Above the Level of Fire Department Pumping Capabilities

We are entering a new era where the height of a building is being redefined and are moving from performance-based design into the regulated world of prescriptive codes and standards. For many decades, we have classified the height of a building based on fire department access limitations.

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The Story Not Told

We have known for years that news events must contain key elements to allow them to be considered newsworthy. Stories that are considered significant and prominent take headlines, while others are postponed or even lost on the cutting room floor. What is often missed from the headlines are the significant stories that fail to meet editors’ earmarks. Automatic fire sprinkler success stories often fall in this category and go widely unrecognized. Sometimes the important story is that non-event which failed to meet significant criteria and simply goes unnoticed or unreported.

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When are Standpipes Required?

The requirements for the installation of standpipe systems comes from locally adopted building and fire codes. The International Code Council (ICC) confirms that all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, New York City, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico have adopted the International Building Code (IBC) for use in new construction. The International Fire Code (IFC) is adopted in 41 states and NFPA 1 - Fire Code in 20 states. The installation requirements for those standpipes can be found in NFPA - 14 Standard for the Installation of Standpipes and Hose Systems.

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Mezzanines and fire sprinkler allowances

The installation of automatic fire sprinklers allows for many design advantages but the allowance for mezzanines is an ideal way to increase usable interior space and expand a business, at minimal cost. 

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