Khela Thorne

What's really in an NFPA handbook?

Blog Post created by Khela Thorne Employee on Oct 12, 2017

A common question we hear is “why is the code handbook so much bigger than the code?” To really see the difference, let’s look at one specific section of a code and the corresponding material found in the handbook. Below is what you see when you look at 8.5.2 in NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems (2016 edition):

In the Automatic Sprinkler Systems Handbook example shown below, commentary immediately follows the code to explain the requirement in greater detail and artwork illustrates it further:

And to give an even deeper understanding of the requirement, in the handbook this code section also has an NFPA 13 Lesson to explain how to determine sprinkler spacing and location:


While this example is specific to NFPA 13 and the 2016 edition of that handbook, every NFPA handbook is different and each one offers unique features and material to help you understand the code requirements. If you have thoughts on what you’d like to see in a future handbook, let us know! We’re developing these products as tools to help you do your job.