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Industrial Occupancy Sprinkler Systems

Question asked by brian.phillips on Dec 21, 2017
Latest reply on Dec 22, 2017 by milt.werner

This is a follow-up to my previous question about this yesterday. First, thank you all who took the time to reply to that question. I thought I would restate it in the context of what I am specifically dealing with. I have a 4-story brick industrial building of 126k square feet built in 1927. It was fully sprinklered at one point, but the system is currently not functioning with many broken pipes. I don't have information as to when the sprinkler was put in, but the owner claims it was 1964. While it was a fully-functioning small appliance manufacturer decades ago, it now only houses a powder-coating and small-parts maker on a portion of one floor, employing 9 people.


In NFPA 101, Chapter 40.3.5 Extinguishment Requirements, it states No requirements. So, is a sprinkler system required here as an existing building? If it was a new building, would a sprinkler be required?


NFPA 1, Chapter states that existing life safety features that exceed the requirements for new buildings, shall be permitted to be decreased to those required for new buildings. If a new building like above does not require a sprinkler system, can I then allow removal of the current, broken system?


And finally, can anyone help me understand why the requirements for sprinklers in manufacturing are so lax when they are so stringent elsewhere? It appears to me that a 126,000, 4-story building doesn't require a sprinkler system if it is used in manufacturing, but you need one in a Mercantile Occupancy at either 3 stories or 12,000 square feet.