Is it the Law to Have Fire Sprinklers in Commercial Buildings?

It’s no secret that fire sprinklers save lives whether they be in private homes or commercial buildings. Furthermore, they can prevent damage to inventory, essential records, expensive electronics and injury to patrons or staff. A serious enough fire can put one out of business, so does the law require having fire sprinklers in commercial buildings. It depends.

Fire Sprinkler Requirements in Commercial Buildings

A national standard known as NFPA 13, which is the Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, goes in-depth about the practices, procedures and conditions in which the law requires installations.

Here are the most important stipulations for commercial building owners seeking to meet or exceed fire safety requirements.

  • New constructions for commercial uses larger than 5,000 square feet (4.65 a) and those who undergo expansions exceeding that space must install automatic fire sprinkler systems.
  • Single-tenant expansions that require new occupancy certificates and increase potential fire areas above 12,000 square feet (11.15 a) must have sprinklers placed throughout.
  • Multi-unit properties like townhomes with two or more residential occupancy units present in buildings require fire sprinklers.
  • Commercial structures higher than 55 feet (16.76 m) require automatic sprinkler system installations.
  • Self-storage facilities are required to install fire sprinklers with exception to single-story units with one-hour fire barriers in place and no internal corridors present.
  • Installed sprinkler systems with minimal pressure will require fire pumps.
  • Valves to control the water supply must be accessible, identifiable and clearly marked.

Call in Experts when Considering Commercial Fire Sprinklers

There is no room for errors or taking shortcuts when it comes to fire safety protocol and precautions. Consult local fire safety authorities to receive information about current federal, state and local regulations in place for meeting building codes.

Don’t get burned by trying to DIY fire sprinklers in your business. Water, plumbing and fire safety companies provide invaluable services and recommendations to ensure that your commercial structures and occupants.