Skip to main content

7.10 Water Based Fire Extinguishing Systems

Automatic Sprinkler System Installation
Automatic sprinklers systems shall be installed throughout all new construction projects and in all major renovation projects in accordance with the requirements of NFPA 13, the International Building Code, and the appropriate GSA sprinkler system specification.

Special Requirements: The requirements below supersede the requirements of NFPA 13 and the International Building Code:

  • Automatic sprinklers shall be installed in all new construction projects and in all renovation projects. This includes elevator machine rooms, boiler rooms, mechanical equipment rooms, walk-in freezers and cold rooms, essential electronic facilities, electrical closets, telephone closets, emergency generator rooms, uninterruptible power service and battery rooms, electrical switchgear rooms, transformer vaults, telephone exchange (PABX) rooms, etc.
  • All sprinkler systems shall be wet-pipe sprinkler systems, unless installed in areas subject to freezing.
  • In areas subject to freezing, install dry-pipe sprinkler systems, dry pendent sprinklers, or provide heat in the space, and/or reroute the sprinkler piping. Heat tape shall not be used on sprinkler piping.
  • Antifreeze sprinkler systems shall not be installed in any new construction or renovation projects.
  • Pre-action type sprinkler systems shall not be installed in any new construction or renovation projects.

Sprinkler System Design
Sprinkler systems shall be hydraulically calculated in accordance with the requirements specified in NFPA 13.

Special Requirements. The requirements below supersede the design requirements of NFPA 13:

  • Sprinkler systems shall be designed using a minimum system design area of 1,500 sq. ft. and shall not be decreased below this value.
  • In rooms containing movable/mobile shelving (high density storage) the sprinkler design shall be Ordinary Hazard (Group 2) using quick response sprinklers.

Seismic Protection. Seismic protection shall be installed where required by the International Building Code.

Types of Sprinklers
Quick response sprinklers (QRS) shall be installed in all new construction and renovation projects in accordance with the requirements specified in NFPA 13.

Special Requirements. The requirements below supersede the requirements of NFPA 13:

  • All sprinklers installed in any new construction or renovation projects shall be both Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) listed and Factory Mutual Engineering and Research Corporation (FM) approved.
  • All quick response glass bulb sprinklers shall be equipped with a protective device to reduce damage prior to installation. The protective device shall be removed after sprinklers are installed.
  • U.L. listed concealed sprinklers are allowed only when approved by the GSA regional fire protection engineer.
  • Sprinklers equipped with “O-ring” water seals shall not be utilized in any new construction or renovation projects.
  • All sprinkler escutcheons installed in any new construction or renovation projects shall be Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) listed or Factory Mutual Engineering and Research Corporation (FM) approved.
  • QRS sprinklers shall not be installed in high temperature areas (e.g., high temperature areas defined in NFPA 13 or elevator machine rooms, etc.) in a building. Standard response sprinklers shall be installed of the appropriate temperature rating.
  • Flow control (On-off) sprinklers shall not be installed in any new construction or renovation projects.
  • All automatic sprinklers installed less than 7 feet above the floor shall be equipped with sprinkler guards to provide protection against accidental damage.

Sprinkler Piping System
Sprinkler piping, fittings, control valves, check valves, and drain assemblies shall meet the requirements of NFPA 13.

Special Requirements. The requirements below supersede the requirements of NFPA 13:

  • Black steel piping and/or copper tubing shall be used for all wet-pipe sprinkler piping. Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) sprinkler piping shall be allowed to be installed only when approved by the GSA regional fire protection engineer.
  • Galvanized (internal and external) sprinkler piping shall be used for all dry-pipe sprinkler systems.
  • Steel pipe sizes 2 inches and smaller shall be Schedule 40 and shall be threaded.
  • Steel pipe sizes larger than 2 inches shall be minimum Schedule 10. Piping less than Schedule 40 shall be roll grooved.
  • Threadable lightwall pipe shall not be used.
  • Piping having a corrosion resistant ratio less than 1 shall not be used.
  • Plain-end fittings shall not be used.

Special Sprinkler System Requirements
Sprinklers In Spaces Housing Electrical Equipment.

  • All elevator machine rooms shall be provided with separate manual isolation valves and a separate water flow switch located outside the room in an accessible location. Tamper switches shall be provided on all such valves.
  • All electrical switchgear rooms and transformer vaults shall be provided with separate manual isolation valves and a separate water flow switch located outside the room in an accessible location. Tamper switches shall be provided on all such valves.
  • All essential electronic facilities shall be provided with separate manual isolation valves and a separate water flow switch located outside the room in an accessible location. Tamper switches shall be provided on all such valves.
  • Sprinklers installed in electrical rooms and electrical closets shall be equipped with sprinkler guards to provide protection against accidental damage.

Places of Confinement.

  • QRS institutional sidewall sprinklers shall be installed in the corridor outside each of the U.S.M.S. prisoner detention cells.
  • QRS sprinklers shall be located such that the spray pattern of the sprinklers penetrates through the bars of the cell.
  • QRS sprinklers shall not be installed inside individual U.S.M.S. prisoner detention cells.

facilities standards,p100,pbs,buildings,architecture,engineering,design,construction,water,fire,extinguishing