Life Safety Sprinkler Systems Protect People — To What Level Should They Protect Buildings?

Blog Post created by rsolomon Employee on Jun 6, 2016

This was the question posed to a group of NFPA stakeholders that participated in our Life Safety Sprinkler System Challenge workshop in December, 2015. With more than four decades of experience with NFPA 13 D and about 26 years of experience with NFPA 13 R, there is a relatively broad range of knowledge with the performance of these standards in the field. In recent years, we have seen a small, but measurable number of fires where the life safety goal of the standards has been achieved, yet the secondary goal of property protection has been less than ideal. Our workshop attendees spent two days to review this dilemma, look at contributing factors, and determine what measures might be taken in the future to address this concern. These events are low-frequency but high-impact and they effect the occupants, first responders, code officials, insurance interests, and the building owner/operator.


The workshop report was recently released and is readily available to anyone wishing to download a copy. The recommendations in the report are being shared with the appropriate NFPA technical committees to determine if we need to make changes to the applicable codes and standards, simply raise awareness of the anticipated performance levels, increase educational opportunities surrounding the use of these systems, or maintain the status quo and accept the fact that such events are simply going to occur. The report is available at:


Question:  So what's your view and opinion of life safety only sprinkler systems? The Workshop report has extensive information in it but we know it's always possible (and likely) that the broader audience has some other views, thoughts and opinions on the subject.  Let’s Xchange those opinions and see where the dialogue goes.