NYC Museums & Art Galleries Fire Sprinklers Systems

Fire sprinkler systems are recommended for most public buildings in the greater New York City area. In some cases, they may be voluntary, but all new commercial buildings over 100 feet in height and all other commercial buildings (depending on square footage) are required to be fully sprinklered.

Art galleries and museums, however, face specific concerns. Due to the priceless nature of their contents, insurance companies will usually require them to be fully sprinklered, even if the city does not. A fire does not have to come in close contact with an antique to ruin it. Heat spreads quickly and smoke damage to a single object can make it prohibitively expensive to repair.

Historical treasures must be carefully protected and the National Fire Protection Association has created a special set of rules in their NFPA 232 publication – The Standard for the Protection of Records, applicable to art galleries, war museums, archaeology museums, and all storage of paper and non-paper media.

Being that these items are so susceptible to water damage, Allstate Sprinkler recommends a specific type of fire protection system to mitigate the possibility of water damage. This type of system is called a pre-action system.

Pre-Action Fire Sprinkler System Installation

Pre-action systems integrate the concepts of both wet and dry pipe type systems as outlined below:
A wet pipe sprinkler system maintains water pressure at all times at each sprinkler head. Wet sprinkler systems are the most cost efficient to install and provide the fastest application of fire protection during a real fire event.

Dry pipe sprinkler systems do not have constant water pressure at each sprinkler head. Instead, ambient air or nitrogen pressure is maintained throughout the network of piping and when a fire event takes place, a sprinkler head fuses from excessive heat thereby releasing the air pressure and allowing the water to enter the system from a distant valve.

In conjunction with the installation of special detectors (heat and/or smoke) once a detector is activated, a sprinkler head must also be fused by significant heat to allow the air to escape from the system and then be filled with water or foam. The concept here is for the smoke and/or heat detector to serve as a “PRE” action event so that water only enters the system when a true fire situation is taking place.

Each individual sprinkler head must still be directly activated by a heat event in its immediate area. This double layer of protection prevents a rare accidental discharge while still providing the maximum fire protection.

Allstate Sprinkler is the leading fire protection contractor for the design and installation of this specialized type of system in the Greater New York City area, including Manhattan, Bronx, Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn. We’ve installed systems for some of the largest museums in the region and are considered the leading experts in NFPA 232 standards.

Fire Sprinkler System Inspection

Just as important as the design of the museum and art galleries’ system is the required inspection, testing and maintenance of such systems. NYC has adopted the NFPA 25 code requirements for all fire sprinkler systems. This regimen consists of the following:

  • Weekly inspections.
  • Monthly inspections.
  • Quarterly inspections.
  • Annual fire sprinkler test.


The weekly inspection can often be performed by your in-house employees utilizing a simple checklist. The other inspections, however, require a licensed Master Fire sprinkler contractor to perform.


During the monthly inspection, one of our FDNY certified technicians will inspect the gauges, alarms and control valves. Most other components are visually inspected as well, including the supply of spare parts required to be on premises.


The quarterly inspection includes several additional tests as well as a full-system visual inspection. The fire sprinkler riser is visually checked for the correct nameplate. The annual inspection is a complete exterior system inspection along with thorough testing. A fire pump test is also performed to determine flow and function.

Fire Sprinkler System Violations

If your museum or art gallery is currently protected by a fire sprinkler system, you may receive a Department of Buildings (DOB) or FDNY violation(s) for various reasons. In either case, this requires immediate action on your behalf. We’re available to our clients 24/7/365 for emergencies, including violations.

We have proven our dedication to protecting New York City buildings and their occupants and have developed the trust of our clients for 50 years. Our immediate response time can also reduce or even eliminate the possibility of fines associated with violations.

The most frequent violation is the failure to keep accurate inspection, testing and maintenance records. We maintain electronic copies of all the inspections and tests performed and have them available immediately upon demand.

Why Choose Allstate Sprinkler?

Allstate Sprinkler is the premier fire protection contractor in the greater NYC region for many decades. We are very proud to narrow this down, however, to one simple reason: superior service. Museum and art gallery owners receive violations and fines for poor record keeping because too many other companies cut corners or fail to respond to violations in a timely manner. From our inception 50 years ago to our present day operation, we offer 24/7/365 emergency repair service and require all employees to complete a rigorous apprenticeship program. With over 5,000 installations (and counting), we take great pride in our outstanding reputation with the FDNY and the DOB and our partnership with small and large businesses.

As the area’s leading fire protection equipment supplier, we also inspect, test and repair all types of fire sprinkler systems in the greater New York area. You may be wondering if there’s another NYC based fire sprinkler contractor with this same dedication to customer service? The answer is simple – no!

We’re consistently rated as the most responsive and thorough fire sprinkler contractor in the region, with over 5,000 installations and 50 years of continuous service. With our main shop located in the Bronx, we service all the other boroughs as well as the entire greater NYC area.

How to Get Started

As a museum or art gallery owner/operator, you understand the need for proper life-safety systems to maintain your operation running smoothly. Contact us today with the address of the building you own or manage, any previous violations or known issues, the occupancy and size of the building, and any other pertinent information you have. We look forward to working with you and providing you with a free estimate.