NFPA Weighs in on Requiring Sprinklers In Homes

Read it, here.

The business owner who installs these admits:

Experience has shown us it is difficult to make a profit in single-family home installations. (Liability insurance premiums for our business are brutally high, which creates higher-than-average overhead costs.)

Anyone care to explain how how this code change will help that situation?

He also states:

Many new homes are constructed with prefabricated roof trusses and floor joist systems. These often are produced with metallic fasteners that do not fare well in high temperatures. This can be particularly dangerous for firefighters in rural areas. Many cases have been documented in which roofs collapsed or floors gave way under responders in as little as ten minutes.

Has anyone seen proposed code changes that would require these same fasteners to be more fire resistant?

Wouldn’t that cost less than mandating fire sprinklers and solve the same problem?

New Hampshire is currently in the battle of mandating sprinklers in new single and multi-family homes. The requirement for sprinkler installations in new homes is something that I support.

I believe that the reasoning behind the requirement is simply to provide occupants with additional time to evacuate and/or be rescued from a burning structure, as sprinkler systems installed according to NFPA 13D and NFPA 13R (the sprinkler codes for residential structures) do not provide the
same degree of coverage as sprinkler systems installed for commercial properties (NFPA 13).

Additionally, by providing the extra time for occupants to evacuate, may mean that fire fighters do not have to go in to the structure in the first place and that structural components of the building may remain stable longer so that in the event that the occupants need to be rescued sprinklers may provide a safer environment in which to effect the rescue.

Just my two cents.

That is correct Chris. Classified under NFPA-D, a head in the kitchen, boiler room, fireplace area etc…:slight_smile:

All of the available data shows the Residential Fire Sprinkler systems will save lives.

The data in Scottsdale. AZ, where they have been mandated for some time show on average of a Dollar per square foot price increase.

(perhaps we should label house fires terrorists, then more people will get on board with the “cost” of this life saving technology?)

A great idea…

Scope of Fire Sprinkler Standards

The Fire Sprinkler Law regulates the fire sprinkler industry in Maine. Every fire sprinkler system, (those with more than 6 fire sprinkler heads), must be installed by licensed fire sprinkler contractors according to an approved fire sprinkler standard. Those standards are both nationally-recognized and state-recognized fire sprinkler codes that have been legally adopted by the State of Maine. The most commonly used nationally recognized adopted codes are NFPA 13, NFPA 13R, and NFPA 13D, all from the National Fire Protection Association. The state-recognized fire sprinkler codes are The Hydro-Pro, and The Maine Life Safety.

NFPA 13D: Water demand is 10 minutes of water for 2 heads at 13 gpm for each head equals 2 x 13 x 10 = 260 gallons of water. If the home is less than 2000 sq ft, one story, with certain type ceilings all not over 9’, then 10 minutes of water for 2 heads at 6.5 gpm for each head equals 2 x 6.5 x 10 = 130 gallons. Either way, residential heads are to be used. Pumps & pump controllers for NFPA 13D systems do not have to be listed for fire service, regardless of their size. Hose streams do not have to be included for the required water supply. Alarms are not required other than smoke alarms. Fire Department connections are not required. Heads are not required in:

  • Bathrooms less than 55 square feet
  • Closets & pantries that are under 24 square feet that are less than 3 feet deep and that have walls & ceiling of non-combustible or limited combustible materials.
  • Garages & carports
  • Porches, balconies, corridors & stairs when any of these are open & attached
  • Closets of any size on exterior balconies as long as they have no openings into the dwelling unit
  • Attics & crawl spaces that are not used for living purposes and that do not have fuel-fired equipment
  • Floor/ceiling spaces that do not have fuel-fired equipment
  • Penthouse equipment rooms
  • Elevator shafts & elevator machine rooms
  • Other concealed spaces that are not used for living purposes and that do not have fuel-fired equipment
  • Unheated entrance foyers that are not the only means of egress
  • Ceiling pockets that meet certain criteria
  • Our office also recognizes walk-in refrigerators, and freezers
  • Our office also recognizes storage areas that are accessed through trap-doors, ceiling pull-down ladders, cabinet-sized doors and access panels, as long as those areas are not for living purposes and do not have fuel-fired equipment.

I will tell your this though, when I am inspecting a home with a Fire Sprinkler system, I do not go walking around the attic stepping through insulation where I can not see. :shock:

Most of the systems are constructed out of plastic type piping. :smiley:

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=]GENERAL[/size][/FONT]
Plastic Pipe Fire Sprinkler Systems:
**Plastic pipe fire sprinkler systems are available in CPVC and PEX from several manufacturers and are designed to be installed in certain residential and/or light hazard applications. Plastic systems are specially listed for use in wet fire sprinkler systems. They should be installed by qualified contractors in accordance with the products UL listing and The NFPA 13, 13D and 13R Standards. Listed plastic fire sprinkler systems offer an affordable measure of protection of life and property from fire.

The purpose of the residential sprinkler systems is to provide a system that aids in detection and control of residential fires and thus, provides improved protection against injury, loss of life, and property damage.**[size=2]
[/size]**NFPA 13D: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes, allows for stand alone or multipurpose systems. Garages, bathrooms, attics, crawl spaces and small closets are not required to have sprinklers. Systems are sized for two sprinklers activating. Pipe is installed per NFPA 13D and applicable plumbing code requirements (multipurpose systems), to the product manufacturers UL Approved installation instructions. Some system components are not required to be listed. As of 1999, NFPA 13D allows both multipurpose systems and stand alone systems.

Nice Marcel. :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: