NFPA 2013 Section 220.127.116.11.2 - uses the term limited access. Is there a definition for "limited access" or is left up to interpretation by the AHJ?
I would say the rest of the sentence covers it, if you cannot put a records box up there, good to go.
Sometimes access panels of various sizes are required for different functions, just not to allow storage.
The entire section should be read for its context.
It is important to note that omitting sprinklers in these spaces may have an impact on area of operation of the sprinkler system as determined in 18.104.22.168.4. Therefore, the 2013 edition provides a pointer in order to ensure a complete evaluation of the impact of omitting sprinklers. To me when openings in a ceiling exceed the small openings for an air plenum, then the space above the ceiling should be evaluated for the effects of not providing unobstructed construction that impede the flow of heat from a fire per Section 3.7.2.
Requires for terms that are not defined by NFPA 13.
“Limited-access.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster: having access restricted to a relatively small number of points
Understanding the limited power the AHJ has in NFPA 13, NFPA 13 does not specifically give the AHJ the exclusive power to explain the meaning of the standard. Formal Interpretations of the NFPA which can be obtained only through requests processed by the responsible technical committees in accordance with the published procedures of the NFPA.
A installation and design standard cannot be written to cover every situation that will be encountered. The situation must be applied with judgment and used with good sense and with an awareness of the rationale for the requirements to be enforced.
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