2016 NFPA 13 - Current Edition

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Updates in the 2016 NFPA 13: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems help designers, engineers, contractors, and installers develop the best fire sprinkler defense for any occupancy.

Fire protection challenges have changed along with construction materials and types of storage. Get equipped for today’s hazards by getting up-to-code with the new industry standard for the automatic sprinkler system design, installation, and acceptance testing; hanging and bracing systems; underground piping; and seismic protection.

Revisions to commodity classification tables in the 2016 NFPA 13 present the most significant update to the tables in over 30 years.

Updated classification tables in Chapter 5 Annex based on today’s materials help sprinkler system designers avoid common errors in classifying commodities. The new tables improve accuracy and reduce the risk for mistakes that could prove catastrophic in a fire.

A task group addressed the costly problem of corrosion in piping.

In a major change that impacts installers, the 2016 NFPA 13 adds a new requirement that a single air vent be installed for each wet sprinkler system to help reduce potential corrosion activity due to trapped air. A task group concluded that venting the trapped air in a wet system can decrease water delivery time, reduce alarm ring delay, reduce water flow alarm cyclic ringing, and reduce corrosion activity.

Other changes provide more flexible options for sprinkler design:

  • A new protection scheme for exposed bay plastics in racks has been added to Chapter 17, in response to the potential for serious fires.
  • New language added to Chapter 8 based on studies done by the Fire Protection Research Foundation allows sprinklers to be omitted above certain cloud ceiling configurations.
  • Conversions to metric have switched from an exact conversion into an approximate conversion to make the Standard more usable and cost effective on a global scale.
  • A new provision requires listed window sprinklers to be used where glazing assemblies are used as an alternative to fire-resistance-rated construction.
  • Revisions in Chapter 9 address the use of concrete anchors
  • An alternative storage protection scheme has been added for certain storage arrangements, similar to the Scheme A allowance in NFPA 30: Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code.

Gain the edge in sprinkler protection to prevent fire deaths and property loss.

NFPA 13: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems advances how sprinkler system designers, installers, maintainers, and AHJs can safeguard people and property against fire. Improve automatic fire sprinkler effectiveness and avoid errors using the new research-based 2016 edition of NFPA 13: Installation of Sprinkler Systems. (Softbound, 488 pp., 2016)

NFPA® 13 Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, 2016 Edition

Chapter 1 Administration
1.1 Scope
1.2 Purpose
1.3 Application
1.4 Retroactivity
1.5 Equivalency
1.6 Units and Symbols
1.7 New Technology
Chapter 2 Referenced Publications
2.1 General
2.2 NFPA Publications
2.3 Other Publications
2.4 References for Extracts in Mandatory Sections
Chapter 3 Definitions
3.1 General
3.2 NFPA Official Definitions
3.3 General Definitions
3.4 Sprinkler System Type Definitions
3.5 System Component Definitions
3.6 Sprinkler Definitions
3.7 Construction Definitions
3.8 Private Water Supply Piping Definitions
3.9 Storage Definitions
3.10 Marine Definitions
3.11 Hanging and Bracing Definitions
Chapter 4 General Requirements
4.1 Level of Protection
4.2 Limited Area Systems
4.3 Owner's Certificate
4.4 Additives
4.5 Air, Nitrogen, or Other Approved Gas
4.6 Support of Nonsprinkler System Components
Chapter 5 Classification of Occupancies and Commodities
5.1 Classification of Occupancies
5.2 Light Hazard Occupancies
5.3 Ordinary Hazard Occupancies
5.4 Extra Hazard Occupancies
5.5 Special Occupancy Hazards
5.6 Commodity Classification
Chapter 6 System Components and Hardware
6.1 General
6.2 Sprinklers
6.3 Aboveground Pipe and Tube
6.4 Fittings
6.5 Joining of Pipe and Fittings
6.6 Valves
6.7 Fire Department Connections
6.8 Waterflow Alarm Devices
6.9 Signs
Chapter 7 System Requirements
7.1 Wet Pipe Systems
7.2 Dry Pipe Systems
7.3 Preaction Systems and Deluge Systems
7.4 Combined Dry Pipe and Preaction Systems for Piers, Terminals, and Wharves
7.5 Multi-Cycle Systems
7.6 Antifreeze Systems
7.7 Outside Sprinklers for Protection Against Exposure Fires (Exposure Protection Sprinkler Systems)
7.8 Refrigerated Spaces
7.9 Commercial-Type Cooking Equipment and Ventilation
7.10 Additives and Coatings
Chapter 8 Installation Requirements
8.1 Basic Requirements
8.2 System Protection Area Limitations
8.3 Use of Sprinklers
8.4 Application of Sprinkler Types
8.5 Position, Location, Spacing, and Use of Sprinklers
8.6 Standard Pendent and Upright Spray Sprinklers
8.7 Sidewall Standard Spray Sprinklers
8.8 Extended Coverage Upright and Pendent Spray Sprinklers
8.9 Extended Coverage Sidewall Spray Sprinklers
8.10 Residential Sprinklers
8.11 CMSA Sprinklers
8.12 Early Suppression Fast-Response Sprinklers
8.13 In-Rack Sprinklers
8.14 Pilot Line Detectors
8.15 Special Situations
8.16 Piping Installation
8.17 System Attachments
8.18 Electrical Bonding and Grounding
Chapter 9 Hanging, Bracing, and Restraint of System Piping
9.1 Hangers
9.2 Installation of Pipe Hangers
9.3 Protection of Piping Against Damage Where Subject to Earthquakes
Chapter 10 Underground Requirements
10.1 Piping
10.2 Fittings
10.3 Connection of Pipe Fittings and Appurtenances
10.4 Protection of Private Fire Service Mains. [24:10.4]
10.5 Grounding and Bonding
10.6 Restraint
10.7 Steep Grades
10.8 Installation Requirements
10.9 Backfilling
10.10 Testing and Acceptance
Chapter 11 Design Approaches
11.1 General
11.2 Occupancy Hazard Fire Control Approach for Spray Sprinklers
11.3 Special Design Approaches
Chapter 12 General Requirements for Storage
12.1 General
12.2 Hose Connections
12.3 Adjacent Hazards or Design Methods
12.4 Wet Pipe Systems
12.5 Dry Pipe and Preaction Systems
12.6 Storage Applications
12.7 Discharge Considerations
12.8 Hose Stream Allowance and Water Supply Duration
12.9 Unsprinklered Combustible Concealed Spaces
12.10 Room Design Method
12.11 High-Expansion Foam Systems
12.12 Protection of Idle Pallets
Chapter 13 Protection of Miscellaneous and Low-Piled Storage
13.1 General
13.2 Design Basis
13.3 In-Rack Sprinklers
Chapter 14 Protection for Palletized, Solid-Piled, Bin Box, Shelf, or Back-to-Back Shelf Storage of Class I through Class IV Commodities
14.1 General
14.2 Control Mode Density/Area Sprinkler Protection Criteria for Palletized, Solid-Piled, Bin Box, Shelf, or Back-to-Back Shelf Storage of Class I Through Class IV Commodities
14.3 CMSA Sprinklers for Palletized or Solid-Piled Storage of Class I Through Class IV Commodities
14.4 Early Suppression Fast-Response (ESFR) Sprinklers for Palletized or Solid-Piled Storage of Class I Through Class IV Commodities
14.5 Special Design for Palletized, Solid-Piled, Bin Box, or Shelf Storage of Class I Through Class IV Commodities
14.6 High-Expansion Foam - Reduction to Ceiling Density
Chapter 15 Protection for Palletized, Solid-Piled, Bin Box, Shelf, or Back-to-Back Shelf Storage of Plastic and Rubber Commodities
15.1 General
15.2 Control Mode Density/Area Sprinkler Protection Criteria for Palletized, Solid-Piled, Bin Box, Shelf, or Back-to-Back Shelf Storage of Plastic and Rubber Commodities
15.3 CMSA Sprinklers for Palletized or Solid-Piled Storage of Group A Plastic Commodities
15.4 Early Suppression Fast-Response (ESFR) Sprinklers for Palletized or Solid-Piled Storage of Group A Plastic Commodities
15.5 High-Expansion Foam - Reduction in Ceiling Density
Chapter 16 Protection of Rack Storage of Class I Through Class IV Commodities
16.1 General
16.2 Protection Criteria for Rack Storage of Class I Through Class IV Commodities Stored Up to and Including 25 ft (7.6 m) in Height
16.3 Protection Criteria for Rack Storage of Class I Through Class IV Commodities Stored Over 25 ft (7.6 m) in Height
Chapter 17 Protection of Rack Storage of Plastic and Rubber Commodities
17.1 General
17.2 Protection Criteria for Rack Storage of Group A Plastic Commodities Stored Up to and Including 25 ft (7.6 m) in Height
17.3 Protection Criteria for Rack Storage of Group A Plastic Commodities Stored Over 25 ft (7.6 m) in Height
Chapter 18 Protection of Rubber Tire Storage
18.1 General
18.2 Columns Within Rubber Tire Storage
18.3 Water Supplies
18.4 Ceiling Systems
18.5 In-Rack Sprinkler System Requirements for Protection of Rubber Tires
18.6 Reduced-Discharge Density
Chapter 19 Protection of Roll Paper
19.1 Protection of Roll Paper Storage
Chapter 20 Special Designs of Storage Protection
20.1 General
20.2 Plastic Motor Vehicle Components
20.3 Sprinkler Design Criteria for Storage and Display of Class I Through Class IV Commodities, Cartoned Nonexpanded Group A Plastics and Nonexpanded Exposed Group A Plastics in Retail Stores
20.4 Protection of Baled Cotton Storage
20.5 Sprinkler Protection of Carton Records Storage with Catwalk Access
20.6 Compact Storage of Commodities Consisting of Paper Files, Magazines, Books, and Similar Documents in Folders and Miscellaneous Supplies with No More Than 5 Percent Plastics Up to 8 ft (2.44 m) High
20.7 Protection of High Bay Records Storage
Chapter 21 Alternative Sprinkler System Designs for Chapters 12 Through 20
21.1 General
21.2 Sprinkler Design Criteria for Palletized and Solid-Piled, Storage of Class I Through Class IV and Plastic Commodities
21.3 Sprinkler Protection Criteria for Open-Frame Rack Storage of Class I Through Class IV and Plastic Commodities
21.4 Hose Stream Allowance and Water Supply Duration
21.5 Minimum Obstruction Criteria
Chapter 22 Special Occupancy Requirements
22.1 General
22.2 Flammable and Combustible Liquids
22.3 Aerosol Products
22.4 Spray Application Using Flammable or Combustible Materials
22.5 Solvent Extraction Plants. [NFPA 36]
22.6 Installation and Use of Stationary Combustion Engines and Gas Turbines
22.7 Nitrate Film
22.8 Laboratories Using Chemicals
22.9 Oxygen-Fuel Gas Systems for Welding, Cutting, and Allied Processes
22.10 Acetylene Cylinder Charging Plants
22.11 Compressed Gases and Cryogenic Fluids Code
22.12 Utility LP-Gas Plants
22.13 Production, Storage, and Handling of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
22.14 Protection of Information Technology Equipment
22.15 Standard on Incinerators, and Waste and Linen Handling Systems and Equipment
22.16 Standard for Ovens and Furnaces
22.17 Health Care Facilities Code, Class A Hyperbaric Chambers
22.18 Fixed Guideway Transit and Passenger Rail Systems
22.19 Motion Picture and Television Production Studio Soundstages, Approved Production Facilities, and Production Locations
22.20 Animal Housing Facilities
22.21 Water Cooling Towers
22.22 Standard for the Construction and Fire Protection of Marine Terminals, Piers, and Wharves
22.23 Semiconductor Fabrication Facilities
22.24 Aircraft Hangars
22.25 Airport Terminal Buildings, Fueling Ramp Drainage, and Loading Walkways
22.26 Aircraft Engine Test Facilities
22.27 Advanced Light Water Reactor Electric Generating Plants
22.28 Light Water Nuclear Power Plants
22.29 Hydroelectric Generating Plants. [NFPA 851]
22.30 Code for the Protection of Cultural Resource Properties — Museums, Libraries, and Places of Worship. [NFPA 909]
22.31 National Electrical Code
22.32 Fire Protection of Telecommunication Facilities
22.33 Exhaust Systems for Air Conveying of Vapors, Gases, Mists, and Noncombustible Particulate Solids
22.34 Hypobaric Facilities
22.35 Coal Mines
22.36 Metal/Nonmetal Mining and Metal Mineral Processing Facilities
22.37 Hazardous Materials Code
Chapter 23 Plans and Calculations
23.1 Working Plans
23.2 Water Supply Information
23.3 Hydraulic Calculation Forms
23.4 Hydraulic Calculation Procedures
23.5 Deluge Systems
23.6 Exposure Protection Sprinkler Systems
23.7 Pipe Schedules
Chapter 24 Water Supplies
24.1 General
24.2 Types
Chapter 25 Systems Acceptance
25.1 Approval of Sprinkler Systems and Private Fire Service Mains
25.2 Acceptance Requirements
25.3 Circulating Closed Loop Systems
25.4 Instructions
25.5 Hydraulic Design Information Sign
25.6 General Information Sign
Chapter 26 Marine Systems
26.1 General
26.2 System Components, Hardware, and Use
26.3 System Requirements
26.4 Installation Requirements
26.5 Design Approaches
26.6 Plans and Calculations
26.7 Water Supplies
26.8 System Acceptance
26.9 System Instructions and Maintenance
Chapter 27 System Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance
27.1 General
27.2 Inactive Sprinkler Systems Abandoned in Place
Annex A Explanatory Material
Annex B Miscellaneous Topics
Annex C Explanation of Test Data and Procedures for Rack Storage
Annex D Sprinkler System Information from the 2012 Edition of the Life Safety Code
Annex E Development of the Design Approach to Conform with SEI/ASCE 7
Annex F Informational References

Watch this video clip by Matt Klaus discussing changes to the 2016 edition of NFPA 13 from previous editions.

NFPA 13: Installation of Sprinkler Systems helps reduce risks and fire loss with proven fire protection strategies.

Long considered the benchmark for automatic fire sprinkler systems, NFPA 13 presents consensus-based requirements for sprinkler system design approaches, installation, and component options. Compliance is essential to sprinkler performance, which in turn significantly reduces the risks of fire deaths and property loss. Each new edition of NFPA 13 reflects added knowledge about sprinkler performance under fire conditions. Changes are based on scientific research and a wide body of industry experience.

  • The 2010 NFPA 13: Installation of Sprinkler Systems is revised and updated with added criteria based on recent fire testing and studies performed by the Fire Protection Research Foundation. Chapter 20: Special Designs of Storage Protection presents requirements for the protection of three new special storage arrangements, including carton records storage with catwalk access, and high bay records storage. This edition also adopts the SEI/ASCE 7 approach for load calculations and introduces new zone-of-influence tables for Schedule 5 steel pipe, CPVC, and Type M copper tube. An important new method to calculate rack shelf area takes the placement of loads into consideration.
  • The 2007 NFPA 13: Installation of Sprinkler Systems broadens coverage to support innovative technology and Chapter 11: Design Approaches clarifies design options. In a major change, eight new chapters in this edition address storage of specific commodities. Requirements for hanging and bracing meet or exceed the seismic requirements of ASCE 7: Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, and rules for sprinklers in combination with draft stops around vertical openings correlate with the 2006 edition of NFPA 101®: Life Safety Code®. In another important revision, installation rules for residential sprinklers incorporate new research into system effectiveness, specifically with regard to obstructions such as ceiling fans and kitchen cabinets.
  • The 2002 NFPA 13: Installation of Sprinkler Systems improves access to information by consolidating storage design requirements and approaches into Chapter 12: General Requirements for Storage. For convenient referencing, you'll find extracts of sprinkler system requirements from more than 30 NFPA® codes and standards in a new chapter entitled Special Occupancy Requirements. In addition, all applicable provisions for underground piping -- including materials, installation, and acceptance testing -- are presented in Chapter 10, which coordinates with NFPA 24: Standard for the Installation of Private Fire Service Mains and Their Appurtenances. Expanded tables for Early Suppression Fast Response (ESFR) sprinklers allow you to choose the storage and building height for any arrangement.
  • The 1999 NFPA 13: Installation of Sprinkler Systems presents a groundbreaking amount of new information about the proper design and installation of sprinkler systems. Double the size of previous editions, it includes portions of text from storage documents such as NFPA 231: Standard for General Storage and NFPA 231C: Standard for Rack Storage of Materials, along with extracts of or references to sprinkler requirements from documents throughout the NFPA system, including NFPA 99: Standard for Health Care Facilities and NFPA 101: Life Safety Code. Scores of important changes in this landmark edition include specifically identified criteria for special occupancy hazards, new minimum sizes for sprinklers used in storage applications, and a new separation requirement between ESFR and other sprinkler types.

Interested in other editions of NFPA 13? Use the drop down menu above to select the edition year you need.

Gain fast access to the latest sprinkler provisions with Tabs for your NFPA 13 or Automatic Sprinkler Systems Handbook!

Use these easy-to-apply self-adhesive Tabs to customize your copy of the new NFPA 13: Standard for Installation of Sprinkler Systems or its companion full-color Handbook. In the field or at your desk, Tabs help you pinpoint information instantly, to minimize the time you spend searching for information. Put the latest sprinkler requirements or expert advice at your fingertips! (Set of 36)


Please note that the 2016 NFPA 13 Tabs could be used in the 2013 edition instead.

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Sample (NEC® 2014)

411.2411.3 Definition. Low-Voltage Lighting Systems.


(A) General. Lighting Ssystems Ooperating at 30 Volts- volts or  Less. A lighting system consisting less shall consist of an isolating power supply, the low-voltage luminaires, and associated equipment that are all identified for the use. The output circuits of the power supply are shall be rated for not more than 25 amperes and  operate at 30 volts (42.4 volts peak) or lessmaximum under all load conditions.


(B) Class 2. Listed Class 2 lighting equipment shall be rated in conformance with Chapter 9, Table 11(A) or Table 11(B).


411.3411.4 Listing Required. Lighting systems operating at 30 volts or less shall comply with 411.3(A)411.4(A) or 

411.3(B).411.4(B). Class 2 power sources and lighting equipment connected to Class 2 power sources shall be llisted.