chris Cox cox56@iu.edu)

    IUK: LossCtrl-IUK-L@list.indiana.edu (Primary: Campus Manager Scott Gillespie gillesps@iu.edu)

    IUE: LossCtrl-IUE-L@list.indiana.edu (Primary: Campus Manager Scott Gillespie gillesps@iu.edu)

    IUS: LossCtrl-IUS-L@list.indiana.edu (Primary: Inspector Chris Rainbolt crainbol@iu.edu)

    Bradford Woods: LossCtrl-BW-L@list.indiana.edu (Primary: Campus Manager Scott Gillespie gillesps@iu.edu)

    All other locations: LossCtrl-BW-L@list.indiana.edu (Primary: Assistant Director Mel Lane mellane@iu.edu)

    These addresses are available to anyone needing to contact Loss Control. Since they are available to people outside IU, IU has spam controls enabled. When you send the message, you will get an email response in a few seconds. In that response will be a link that creates a confirmation email. As soon as you send that your original email will be sent.

    Impairment Tag

  2. A red impairment permit shall be affixed to all affected equipment to remind personnel that the system is impaired.

  3. Processes shall not be performed that have an inherent ignition source, such as hot work, unless part of the repair process. Smoking within university buildings is always prohibited.

  4. Be prepared. Have everything ready before impairing protection, e.g., excavating equipment, pipe plugs, repair parts and personnel.

  5. Plan to have temporary fire protection on hand: extinguishers, charged hose lines, etc.

  6. If required, especially for prolonged IMPAIRMENTS, set up temporary sprinkler protection by running a 2.5" hose from a fire hydrant to the 2" drain of an active system.

  7. INLOCC (or their designee) will notify the fire department servicing the campus and the campus dispatch center so they can be ready to handle any fire emergency.


    IUN: Gary FD, Prevention Bureau, 219-881-5285 (INLOCC designee: Gary Greiner, 219-981-4291)

    IUSB: South Bend FD, Capt. John Fleming, 574-235-9487 (INLOCC designee: Mike Prater, 574-520-4319)

    IUK: Kokomo FD, Deputy Chief Nicholas Glover, 765-457-2636 (INLOCC designee: John Sarber, 765-455-9505)

    IUE: Richmond FD, Inspector Mike Davis, 765-983-7261 (INLOCC designee: Gail Smoker, 765-973-8254)

    IUC: Columbus FD, Deputy Chief EMS Mike Kutsko, 812-376-2587 (INLOCC Designee: Paul Burris, 812-348-7237)

    IUS: New Albany FD, Chief Matt Juliot, 812-948-5314 (INLOCC Designee: Ron Poff, 812-941-2330)

  8. If the fire protection equipment can be restored, determine how to quickly return it to service. If it can't be quickly restored, contact INLOCC to discuss an operation plan.

  9. A fire watch or usage restrictions may be required during the impairment.

Restoring the system

  1. Promptly restore fire protection equipment to automatic service as soon as possible.

  2. Re–lock sprinkler control valves in the normally open position.

  3. Reset the alarm system. All agencies/departments that were notified the system was impaied must be notified the system is back in service.

  4. Complete the impairment tag. The fire protection equipment technician shall documents all steps taken to restore fire protection on the permit, sign it and return it to the INLOCC.

  5. INLOCC will review the information on the signed permit, inspect the system and retain the tag it as a record of the IMPAIRMENT.

Managing the Unplanned IMPAIRMENTs

The steps outlined above work well for the planned fire protection IMPAIRMENTS, however, not all IMPAIRMENTS can be planned. For example, sprinkler piping may start leaking or break due to freezing. If you are faced with an unplanned IMPAIRMENT, the steps you take (as outlined above) to manage the situation could mean the difference between minor damage and a significant loss. To ensure safe handling of the IMPAIRMENTS, follow the all the steps outlined above and notify INLOCC as soon as possible.


IMPAIRMENT: A condition where a fire suppression system is out of service/damaged/or inoperable building–wide, or to a point where loss of life or university assets are at great risk. (One — twenty sprinkler heads out of service with a sprinkler technician onsite working would not normally constitute a system impairment.)

IMPAIRMENT COORDINATOR: The person responsible for the maintenance of a particular fire protection system.

Additional References: Indiana Fire Code

901.7 Systems out of service. Where a required fire protection system is out of service, the fire department and the fire code official shall be notified immediately and, the building shall either be evacuated or an approved fire watch shall be provided for all occupants left unprotected by the shutdown until the fire protection system has been returned to service. Where utilized, fire watches shall be provided with at least one approved means for notification of the fire department and their only duty shall be to perform constant patrols of the protected premises and keep watch for fires.

901.7.1 Impairment coordinator. The building owner shall assign an impairment coordinator to comply with the requirements of this section. In the absence of a specific designee, the owner shall be considered the impairment coordinator.

901.7.2 Tag required. A tag shall be used to indicate that a system, or portion thereof, has been removed from service.

901.7.3 Placement of tag. The tag shall be posted at each fire department connection, system control valve, fire alarm control unit, fire alarm annunciator and fire command center, indicating which system, or part thereof, has been removed from service.

901.7.4 Preplanned impairment programs. Preplanned impairments shall be authorized by the impairment coordinator. Before authorization is given, a designated individual shall be responsible for verifying that all of the following procedures have been implemented:

  1. The extent and expected duration of the impairment have been determined.
  2. The areas or buildings involved have been inspected and the increased risks determined.
  3. Recommendations have been submitted to management or building owner/manager.
  4. The fire department has been notified.
  5. The insurance carrier, the alarm company, building owner/manager, and other authorities having jurisdiction have been notified.
  6. The supervisors in the areas to be affected have been notified.
  7. A tag impairment system has been implemented.
  8. Necessary tools and materials have been assembled on the impairment site.


Appropriate supervisory personnel will be contacted concenring violations of this sub–section.


New October 2016