NFPA 1 Details the Requirements for Automatic Sprinklers

NFPA 1 Details the Requirements for Automatic Sprinklers

NFPAThe National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) details in NFPA 1, Fire Code, the requirements to have automatic sprinkler protection in buildings and structures. NFPA 1 references over 130 NFPA standards such as NFPA 101, NFPA 72 and many others. NFPA 1 requires automatic sprinkler protection in all new buildings which house emergency rescue, ambulance and fire services.

Section 13.3.2 of NFPA 1, Fire Code requirements includes the standards for emergency service buildings as well as other buildings and structures making it a great place to start when you have questions about sprinkler requirements for your building. Automatic sprinkler systems are required to be installed according to section 13.3.1 and compliant to NFPA 13.

NFPA 1 also requires automatic sprinklers to be installed in the following instances:

  • New buildings which house emergency ambulance, rescue or fire services (
  • Basements which exceed 2500 ft2 (232 m2) in new buildings. (
  • New buildings which are three or more stories above grade (
  • Open parking structures which are detached from other occupancies are not required to have automatic sprinkler protection. (

The requirements for automatic sprinkler protection are also detailed in additional NFPA codes such as NFPA 13 and NFPA 101.

  • Standards regarding exterior roofs, decks, balconies and other projections are detailed in Section, NFPA 13
  • Standards for addressing sprinkler requirements based on occupancy for new and existing buildings are contained in Section, NFPA 101, Life Safety Code
  • All new high-rise structures must be protected by automatic sprinklers as mandated in Section

Additional requirements exist such as detailed in Section which requires all areas used for storage of combustibles which is high piled and greater than 2500 ft.² to be protected with automatic sprinkler systems. General storage of combustibles in areas greater than 12,000 ft.² must also be protected with an automatic sprinkler system, as well as areas of storage for group a plastics in excess of 5 feet high over a 2500 ft.² area.

As you can see, there are many instances where automatic sprinkler systems are required and various areas in NFPA codes and standards which detail those requirements.  It is always best to check with fire and life safety system professionals to ensure code compliance as it relates to your building and occupancy. Remember to check Section 13.3.2 of NFPA 1, Fire Code, as a good reference point to begin your research or contact the fire alarm code compliance specialists at High Rise Security Systems.

HRSS offers fire alarm system consulting which goes above and beyond code compliance to ensure your total safety and protection. We offer vast experience in fire alarm system design which meets all local, state and federal regulations including approval from your local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ). Contact us to speak with a fire safety system specialist for more information on code compliance including automatic sprinkler requirements.

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