Aug 2015

Significant Changes to the 2016 Edition of NFPA 13

Several important changes are forthcoming in the release of the 2016 edition of NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems.

The most important change is the addition of protection criteria for expanded uncartoned plastics. In the past when there has been expanded exposed uncartoned plastics in racks, the only prescriptive standard was FM Global Data Sheet 8-9, Storage of Class 1, 2, 3, 4 and plastic commodities.

The upcoming edition of NFPA 13 has added a new protection scheme for exposed expanded uncartoned Group A plastics in racks. This new design criterion will be added to Chapter 17.

The following points provide some of the other important changes to the 2016 edition of NFPA 13.

  • All commodity classification tables in the Chapter 5 Annex have been updated for the first time in over 30 years.
  • New language has been added to Chapter 8 that will allow sprinklers to be omitted above certain cloud ceilings.
  • All of the metric conversions have been rounded from exact to approximate so that the document is more useable.
  • A new requirement has been added that will require listed window sprinklers to be used where glazing assemblies are used as an alternative to fire resistive rated construction.
  • Revisions were made to Chapter 9 for the use of concrete anchors.
  • An alternative storage protection scheme has been added for certain storage, which will appear similar to the Scheme A allowance in NFPA 30.

If you need additional help in understanding the new changes to NFPA 13 or would like to know the difference between NFPA 13 and FM Global DS 8-9, please contact Risk Logic. We have trained PE’s that have over 25 years experience with deciphering and applying these standards.