Residential Sprinklers 101
The 2009 International Residential Code was adopted and went into effect in Pennsylvania January 1, 2010
- This code requires that all Townhomes have automatic fire sprinklers installed effective January 1, 2010.
- The requirement for the installation of fire sprinklers in one and two family homes went into effect January 1, 2011.
- The installation requirements for these systems are found in the 2009 IRC in chapter 29, P-2904, or in NFPA 13-D. The builder may choose which one to comply with.
- There are no certification requirements for design or installation under P-2904, although there are design certification requirements under NFPA -13D.
- Sprinklers are required in all living areas and basements.
- Sprinklers are not required in some small closets and bathrooms under 55 square feet, or garages, attics and crawlspaces (unless they house fuel-fired appliances).
- Sprinklers are not required in additions to existing homes unless the home already has sprinklers installed in it. In this case, sprinklers must be extended into the addition.
- The rate of flow and pressure required to operate the system will vary in every home by size of home, floor plan, room sizes, number of stories in height, elevation of home in relation to the water source, and the size of the supply line into the home.
- Due to these numerous variables, the need for additional booster pumps, tanks, and supply line upgrades may occur in both homes supplied with municipal water, as well as those on private wells.
- An average size home will require approximately 260 gallons of water over a period of 10 minutes ( 26 gpm x 10 minutes). If the municipal water supply, pressure, and service line can provide the required amount, no additional pump or tank would be required.
- Likewise in a private well scenario, if a well-driller will certify the volume or reserve in the well to exceed the required amount needed, and the well pump and line can provide the flow and pressure, no additional booster pump or tank will be needed. (This scenario is not likely to occur in most private wells scenarios).
The only exceptions to these requirements are …
- Homes built under design or construction contracts executed on or before December 31, 2009. (These homes will be built to the 2006 code).
- One or two family homes built with a permit that was applied for on or before December 31, 2010.
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Residential Sprinklers 101: For Builders
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