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Membership Has Its Benefits: Tech Services

AFSA Technical Reviews Save Contractors Time and Money

Are you using one of your most valuable American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) membership benefits? Access to AFSA’s Engineering & Technical Services Department and its archives of AFSA Technical Reviews is consistently one of the highest-rated benefits of membership. Have you taken advantage of it? AFSA’s Technical Reviews save members time and money. Shouldn’t your membership be working for you?

Goodbye Informal Interpretations, Hello AFSA Technical Reviews

Previously known as Informal Interpretations, AFSA’s Engineering & Technical Services staff has changed the name for its technical opinion service on any subject related to automatic fire sprinklers to AFSA Technical Reviews. There was some confusion with the “Informal” aspect of the previous name. The name was changed to strengthen the impression of AFSA’s technical opinions and differentiate from NFPA’s “Formal Interpretations.” AFSA’s opinions are not subordinate to NFPA’s; AFSA just utilizes a different process for responding to requests.

AFSA Technical Reviews Save Time and Money 

In a 2019 survey, four out of five AFSA contractors said industry information, along with having access to AFSA Engineering & Technical Services Department’s Technical Reviews, are equally important reasons why they initially joined.

When submitting an AFSA Technical Review, AFSA members can ask questions on any NFPA document, model code, UL/FM Standard, ISO standard, or anything to do with water-based fire protection. The Technical Review request log is monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, meaning AFSA’s Engineering & Technical Services team is always working to answer your questions as quickly as possible! In fact, most responses are turned around in approximately 24 hours. 

If, for any reason, the Engineering & Technical Services staff disagrees with the standard, the team actively works to change the language in the next revision cycle. Currently, there are over 100 proposed changes to NFPA 13, 13R, 13D, 20, and 25—all based on questions received through this service. 

Additionally, if email/letter correspondence responses are not enough to accurately explain AFSA’s stance on a particular subject, the AFSA Engineering & Technical Services team is happy to conference with the contractor or Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to provide further explanation or clarification. 

“We are on pace to answer 650 inquires this year, a 50-percent increase from 2020,” states AFSA Vice President of Engineering & Technical Services John August Denhardt, P.E., FSFPE. “We know AFSA contractors are busy, and that time is money. Let AFSA’s Tech Services team help resolve conflicts and get you back to work.” 

Submitting a question for Technical Review

Requesting an AFSA Technical Review is easy! To submit a new request online1.
1. Log on to firesprinkler.org.
2. Click on “Technical Services” > “AFSA Technical Review.”
3. Enter your username and password.
4. At the AFSA Technical Review page, click on “Ask A Question.”
5. Click the link to “Submit a question for a review.”

While the preferred submission method is utilizing the online form, requests may be emailed to technical@firesprinkler.org.  If you need to submit sketches or other documentation, you can submit those via email and reference the Technical Review that you are submitting.

Please note that these opinions are provided for the benefit of the requesting party and are provided with the understanding that AFSA assumes no liability for the opinions or actions taken on them.

Searching the Technical Reviews Archive

You can also look through the online archives of previously answered Technical Reviews. Searches of past reviews can be done by “Question Contains,” “NFPA Standard,” “NFPA Edition,” or by “NFPA Paragraph Contains.” The accumulated questions are on file should answer most of the questions. To search the Technical Review Archives:
1. Log on to firesprinkler.org.
2. Click on “Technical Services” > “AFSA Technical Review.”
3. Enter your username and password.
4. At the AFSA Technical Review page, click on “Search Archive.”
5. Fill in the appropriate search fields.

For more information and to search online, visit AFSA’s website or call AFSA at 214-349-5965.

Learn More About Membership

It’s how many times you use your membership benefits—and the time and money saved from using them — that determines the real value. With so many membership benefits offered by AFSA, Sprinkler Age is featuring a “Membership Has Its Benefits” column. Every issue, a new membership benefit is featured to help members keep up with all of the valuable benefits they can take advantage of and help understand how to best utilize them. 

“I always enjoy talking with members about what AFSA can do for them,” says AFSA Senior Director of Membership & Chapter Support Bruce Lecair. “AFSA can meet your needs and help grow your business, whether it’s through technical services, education, training, networking, or any of the other benefits we offer.”

Come see what all AFSA has to offer. The association is currently offering six-month trial memberships for contractors and 12-month trial memberships for AHJs for free! You can learn more about this promotion and join at www.firesprinkler.org/trial.

AFSA is offering an opportunity for current members as well. As a member, you know firsthand that investing in AFSA membership pays off. Depending on your number of employees, your investment is a few cents per hour per employee. Tell a contractor or associate friend in the industry why you are an AFSA member, and when they join or rejoin, you’ll receive a $100 Amazon gift card! Any member can get a $100 gift card for recruiting a contractor member. 

As an incentive to the company to join or rejoin, they will receive one AFSA on-demand webinar of their choice absolutely free—including CEUs (up to $250 value)! It’s our way to say thank you and welcome! See firesprinkler.org for details.

For more information, contact AFSA’s Membership & Chapter Support Department via email at membership@firesprinkler.org,or call 214-349-5965.


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