Fall Newsletter

Members Present (in no particular order):

Michael Fitz, MDE
Kyle Evans, Simplex/Grinnell
Rick Sigmen, Commercial Fire
Ceven Cullens, Fire Dynamics
Dixie Cullens, Fire Dynamics
Lamont Mang,
John Abel, Crown Fire
Kevin Kane, Viking Supply Net
Chuck Paradis, Sprinx
Bob Waters, Noveon/Blazemaster
Scott Cradduck, Hughes
Kent Fricks, Hughes
David Smith, Vancouver, WA FD
Lloyd Ivy, AFSA
Bill McKay, Advanced Fire
Ron Greenman, Bates Technical College

Well, this newsletter took me a long time to get out this time. First thing you should notice is the new look of the webpage. we changed it around to make it easier to navigate. As is obvious from the attendees list we had another great turnout and although we had some business as usual I’m happy to say that it was a great social event as well. New folks we haven’t seen before were Lamonte Mang, Kyle Evans and Kent Fricks. Kent is taking over for Scott Cradduck who, after years of threatening, has finally decided to retire. Way to go Scott. It was also good to see someone from the local Simplex/Grinnell office in attendance. I hope this will be a usual thing.

Bill brought up the importance of paying attention to product listing literature. It seems he’s involved in one of those lawsuits all contractors eventually find themselves in and without going into details I’d probably mess up anyways he may lose because of some small slip in details that could have been easily avoided by reading the cut sheet a little more closely. The message here is be careful.

Good news from Seattle: The Seattle Fire Codes Council has pretty much gone through the IFC and their old Administrative Rules with a fine tooth comb and what came out was a Seattle Fire Code far closer to the IFC. And where there is deviation the rules are clear and easy to find. Bad news from Seattle: Those permit fees are going up.

We’re still trying to put together a database of jurisdictional info. Lots of the local cities and counties have their fees, contacts, rules, etc. posted on websites but these are sometimes a maze to navigate. What we want to do is develop a format that is consistent so as to make it easy for you guys to get the information you need without having to go to the web and fumble around wasting time. Some of the older members (longevity as members not necessarily a comment on approaching old age) probably remember the Big Black Binders that Bill used to provide to everyone. We want to do an electronic version of those. Let me know what info you’d like to see in the database.

As always prevailing wage and target money issues remain a point of contention. At the moment there may be a small breakthrough on this front with a relatively high placed person at L&I conceding that there may be some improprieties going on. Stay tuned for more on this.

We have distributed the money for the winners of the 2003/2004 scholarship contest and the applications for the 2004/2005 event are already starting to come in. Watch out–in the near future I’ll be asking some of you to read and judge.

Oregon is looking into licensing/certifying both contractors and fitters. A task group has been formed to advise the Oregon folks. The following excerpt gives a little more information:

“A Fire Sprinkler Contractor Coalition has been formed in the state of Oregon to sponsor and
support a state bill that would require licensing for all contractors who install fire sprinkler
systems. The bill initiative will go forward to the legislature in January, 2005 and will closely
model the same requirements that are in place in Washington State. Since July 28, 2004, several
meetings have been held with considerable work being done by the Coalition steering
committee that is comprised of the following members:
1) Jeff Larson, Chairperson, Viking Automatic Sprinkler Company, Inc.
2) David Aschbacher, Master Fire Control Inc.
3) Tom Barker, Discount Fire System Inc.
4) Jim Dutton, JND Fire Sprinkler Inc.
5) Ross Gill, Western Sates Fire Protection Inc.
6) Don Pamplin, Regional Manager, National Fire Sprinkler Association
The Steering Committee has been working with Amanda Rich, a political consultant who is also
working with a parallel legislative initiative sponsored by the Road Local 669 that proposes
fitter licensing in the state of Oregon for all sprinkler fitters. Both proposed bills will go to the
legislature at the same time. The outcome is not predictable. Fitter licensing has been proposed
two previous times and has been quickly dropped. The Oregon Coalition of Fire Sprinkler
Contractors is proposing Contractor Licensing as a better alternative that has a national track
record of being more able to achieve the necessary level of quality installations of fire sprinkler
systems, including a successful policing system of fines and/or license removal to ensure that
quality systems are in fact being installed.”

Our guest this meeting was Lloyd Ivy from AFSA in Texas. He gave those present a short history of AFSA. He talked about the chapter rebate which we have received each year thanks to your dues and participation in this chapter. He talked about the chapter grant program which we use every year to help underwrite the cost of our regional scholarship contest. We have also received grants to establish and maintain our website and to build the sprinkler demonstration trailer housed at the Woodinville Fire Station, which, I hope, you’ve been utilizing. It exists, among other things, to be used for the educational needs of our members. And speaking of education, let me plug the Fire Protection Engineering Technology Program at Bates Technical College in Tacoma. I’ll leave it at that and if you want to know more give me a call at 253/680-7346.

Lloyd also brought up some services that AFSA offers to you, the members. First is the vehicle leasing program sponsored by the AFSA and offered through Enterprise Fleet Services. I saw that there’s an article about this program in the current issue of Sprinkler Age so go there for details, or to the AFSA website. AFSA also offers answers to your technical questions which can save you oodles of money. Lloyd told a story of how one contractor saved so much by avoiding a single, costly code error that his dues, which got him the service, were paid back for several years. I’d also like to mention the Sprinkler Forum. This is an AFSA bulletin board where many of your technical questions have already been addressed, or will be. And if you need an answer now all you have to do is ask the question and you’ll get a large chunk of the collective AFSA member brainpower digging deep in their accumulated experience and knowledge to get you the answer. It’s also a great place to meet other folks (contractors, engineers, ahjs) from around the world associated with AFSA. Again these services can be accessed through the AFSA website: or linked through our own website: .

Finally Larry Glenn wanted me to pass on this email. The documents he refers to can be accessed at the AFSA/PacNW website (see above). Look for Larry’s reference #1 & #2 at the bottom of the page:


>Please make this info available to your group. We would appreciate their comments.

>As of right now we have a NICET I.T.M. level II test scheduled for Dec. 11.  There are a number of A.H.J.s registered to take the test.  I plan on getting their comments after the test on my thoughts outlined below.  One thing for sure–the intermediate math element is way too advanced for someone who is inspecting and testing sprinklers.

>Larry Glenn
Deputy State Fire Marshal
(360) 570-3133

>Subject: A thought(s)


>After all the good discussion at the Roundtable, the SFMO has decided to remove the I.T.M. section of the WAC 212.80 revision, and proceed only with minor updates and the fines and penalty section at this time. 

>We are hoping to schedule public hearings on the WAC 212.80 revision for late December.  This would allow adoption by February 1st. 2005.

>There are really four reasons why we are doing so.

>First, since we would be adding a new certification level with fees attached, State law would require us to complete a very time consuming Small Business Economic Impact Statement.

>Second, by tabling the I.T.M. section will give us more time to work through the contractor employee I.T.M. certification issue and get it right the first time.

>Third, the sprinkler industry introduced and got legislation passed in 2002 establishing fines and penalties as a way of policing their Industry.  The legislation requires the fines and penalties to be established by WAC before they can be imposed.  We can wait any longer to get the WAC in place.

>Finally, the plumber’s lobby will be once again introducing a sprinkler fitter certification bill, (SB-2922).  If it were successful in being passed, it would require a number of changes to WAC 212.80 to bring it in line with the new law.  I have attached SB2922 for your review, as well as a response to Rep. Conway, (Chair of the Labor and Commerce Committee) from the Fire Sprinkler Technical Advisory Group.

>One final thought–NICET ITM level II requires completion of 32 elements.  NICET ITM level I only requires completion of 9 elements. Those 9 elements are also part of the 32 required for NICET ITM level II.

>It might be worth considering to require NICET ITM level I certification for a facility maintenance person to be considered competent for Inspection only of fire sprinkler systems and NICET ITM level II for Inspection and Testing.  That way a facility maintenance person could start out doing Inspection only and gradually obtain certification to do both Inspection and Testing.

>Please offer your thoughts and comments!

Larry Glenn
Deputy State Fire Marshal
(360) 570-3133

[Larry’s Reference #1](/files/HB2922.pdf)
[Larry’s Reference #2](/files/2922review.doc)