You must be certified to design and install these systems under the new ICC mandate.

Photo courtesy of Uponor

The recent vote by the International Code Council to mandate residential fire sprinklers in the International Residential Code for 2011 gives plumbing contractors time to learn how to install these systems properly, thereby giving themselves a new revenue stream.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2011, all new homes and townhouses built under the 2009 International Residential Code will have to be protected by a residential sprinkler system. It’s estimated that the residential sprinkler market will account for an additional 40 million sprinklers installed each year, with half being installed by plumbing contractors and the other half by sprinkler contractors.

But you must be certified to design and install residential fire sprinkler systems. Following is a roundup of 2009 training programs through manufacturers and industry associations.

Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors - National Association

In order to help its members prepare for this potential market, PHCC has partnered with Fire Smarts to offer training and education on residential fire sprinklers, beginning with a Webinar on Feb. 18 titled “Grow Your Business With Residential Fire Sprinklers.”

The cost is $49 for PHCC members, $98 for nonmembers. The Webinar is schedule for 3 p.m. Eastern, and presented byRuss Leavitt.

Participants will be updated on the most recent code changes affecting residential fire sprinklers. They will also understand:

  • How adoption of these code changes will transform the residential fire sprinkler market.

  • The competitive advantages that a plumbing contractor has when performing residential fire sprinkler services.

  • The “barriers to entry” that must be overcome to enter the residential fire sprinkler market.

  • The residential fire sprinkler market as a whole to consider if further investigation is warranted.

  • To register, go to the Meetings and Events tab on PHCC’s Web site

    American Fire Sprinkler Association

    The American Fire Sprinkler Association offers a Beginning Fire Sprinkler System Planning School with focused training on sprinkler system layout. Students receive two full weeks of instruction: 60 percent is study and review of NFPA 13 and the remainder is preparation of the fire sprinkler system layout, shop drawings and hydraulic calculations.

    Classes are held at AFSA’s training center in Dallas. The 2009 schedule is:
    • March 9-20
    • May 11-22
    • July 13-24
    • Nov. 9-20
    Maximum enrollment is 18 students per school. Registration fees for members are $1,100; nonmembers pay $1,600. Download a registration form For additional details, call 214/349-5965, ext. 132.


    The Uponor factory-training program currently offers the AQUASAFE Fire Safety Systems Workshop, which details system components, design and installation techniques for the Uponor multipurpose plumbing and fire sprinkler system.

    These are free training workshops held at Uponor’s training center in Apple Valley, Minn. Dates for the first half of the year are:
    • Feb. 18
    • March 17
    • April 28
    • May 12
    • June 30
    For additional information and to register online, go

    Tyco Fire Suppression & Building Products

    Tyco offers a two-day program in residential fire sprinkler systems at its Cranston, R.I., training center. Topics include: installation standards, residential system components, design and special residential situations. Students can expect a full review of piping, valves and alarms, as well as unique situations presented in the home sprinkler industry - beamed ceilings, sloped ceilings and obstructions.

    Course fee is $350, and maximum enrollment is 24 students per class. 2009 dates are:
    • Feb. 24-25
    • April 7-8
    • June 23-24
    • Aug. 4-5
    • Oct. 6-7
    • Dec. 1-2
    For additional information, contact a training coordinator at 401/781-8220, ext. 500, or e-mail You can download a registration form

    Viking Corp.

    The Viking Technical Seminar is a two-day training session that gives students hands-on experience in wet systems, dry systems and deluge systems. Classes are held in Hastings, Mich.

    The 2009 dates are:
    • March 9-10
    • May 18-19
    • July 13-14
    • Aug. 10-11
    • Sept. 21-22
    • Oct. 19-20
    • Nov. 9-10
    To register,  

    Keep checking for additional information on residential fire sprinkler training.