Where automatic sprinkler systems are required, they shall comply with IFC 2012 Section 903 and NFPA 13 and 13R. Requirements for automatic sprinklers are determined by occupancy class (group) as defined in IFC 2012 Chapter 2. General guidelines for automatic sprinkler systems are provided here. The following is a list of buildings required to be fire sprinkler by occupancy type. There are certain exceptions to some of the requirements. Design professionals should be consulted for specific application of the requirements. Automatic sprinkler systems shall be provided in buildings with the following occupancy classifications.

903.2 Where Required

  • Group A-1 Where the fire area: exceeds 12,000 square feet; or has an occupant load of 300 or more; or is located on a floor other than a level of exit discharge; or contains a multi-theater complex.
  • Group A-2 Where the fire area: exceeds 5,000 square feet; or has an occupant load of 100 or more; or is located on a floor other than a level of exit discharge.
  • Group A-3 and A-4 Where the fire area: exceeds 12,000 square feet; or has an occupant load of 300 or more; or is located on a floor other than a level of exit discharge.
  • Group A-5 In the following areas: concession stands, retail areas, press boxes and other accessory use areas in excess of 1000 square feet.
  • Ambulatory care facilities Where four or more care recipients are incapable of self-preservation or one or more care recipients incapable of self preservation are located at other than the level of exit discharge.
  • Group E Fire areas greater than 12,000 square feet and every portion of educational buildings below the lowest level of exit discharge.
  • Group F-1 Where the fire area: exceeds 12,000 square feet; or is located more than three stories above grade plane; or F-1 fire areas on all floors combined exceeds 24,000 square feet; or used to manufacture upholstered furniture or mattresses exceeds 2,500 square feet; containing wood working operations in excess of 2,500 square feet.
  • Group H, H-5, or Pyroxylin plastics manufacturing, storing or handling in quantities exceeding 100 shall be provided with automatic sprinkler system.
  • Group I Automatic fire sprinklers required throughout buildings with Group I fire area.
  • Group M Where fire area: exceeds 12,000 square feet; or is located more than three stories above grade plane; or M fire areas on all floors combined exceeds 24,000 square feet; or M occupancy used for the display and sale of upholstered furniture or mattresses exceeds 2,500 square feet (amended by local code); or where storage of merchandise is in high-piled or rack storage arrays.
  • Group R With the exception of one- and two-family separate buildings, fire sprinklers shall be provided throughout all buildings with Group R fire areas. An automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with section 903.3.1.2 of the Fire Code shall be required in Group R-3 and R-4 congregate living facilities with 16 or fewer residents (amended by local code).
  • Group S-1 Where the Group S fire area: exceeds 12,000 square feet; or is located more than three stories above grade plane; or the combined Group S-1 fire areas on all floors exceeds 24,000 square feet; or used for the storage of commercial trucks or buses exceeds 5,000 square feet; or used for the storage of upholstered furniture exceeds 2,500 square feet.
  • Repair Garages where buildings: have two of more stories above grade, including basements, with a fire area containing a repair garage exceeding 10,000 square feet; or have no more than one story above grade plane, with a fire area containing a repair garage exceeding 12,000 square feet; or repair garages servicing vehicles parked in basements; or a Group S-1 fire area for the repair of commercial trucks or buses where the fire area exceeds 5,000 square feet.
  • Group S-2 Enclosed Parking Garages where the fire area exceeds 12,000 square feet; or the enclosed parking garage is located beneath other groups; or buildings used for the storage of commercial trucks or buses where the fire area exceeds 5,000 square feet.
  • Stories without Openings where the floor area exceeds 1,500 square feet where there is not provided at least one approved exterior wall opening.
  • Rubbish and Linen Chutes at the top, in the terminal rooms and on alternating floors.
  • Buildings 55 feet or more in height with a floor level having an occupant load of 30 or more that is located 55 feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.

Submittal Requirements:

  • Fire sprinkler systems shall be designed and installed in accordance with 2010 NPFA 13 and 13R. Working plans, designed By NICET III or better, are to be submitted, along with hydraulic calculations, to the Fire Prevention Division, 1 Riverfront Plaza, Suite 110, Lawrence, KS 66044, for review. Submittal of sprinkler plans will not delay issuance of the building permit. NFPA 13 Chapter 22, Plans and Calculations, shall be referenced for all submittals. Whenever possible, plans should be submitted at least 3 weeks prior to the system installation. Initial review for code compliance should be complete within 15 business days. Fire Protection System reviews and consults will be performed on Thursday of every week. Scheduling of any pre-submittal meetings shall be arranged with the Fire Prevention Offices to facilitate the process.
  • Two hard copies and one electronic copy required.

Fire Sprinkler Systems Acceptance:

On the permit issued to the applicant and contractor there may be several fire protection system inspections. Pertinent to fire sprinklers are Fire Sprinkler Rough-In #608, Fire Sprinkler Pressure Test #604, Fire Sprinkler System Final #606. All system tests and inspections are to be called in by the contractor to the Development Services IVR inspection hotline. The phone number is 785-832-7710. Follow the automated hotline to completion. The contractor should leave contact information as to schedule all personnel needed to complete this inspection. The Fire Prevention Division will contact the contractor the morning of inspection to coordinate acceptance testing. If the contractor wishes to perform testing in the morning it is recommended to contact Fire Prevention Division (785-830-7003, 832-3174 or 832-3175) at least 24-48 hours prior to inspection date.

  • Fire Sprinkler Rough-In #608 is scheduled after piping installation is complete, preferably prior to application of building finish application. All areas of protected buildings are inspected to ensure adequate fire sprinkler coverage. Additional coverage may be required if field inspections reveal unanticipated deficiencies.
  • Fire Sprinkler Pressure Test #604 Acceptance tests shall be performed in accordance with NFPA 13 chapter 24, Systems Acceptance. The Fire Sprinkler Pressure Test #604 is the hydrostatic test of the aboveground system. The system is required to hold >200 psi for 2 hours.
  • Fire Sprinkler System Final #606 is the final step in the acceptance testing of Fire Sprinkler Systems. Usually, this test is coordinated along with the Fire Alarm Final and Fire Department Final. The Fire Sprinkler Final evaluates the interface of the sprinkler and fire alarm. Valves, flow switches and electronic components are evaluated. The Contractor’s Material and Test Certificate for Aboveground Piping shall be submitted at the completion of testing.

Approval:

All Fire Protection systems shall be approved on the permit prior to any approval for Temporary Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Occupancy recommendation to the Development Services Building Official.

Resources:

Automatic Sprinkler Systems Fact Sheet:
http://lawrenceks.staging.wpengine.com/assets/pds/devservices/2013%20Sprinkler%20Systems%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

Summary of Fire Sprinkler Requirements for Alterations to Existing Buildings:
https://cdn.lawrenceks.org/assets/pds/devservices/BuildingPermits/FireSprinklerSummary_2013.pdf

New Construction Sprinkler Matrix:
https://cdn.lawrenceks.org/assets/pds/devservices/BuildingPermits/NewConstructionSprinklerMatrix_2013.pdf