New NFPA Journal Podcast exploring sprinklers, cloud ceilings, and changes to NFPA 13 is now available for download

Blog Post created by jesseroman Employee on May 13, 2015

A new episode of NFPA Journal Podcast is out now and available to download on iTunes. The podcast takes a close look at a couple of major changes and additions slated for inclusion in the 2016 edition of NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems. The two big changes discussed on the podcast include the new and updated commodity classification tables to be added to the next edition of NFPA 13, as well as new rules about sprinkler system designs for cloud ceiling arrangements.

Podcast host Jesse Roman chats with Matt Klaus, NFPA principal fire protection engineer and liaison to the NFPA 13 technical committees, about these updates to 13, why they were made, and why they are important.

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In the case of the commodity classification tables, much of the commodity information provided in NFPA 13 is nearly 50 years old, written when storage facilities and schemes were vastly different than today, Klaus explains.  That was a big problem, because the accuracy of those classifications is vital for fire protection.

“How we classify a given commodity, and calculate the resulting sprinkler density required to protect that commodity, can be the difference between a warehouse developer spending a quarter of a million dollars on a fire pump installation, or not,” Klaus says. “It’s a critical part of the design process and a decision not to be taken lightly.”

Cloud ceilings—essentially aesthetic ceiling panels suspended below the actual structural ceiling—are very popular among architects and developers these days because they can hide unsightly wires and pipes, and they look really cool. Unfortunately, they complicate sprinkler system design.

“We get the questions on a weekly basis about what can I do with cloud ceilings, but historically there haven't been a lot of good rules,” Klaus says in the podcast. Thanks to a research project put together by the Fire Protection Research Foundation, new information about how cloud ceilings affect sprinkler systems has been gathered and new rules have been put in place.

Learn much more about both of these important new updates in the latest NFPA Journal Podcast.

The monthly podcast, launched in April, explores NFPA Journal topics and articles in more depth in audio form. New podcasts are released on iTunes the second Tuesday of every month. Please subscribe on iTunes, and let us know what you think!

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions or ideas for future podcasts or for NFPA Journal articles, email Jesse Roman at

To listen and subscribe to NFPA Journal podcast on iTunes, visit:

Or, listen to the podcast from your desktop computer.