NFPA received about 4,000 calls last year from people seeking answers to questions they had about NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems, according to Matt Klaus, principal fire protection engineer at NFPA and staff liaison for NFPA 13.
Many of those questions were about sprinkler protection in concealed spaces, Klaus wrote in his new column in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal. It’s a tricky topic, Klaus says, because there are no simple answers when it comes to sprinklers in concealed spaces. Sometimes you need them, sometimes you don’t.
In his column, Klaus explains where in the code answers to these sometimes challenging questions reside.
“When looking at whether or not to provide protection in a concealed space, users of the standard should start in Section 8.1. This section states that sprinklers shall be provided throughout the building unless the standard provides a specific allowance to omit them,” Klaus writes. “Once this baseline logic has been established, the user can go into subsection 184.108.40.206 to look for allowances to omit sprinklers in concealed spaces.”