Commercial & Industrial Fire Line Installation

Unmetered Fire Line

Commercial fire line

What are Fire Lines?

For commercial and industrial fire lines, Mickie Service provides licensed underground fire line installion with RME-U and SCR-U certifications. A fire line is also referred to as an UMFL or an industrial or commercial unmetered fire line.

Fire Line Installation

In the state of Texas, a dedicated fire line (not serving domestic water as well) must be installed by a licensed underground fire line installer – not a plumber or site utility contractor. In most cases, we work directly with sprinkler contractors – who would prefer to focus on the interior system.

We install from the tap on the public water main to 1' above finished floor/grade, and get the necessary fire marshal inspections. There are two primary components of an unmetered fire line – the section which lies in the public right-of-way and that which is on private property. Each of these sections – although the same industrial fire line – has its own permitting/inspection requirements. In general, the Public Works department will inspect the tap/public section and the fire marshal supervises/inspects the private section – although this varies significantly between municipalities. In most Municipal Utility Districts (MUD’s) the district operator will provide the public work.

In the City of Houston, the public right-of-way section of the commercial fire line is categorized as a large job – and is bonded/permitted according to Houston UMFL application requirements. The process steps are similar to those required for a large meter installation.

  • 1 General Building Permitting/ Design
  • 2 UMFL Service Requirements Established
  • 3 Apply for Meter Service
  • 4 Set Up the Job
  • 5 UMFL Service Installation
  • 6 Chlorination/ Public Works Hydro-Test
  • 7Completion

In the City of Houston and most surrounding AHJ’s (Authorities Having Jurisdiction) – the permitting of the private fireline is related by separate process. In most cases an RME-G (fire system designer) will use the approved civil drawings as the base for the private UMFL drawings. The RME-G will update as necessary to ensure that all requirements for the UMFL for that AHJ are met (e.g., type, location of backflow preventer, FDC, PIV…) and will then get the necessary AHJ/Fire Marshal approval for the drawings. Mickie Service partners with an RME-G firm to provide this service, when requested. Importantly – if either the base civil plans – or the private fireline drawing change in a manner that impacts the fire line – both drawings must be revised – and resubmitted for approval.

After fireline drawings are approved the service line is installed. There are two primary inspections.

  1. Visual inspection – to ensure that the fireline has been installed according to the drawing – and to applicable AHJ code
  2. 200lb/2 hr hydro-static test.

Upon completion of both the public and private inspections, the fireline can be released into service.

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