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According to NFPA-13, section 5-2 the sprinkler system protection area limitation is 52,000

sq. ft.(ordinary hazard) on each floor, for any one system riser. Is there a limitation on the
number of risers in a sprinkler system? What's confusing me is that the flow requirement
for a sprinkler system, when determined by the Area/Density method (NFPA-13, section 72.3.2.1),is lmited to a maximum value, but there's no limitation I can see on the size of the
system, as long as risers are added! Does that mean I can protect an area, regardless of its
size, by a limited flow? In other words, is the flow requirement for a one-riser system
covering an area of 52,000 sq. ft. the same as the flow requirement for a ten-riser system
covering an area of 520,000 sq. ft.?
You are confusing the maximum area of coverage for a sprinkler system with the area of
demand. The water demand is based on the area of demand and the density curve for the
particular hazard. The maximum area of coverage of a sprinkler system is 52,000 sq ft for
light or ordinary and 40,000 sq ft for extra hazard or special hazards. Therefore, each riser
can supply only the 52,000/40,000 sq ft and you can have an umlimited number of risers in
a building, but you only calculate the water demand to control a fire for a much smaller
area (usually 2000 to 3000 sq ft) depending on the hazard.
James D. Kieffer, PE
Kieffer & Associates Inc.
www.kiefferassociates.com
sfxf (Mechanical)

3 Feb 05 9:31

How can I decide how many risers to install for an area with 50,000 sq ft? Just one is
enough since the area is within the limitation 52,000 sq ft? Please help!
nemptygarden (Specifier/Regulator) (OP)

19 Jun 07
16:28

Under NFPA 13 are there specific square footage requirements per sprinkler heads? I work
in a hospital environemnt and the maintenance department is doing some remodeling in
one of our buildings. One rooms has only one sprinkler head and is rather large. The
buildings were built in 1968. The sprinkler system is dry.
stookeyfpe (Specifier/Regulator)

19 Jun 07
16:39

Yes. It is dependant on the hazard classification of the room, the type of ceiling, and if the
system is hydraulically calculated or designed using the pipe schedule method. It would
also be dependant on the presence of obstructions.
For light hazard occupancies, the protection area varies from 120 to 225 square feet for
each sprinkler. For ordinary hazard occupancies the maximum protection area is 130
square feet. The maximum sprinkler spacing for both light and ordinary hazard
occupancies is 15 feet.
For extra hazard occupancies the answer is a tad more difficult.
So what is the room used for and its construction type? With more information we may be
able to help you.
See Section 8.6.2.2.1 of the 2002 edition of NFPA 13.
nemptygarden (Specifier/Regulator) (OP)

19 Jun 07
16:52

stokefpe, the room will be a chart room where the nurses and doctors will work. It will
house a copier, fax and other small business machines. there are no obstrucitons in the

room, the ceiling is popcorn treatd gypsm board. it leads into a dayroom where patients
will be watching televison etc. The walls of the room are fire rated gypsm board.
stookeyfpe (Specifier/Regulator)

19 Jun 07
18:13

I would classify the room as Light Hazard. Given the building's age I will assume the
sprinkler system was designed using the pipe schedule method.
As a result the area of protection for standard spray sprinklers (either pendant or upright)
is 200 square feet. The maximum spacing between sprinklers is 15 feet.
safetydan (Industrial)

20 Jun 07
13:13

Doctors and nurses together in the same room only a light hazard?? I think the steam
coming out of some of the nurses' ears would be enough to set off a few heads.
crazzy111s (Automotive)

1 Aug 07
15:22

we are installing a computer room, we are considering raising the head temperature to
protect the equiptment from lower temperature fire sprayings. i have been told this is
against code what are some possible solutions.
twd22285 (Specifier/Regulator)

1 Aug 07
16:20

IF your looking to protect from fire but not ruin your computers a chemical system might
be an option. I don't know much about am, but the idea is that you can control the fire
through a dry chemical charged by co2 or some sort of dry charge. never designed one
and i am new to the fire sprinkler industry but i've heard of a chemical system being used
in place of a wet system for computer rooms
cdafd (Specifier/Regulator)

1 Aug 07
20:25

crazzy111s
what temp head do you want to use??
what is fire sprayings??
do not have a copy of nfpa 13 in front of me but look at what level of head you can have in
that hazard and than look at the temp chart for that and just max out the head in that
temp range.
so at what point of the burning computer equipment do you want the head to activate to
possibly save the rest of the equipment?????
LCREP (Specifier/Regulator)

1 Aug 07
22:51

Crazzy
If it gets hot enough to set off a sprinkler head, regardless of the temperature rating, the
computer room will have significant damage. Consider a quick response, 135F sprinkler for
faster response. The best protection is a gas suppression system such as FM200 AND
sprinkler protection. Down side of a gas system, IF a door is open, or a vent does not close,
the gas will escape and the fire will not be controlled. At the very least have a fire

detection system, smoke detectors, and sprinklers.


Tom
SCEngr1 (Structural)

22 Aug 07
13:29

I have a question for a different application:


For a 10'x12' paint mixing room (closed cap system), can we provide the one-hour fire
barrier between this room and the retail space in the rest of the store WITHOUT an
automatic sprinkler system?
Also, how do you determine the "Fire Hazard Classification"?
stookeyfpe (Specifier/Regulator)

22 Aug 07
15:02

Start a new thread.


Tindey (Specifier/Regulator)

18 Oct 07
11:09

go with pre-action system no expensive cost of maintaining a chemical system, this has
become good practice as hardware cost for computers has dropped so unless you have
OEM hardware a pre-action system would allow for any potential accidental discharge.
additionally your computer equipment should not be operating in an environment that is
hot enought to set off a quick response ordinary temp. head