NFPA reiterates mandatory sprinkler installation guidance


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The NFPA has reiterated that fire sprinkler systems should be installed according to NFPA 13D, the standard for one- and two-family dwellings and manufactured homes. Regardless of whether fire sprinklers are mandated in new one- or two-family dwellings by the use of a code or ordinance, or if sprinklers are installed voluntarily by the developer, builder or homeowner.

The intent of NFPA 13D, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes, is to provide an affordable sprinkler system in homes while maintaining a high level of life safety. NFPA 13D is intended to prevent injury and life loss. It requires sprinklers to be installed in living areas, sprinklers are not required in smaller bathrooms or closets, pantries, garages or carports, attached open structures, attics, and other concealed non-living spaces.

The standard requires at least 10 minutes of sprinkler water on the fire in its initial stage of development. That controls the fire early, giving residents the time to safely escape and the fire department time to respond. A typical home fire will be controlled and may even be extinguished by the time the fire department arrives.

NFPA 13D has been around for more than 45 years and is constantly being reviewed, tweaked, and republished to reflect the latest in technology and our experiences with fires.

The 2022 Edition contains an important new feature, Annex B, to provide the fire service and other fire sprinkler advocates with informative tools to expand the use of installed sprinklers in new homes.

Annex B contains valuable resources for helping advocates educate planning officials, community leaders, developers, builders, and consumers about the value of home fire sprinklers in new homes.  However, like all annexes within NFPA standards, Annex B in NFPA 13D is not a mandatory part of the standard and it would not be included as part of any incorporation by reference within a statewide code or local ordinance.   

Annex B contains six important sections:

  1. Community process and infrastructure
  2. Site planning and development
  3. Building construction
  4. Community risk reduction
  5. Environmental stewardship
  6. Sustainability of homes and affordable housing

While the fire service and fire sprinkler advocates will recognize most, if not all, of the key points, resources and references contained within Annex B, this is the first time all this valuable information has been gathered and categorized in a single document. 

The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) offers free resources based on the information in Annex B, that AHJs can use to educate stakeholders involved in new home developments. Visit for more information.

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