A Word Of Warning To Backflow Testers

By Charlie Sullivan

The Colorado Department of Public Safety, Division of Fire Prevention and Control, requires that all individuals and or companies testing, repairing, or installing a backflow device on a fire sprinkler system be registered with the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control.  The requirement has been in place for several years.  Over the last few years there have been some significant changes to the requirements, i.e. tagging of systems (this is a big one), main drain test vs draining a system, etc.  The current requirements can be found in 8 CCR 1507-11 which has been effective since May 15, 2016.  It is your job as a backflow tester performing services on a fire sprinkler system to be knowledgeable of the requirements.  The complete text can be found at the following link:

http://www.sos.state.co.us/CCR/GenerateRulePdf.do?ruleVersionId=6758&fileName=8%20CCR%201507-11

As outlined in 8 CCR 1507-11, Fire Suppression Program, you would be required to register as a Fire Suppression System Contractor – Backflow, which is defined as, “Individuals or companies conducting installation, maintenance, service or testing of backflow prevention devices installed on fire sprinkler systems”.

The testing company and or individual need to be particularly aware of the requirements in Sections 3, 6, 7, and 8.   The Division of Fire Prevention and Control is actively pursuing unregistered backflow testers working on fire systems, issuing warnings to register immediately, actively following up on complaints, and if necessary taking legal action through the courts in regards to repeat offenders.  The cost of registering with the state will greatly outweigh the cost of a court date.

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