2016 NFPA 13 Standard
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  • Description

    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. (Print, 488 pp., 2016)

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    For all editions prior to and including the 2013 edtion, find them here:.

  • Table of Contents (2016 Edition)

    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
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    • A code or standard is a framework—a set of rules to follow with a goal to achieve a certain result
    • A handbook is a connector—linking requirements to application by helping you understand the reasoning behind a code or standard

    The simplest way to think about it is that codes and standards list the technical requirements while handbooks explain those requirements to clarify how to apply them.

  • Prior 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.

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