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Title: Section 904  •  Size: 29402

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SECTION 904 - FIRE-EXTINGUISHING SYSTEMS

904.1 Installation Requirements.

904.1.1 General. Fire-extinguishing systems required in this code shall be installed in accordance with the requirements of this section.

Fire hose threads used in connection with fire-extinguishing systems shall be national standard hose thread or as approved by the fire department.

The location of fire department hose connections shall be approved by the fire department.

In buildings used for high-piled combustible storage, fire protection shall be in accordance with the Fire Code.

904.1.2 Standards. Fire-extinguishing systems shall comply with U.B.C. Standards 9-1 and 9-2.

EXCEPTIONS: 1. Automatic fire-extinguishing systems not covered by U.B.C. Standard 9-1 or 9-2 shall be approved and installed in accordance with approved standards.

2. Automatic sprinkler systems may be connected to the domestic water-supply main when approved by the building official, provided the domestic water supply is of adequate pressure, capacity and sizing for the combined domestic and sprinkler requirements. In such case, the sprinkler system connection shall be made between the public water main or meter and the building shutoff valve, and there shall not be intervening valves or connections. The fire department connection may be omitted when approved by the fire department.

3. Automatic sprinkler systems in Group R Occupancies four stories or less may be in accordance with U.B.C. Standard 9-3.

904.1.3 Modifications. When residential sprinkler systems as set forth in U.B.C. Standard 9-3 are provided, exceptions to, or reductions in, code requirements based on the installation of an automatic fire-extinguishing system are not allowed.

904.2 Automatic Fire-extinguishing Systems.

904.2.1 Where required. An automatic fire-extinguishing system shall be installed in the occupancies and locations as set forth in this section.

For provisions on special hazards and hazardous materials, see the Fire Code.

904.2.2 All occupancies except Group R, Division 3 and Group U Occupancies. Except for Group R, Division 3 and Group U Occupancies, an automatic sprinkler system shall be installed:

1. In every story or basement of all buildings when the floor area exceeds 1,500 square feet (139.4 ) and there is not provided at least 20 square feet (1.86 ) of opening entirely above the adjoining ground level in each 50 lineal feet (15 240 mm) or fraction thereof of exterior wall in the story or basement on at least one side of the building. Openings shall have a minimum dimension of not less than 30 inches (762 mm). Such openings shall be accessible to the fire department from the exterior and shall not be obstructed in a manner that firefighting or rescue cannot be accomplished from the exterior.

When openings in a story are provided on only one side and the opposite wall of such story is more than 75 feet (22 860 mm) from such openings, the story shall be provided with an approved automatic sprinkler system, or openings as specified above shall be provided on at least two sides of an exterior wall of the story.

If any portion of a basement is located more than 75 feet (22 860 mm) from openings required in this section, the basement shall be provided with an approved automatic sprinkler system.

2. At the top of rubbish and linen chutes and in their terminal rooms. Chutes extending through three or more floors shall have additional sprinkler heads installed within such chutes at alternate floors. Sprinkler heads shall be accessible for servicing.

3. In rooms where nitrate film is stored or handled.

4. In protected combustible fiber storage vaults as defined in the Fire Code.

5. Throughout all buildings with a floor level with an occupant load of 30 or more that is located 55 feet (16 764 mm) or more above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.

EXCEPTION: 1. Airport control towers.

2. Open parking structures.

3. Group F, Division 2 Occupancies.

904.2.3 Group A Occupancies.

904.2.3.1 Drinking establishments. An automatic sprinkler system shall be installed in rooms used by the occupants for the consumption of alcoholic beverages and unseparated accessory uses where the total area of such unseparated rooms and assembly uses exceeds 5,000 square feet (465 ). For uses to be considered as separated, the separation shall not be less than as required for a one-hour occupancy separation. The area of other uses shall be included unless separated by at least a one-hour occupancy separation.

904.2.3.2 Basements. An automatic sprinkler system shall be installed in basements classified as a Group A Occupancy when the basement is larger than 1,500 square feet (139.4 ) in floor area.

904.2.3.3 Exhibition and display rooms. An automatic sprinkler system shall be installed in Group A Occupancies which have more than 12,000 square feet (115 ) of floor area which can be used for exhibition or display purposes.

904.2.3.4 Stairs. An automatic sprinkler system shall be installed in enclosed usable space below or over a stairway in Group A, Divisions 2, 2.1, 3 and 4 Occupancies. See Section 1009.6.

904.2.3.5 Multitheater complexes. An automatic sprinkler system shall be installed in every building containing a multitheater complex.

904.2.3.6 Amusement buildings. An automatic sprinkler system shall be installed in all amusement buildings. The main water-flow switch shall be electrically supervised. The sprinkler main cutoff valve shall be supervised. When the amusement building is temporary, the sprinkler water-supply system may be of an approved temporary type.

EXCEPTION: An automatic sprinkler system need not be provided when the floor area of a temporary amusement building is less than 1,000 square feet (92.9 ) and the exit travel distance from any point is less than 50 feet (15 240 mm).

904.2.3.7 Stages. All stages shall be sprinklered. Such sprinklers shall be provided throughout the stage and in dressing rooms, workshops, storerooms and other accessory spaces contiguous to such stages.

EXCEPTIONS: 1. Sprinklers are not required for stages 1,000 square feet (92.9 ) or less in area and 50 feet (1542 mm) or less in height where curtains, scenery or other combustible hangings are not retractable vertically. Combustible hangings shall be limited to a single main curtain, borders, legs and a single backdrop.

2. Under stage areas less than 4 feet (1219 mm) in clear height used exclusively for chair or table storage and lined on the inside with 5/8-inch (16 mm) Type X gypsum wallboard or an approved equal.

904.2.4 Group E Occupancies.

904.2.4.1 General. An automatic fire sprinkler system shall be installed throughout all buildings containing a Group E, Division 1 Occupancy.

EXCEPTIONS: 1. When each room used for instruction has at least one exit door directly to the exterior at ground level and when rooms used for assembly purposes have at least one half of the required exits directly to the exterior ground level, a sprinkler system need not be provided.

2. When area separation walls, or occupancy separations having a fire-resistive rating of not less than two hours subdivide the building into separate compartments such that each compartment contains an aggregate floor area not greater than 20,000 square feet (1858 ), an automatic sprinkler system need not be provided.

904.2.4.2 Basements. An automatic sprinkler system shall be installed in basements classified as Group E, Division 1 Occupancies.

904.2.4.3 Stairs. An automatic fire sprinkler system shall be installed in enclosed usable space below or over a stairway in Group E, Division 1 Occupancies. See Section 1009.6.

904.2.5 Group H Occupancies.

904.2.5.1 General. An automatic fire-extinguishing system shall be installed in Group H, Divisions 1, 2, 3 and 7 Occupancies.

904.2.5.2 Group H, Division 4 Occupancies. An automatic fire-extinguishing system shall be installed in Group H, Division 4 Occupancies having a floor area of more than 3,000 square feet (279 ).

904.2.5.3 Group H, Division 6 Occupancies. An automatic fire-extinguishing system shall be installed throughout buildings containing Group H, Division 6 Occupancies. The design of the sprinkler system shall not be less than that required under U.B.C. Standard 9-1 for the occupancy hazard classifications as follows:

LOCATION
OCCUPANCY HAZARD CLASSIFICATION
Fabrication areas
Ordinary Hazard Group 2
Service corridors
Ordinary Hazard Group 2
Storage rooms without dispensing
Ordinary Hazard Group 2
Storage rooms with dispensing
Extra Hazard Group 2
Exit corridors
Ordinary Hazard Group 21

1 When the design area of the sprinkler system consists of a corridor protected by one row of sprinklers, the maximum number of sprinklers that needs to be calculated is 13.

904.2.6 Group I Occupancies. An automatic sprinkler system shall be installed in Group I Occupancies.

EXCEPTION: In jails, prisons and reformatories, the piping system may be dry, provided a manually operated valve is installed at a continuously monitored location. Opening of the valve will cause the piping system to be charged. Sprinkler heads in such systems shall be equipped with fusible elements or the system shall be designed as required for deluge systems in U.B.C. Standard 9-1.

904.2.7 Group M Occupancies. An automatic sprinkler system shall be installed in retail sales rooms classed as Group M Occupancies where the floor area exceeds 12,000 square feet (1115 ) on any floor or 24,000 square feet (2230 ) on all floors or in Group M retail sales occupancies more than three stories in height. The area of mezzanines shall be included in determining the areas where sprinklers are required.

904.2.8 Group R, Division 1 Occupancies. An automatic sprinkler system shall be installed throughout every apartment house three or more stories in height or containing 16 or more dwelling units, every congregate residence three or more stories in height or having an occupant load of 20 or more, and every hotel three or more stories in height or containing 20 or more guest rooms. Residential or quick-response standard sprinklers shall be used in the dwelling units and guest room portions of the building.

904.3 Sprinkler System Monitoring and Alarms.

904.3.1 Where required. All valves controlling the water supply for automatic sprinkler systems and water-flow switches on all sprinkler systems shall be electrically monitored where the number of sprinklers are:

1. Twenty or more in Group I, Divisions 1.1 and 1.2 Occupancies.

2. One hundred or more in all other occupancies.

Valve monitoring and water-flow alarm and trouble signals shall be distinctly different and shall be automatically transmitted to an approved central station, remote station or proprietary monitoring station as defined by national standards, or, when approved by the building official with the concurrence of the chief of the fire department, sound an audible signal at a constantly attended location.

EXCEPTION: Underground key or hub valves in roadway boxes provided by the municipality or public utility need not be monitored.

904.3.2 Alarms. An approved audible sprinkler flow alarm shall be provided on the exterior of the building in an approved location. An approved audible sprinkler flow alarm to alert the occupants shall be provided in the interior of the building in a normally occupied location. Actuation of the alarm shall be as set forth in U.B.C. Standard 9-1.

904.4 Permissible Sprinkler Omissions. Subject to the approval of the building official and with the concurrence of the chief of the fire department, sprinklers may be omitted in rooms or areas as follows:

1. When sprinklers are considered undesirable because of the nature of the contents or in rooms or areas which are of noncombustible construction with wholly noncombustible contents and which are not exposed by other areas. Sprinklers shall not be omitted from any room merely because it is damp, of fire-resistive construction or contains electrical equipment.

2. Sprinklers shall not be installed when the application of water or flame and water to the contents may constitute a serious life or fire hazard, as in the manufacture or storage of quantities of aluminum powder, calcium carbide, calcium phosphide, metallic sodium and potassium, quicklime, magnesium powder and sodium peroxide.

3. Safe deposit or other vaults of fire-resistive construction, when used for the storage of records, files and other documents, when stored in metal cabinets.

4. Communication equipment areas under the exclusive control of a public communication utility agency, provided:

4.1 The equipment areas are separated from the remainder of the building by one-hour fire-resistive occupancy separation; and

4.2 Such areas are used exclusively for such equipment; and

4.3 An approved automatic smoke-detection system is installed in such areas and is supervised by an approved central, proprietary or remote station service or a local alarm which will give an audible signal at a constantly attended location; and

4.4 Other approved fire-protection equipment such as portable fire extinguishers or Class II standpipes are installed in such areas.

5. Other approved automatic fire-extinguishing systems may be installed to protect special hazards or occupancies in lieu of automatic sprinklers.

904.5 Standpipes.

904.5.1 General. Standpipes shall comply with the requirements of this section and U.B.C. Standard 9-2.

904.5.2 Where required. Standpipe systems shall be provided as set forth in Table 9-A.

904.5.3 Location of Class I standpipes. There shall be a Class I standpipe outlet connection at every floor-level landing of every required stairway above or below grade and on each side of the wall adjacent to the exit opening of a horizontal exit. Outlets at stairways shall be located within the exit enclosure or, in the case of pressurized enclosures, within the vestibule or exterior balcony, giving access to the stairway.

Risers and laterals of Class I standpipe systems not located within an enclosed stairway or pressurized enclosure shall be protected by a degree of fire resistance equal to that required for vertical enclosures in the building in which they are located.

EXCEPTION: In buildings equipped with an approved automatic sprinkler system, risers and laterals which are not located within an enclosed stairway or pressurized enclosure need not be enclosed within fire-resistive construction.

There shall be at least one outlet above the roof line when the roof has a slope of less than 4 units vertical in 12 units horizontal (33.3% slope).

In buildings where more than one standpipe is provided, the standpipes shall be interconnected at the bottom.

904.5.4 Location of Class II standpipes. Class II standpipe outlets shall be accessible and shall be located so that all portions of the building are within 30 feet (9144 mm) of a nozzle attached to 100 feet (30 480 mm) of hose.

In Group A, Divisions 1 and 2.1 Occupancies, with occupant loads of more than 1,000, outlets shall be located on each side of any stage, on each side of the rear of the auditorium and on each side of the balcony.

Fire-resistant protection of risers and laterals of Class II standpipe systems is not required.

904.5.5 Location of Class III standpipes. Class III standpipe systems shall have outlets located as required for Class I standpipes in Section 904.5.3 and shall have Class II outlets as required in Section 904.5.4.

Risers and laterals of Class III standpipe systems shall be protected as required for Class I systems.

EXCEPTIONS: 1. In buildings equipped with an approved automatic sprinkler system, risers and laterals which are not located within an enclosed stairway or pressurized enclosure need not be enclosed within fire-resistive construction.

2. Laterals for Class II outlets on Class III systems need not be protected.

In buildings where more than one Class III standpipe is provided, the standpipes shall be interconnected at the bottom.

904.6 Buildings under Construction.

904.6.1 General. During the construction of a building and until the permanent fire-extinguishing system has been installed and is in service, fire protection shall be provided in accordance with this section.

904.6.2 Where required. Every building four stories or more in height shall be provided with not less than one standpipe for use during construction. Such standpipes shall be installed when the progress of construction is not more than 35 feet (10 668 mm) in height above the lowest level of fire department access. Such standpipe shall be provided with fire department hose connections at accessible locations adjacent to usable stairs and the standpipe outlets shall be located adjacent to such usable stairs. Such standpipe systems shall be extended as construction progresses to within one floor of the highest point of construction having secured decking or flooring.

In each floor there shall be provided a 21/2-inch (63.5 mm) valve outlet for fire department use. Where construction height requires installation of a Class III standpipe, fire pumps and water main connections shall be provided to serve the standpipe.

904.6.3 Temporary standpipes. Temporary standpipes may be provided in place of permanent systems if they are designed to furnish a minimum of 500 gallons (1893 L) of water per minute at 50 pounds per square inch (345 kPa) pressure with a standpipe size of not less than 4 inches (102 mm). All outlets shall not be less than 21/2 inches (63.5 mm). Pumping equipment sufficient to provide this pressure and volume shall be available at all times when a Class III standpipe system is required.

904.6.4 Detailed requirements. Standpipe systems for buildings under construction shall be installed as required for permanent standpipe systems.

904.7 Basement Pipe Inlets. For basement pipe inlet requirements, see Appendix Section 907.

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