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9.2.1* Concealed Spaces Not Requiring Sprinkler Protection
9.2.1.1*
Concealed spaces of noncombustible and limited-combustible construction with minimal combustible loading having no access shall not require sprinkler protection.
9.2.1.1.1
The space shall be considered a concealed space even with small openings such as those used as return air for a plenum.
9.2.1.1.2
Small openings with both of the following limits shall be permitted:
  1. A combined total area of not more than 20 percent of the ceiling, construction feature, or plane shall be used to determine the boundaries of the concealed space.
  2. Gaps greater than 4 ft (1.2 m) long shall not be more than 8 in. (200 mm) wide.
9.2.1.2
Concealed spaces of noncombustible and limited-combustible construction with limited access and not permitting occupancy or storage of combustibles shall not require sprinkler protection.
9.2.1.2.1
The space shall be considered a concealed space even with small openings such as those used as return air for a plenum.
9.2.1.3
Concealed spaces formed by studs or joists with less than 6 in. (150 mm) between the inside or near edges of the studs or joists shall not require sprinkler protection. (See Figure 10.2.6.1.5.1.)
9.2.1.4
Concealed spaces formed by bar joists with less than 6 in. (150 mm) between the roof or floor deck and ceiling shall not require sprinkler protection.
9.2.1.5*
Concealed spaces formed by ceilings attached directly to or within 6 in. (150 mm) of wood joist or similar solid member construction shall not require sprinkler protection.
9.2.1.6*
Concealed spaces formed by ceilings attached to composite wood joist construction either directly or onto metal channels not exceeding 1 in. (25 mm) in depth, provided the joist channels as measured from the top of the batt insulation are separated into volumes each not exceeding 160 ft3 (4.5 m3) using materials equivalent to the web construction and at least 31/2 in. (90 mm) of batt insulation is installed at the bottom of the joist channels when the ceiling is attached utilizing metal channels, shall not require sprinkler protection.
9.2.1.7
Concealed spaces filled with noncombustible insulation shall not require sprinkler protection.
9.2.1.7.1
A maximum 2 in. (50 mm) air gap at the top of the space shall be permitted.
9.2.1.8
Concealed spaces within wood joist construction having noncombustible insulation filling the space from the ceiling up to the bottom edge of the joist of the roof or floor deck shall not require sprinkler protection.
9.2.1.9
Concealed spaces within composite wood joist construction having noncombustible insulation filling the space from the ceiling up to the bottom edge of the composite wood joist of the roof or floor deck and with the joist channels separated into volumes each not exceeding 160 ft3 (4.5 m3) to the full depth of the composite wood joist, with material equivalent to the web construction, shall not require sprinkler protection.
9.2.1.10
Concealed spaces over isolated small compartments not exceeding 55 ft2 (5.1 m2) in area shall not require sprinkler protection.
9.2.1.11
Concealed spaces where rigid materials are used and the exposed surfaces, in the form in which they are installed, comply with one of the following shall not require sprinkler protection:
  1. The surface materials have a flame spread index of 25 or less, and the materials have been demonstrated not to propagate fire more than 10.5 ft (3.2 m) when tested in accordance with ASTM E84, Standard Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials, or UL 723, Standard for Test for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials, extended for an additional 20 minutes.
  2. The surface materials comply with the requirements of ASTM E2768, Standard Test Method for Extended Duration Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials (30 min Tunnel Test).
9.2.1.12*
Concealed spaces in which the exposed materials are constructed entirely of fire retardant-treated wood as defined by NFPA 703 shall not require sprinkler protection.
9.2.1.13
Noncombustible concealed spaces having exposed combustible insulation where the heat content of the facing and substrate of the insulation material does not exceed 1000 Btu/ft2 (11,400 kJ/m2) shall not require sprinkler protection.
9.2.1.14
Concealed spaces below insulation that is laid directly on top of or within wood joists or composite wood joists used as ceiling joists in an otherwise sprinklered concealed space, with the ceiling attached directly to the bottom of the joists, shall not require sprinkler protection.
9.2.1.15
Sprinklers shall not be required in vertical pipe chases under 10 ft2 (0.9 m2).
9.2.1.15.1
Pipe chases in accordance with 9.2.1.15 shall contain no sources of ignition.
9.2.1.15.2
In buildings having more than a single story, pipe penetrations at each floor shall be firestopped using materials equivalent to the floor construction.
9.2.1.16
Exterior columns under 10 ft2 (0.9 m2) in area, formed by studs or wood joist supporting exterior canopies that are fully protected with a sprinkler system, shall not require sprinkler protection.
9.2.1.17*
Concealed spaces formed by noncombustible or limited-combustible ceilings suspended from the bottom of wood joists, composite wood joists, wood bar joists, or wood trusses that have insulation filling all of the gaps between the bottom of the trusses or joists, and where sprinklers are present in the space above the insulation within the trusses or joists, shall not require sprinkler protection.
9.2.1.17.1
The heat content of the facing, substrate, and support of the insulation material shall not exceed 1000 Btu/ft2 (11,400 kJ/m2).
9.2.1.18*
Concealed spaces formed by noncombustible or limited-combustible ceilings suspended from the bottom of wood joists and composite wood joists with a maximum nominal chord width of 2 in. (50 mm), where joist spaces are full of noncombustible batt insulation with a maximum 2 in. (50 mm) air space between the decking material and the top of the batt insulation shall not require sprinklers.
9.2.1.18.1
Facing that meets the requirements for noncombustible or limited-combustible material covering the surface of the bottom chord of each joist and secured in place per the manufacturer's recommendations shall not require sprinklers.
9.2.1.19 Exterior Soffits, Eaves, Overhangs, and Decorative Frame Elements
9.2.1.19.1
Sprinklers shall be permitted to be omitted from within combustible soffits, eaves, overhangs, and decorative frame elements that are constructed in accordance with 9.2.1.19.2 through 9.2.1.19.5.
9.2.1.19.2
Combustible soffits, eaves, overhangs, and decorative frame elements shall not exceed 4 ft 0 in. (1.2 m) in width.
9.2.1.19.3
Combustible soffits, eaves, overhangs, and decorative frame elements shall be draftstopped, with a material equivalent to that of the soffit, into volumes not exceeding 160 ft3 (4.5 m3).
9.2.1.19.4
Combustible soffits, eaves, overhangs, and decorative frame elements shall be separated from the interior of the building by walls or roofs of noncombustible or limited-combustible construction.
9.2.1.19.5
Combustible soffits, eaves, overhangs, and decorative frame elements shall have no openings or unprotected penetrations directly into the building.
9.2.2 Spaces Under Ground Floors, Exterior Docks, and Platforms
Sprinklers shall be permitted to be omitted from spaces under ground floors, exterior docks, and platforms where all of the following conditions exist:
  1. The space is not accessible for storage purposes and is protected against accumulation of wind-borne debris.
  2. The space contains no equipment such as conveyors or fuel-fired heating units.
  3. The floor over the space is of tight construction.
  4. No combustible or flammable liquids or materials that under fire conditions would convert into combustible or flammable liquids are processed, handled, or stored on the floor above the space.
9.2.3* Exterior Projections
9.2.3.1
Unless the requirements of 9.2.3.2, 9.2.3.3, or 9.2.3.4 are met, sprinklers shall be installed under exterior projections exceeding 4 ft (1.2 m) in width.
9.2.3.2*
Sprinklers shall be permitted to be omitted where the exterior canopies, roofs, porte-cocheres, balconies, decks, and similar projections are constructed with materials that are noncombustible, limited-combustible, or fire retardant-treated wood as defined in NFPA 703, or where the projections are constructed utilizing a noncombustible frame, limited-combustibles, or fire retardant-treated wood with an inherently flame-resistant fabric overlay as demonstrated by Test Method 2 in accordance with NFPA 701.
9.2.3.3
Sprinklers shall be permitted to be omitted from below the exterior projections of combustible construction, provided the exposed finish material on the exterior projections are noncombustible, limited-combustible, or fire retardant-treated wood as defined in NFPA 703, and the exterior projections contain only sprinklered concealed spaces or any of the following unsprinklered combustible concealed spaces:
  1. Combustible concealed spaces filled entirely with noncombustible insulation
  2. Light or ordinary hazard occupancies where noncombustible or limited-combustible ceilings are directly attached to the bottom of solid wood joists so as to create enclosed joist spaces 160 ft3 (4.5 m3) or less in volume, including space below insulation that is laid directly on top or within the ceiling joists in an otherwise sprinklered attic [see 19.3.3.1.5.2(4)]
  3. Concealed spaces over isolated small exterior projections not exceeding 55 ft2 (5.1 m2) in area
9.2.3.4
Sprinklers shall be permitted to be omitted from an exterior exit corridor where the exterior wall of the corridor is at least 50 percent open and where the corridor is entirely of noncombustible construction.
9.2.3.5
Sprinklers shall be installed under all exterior projections greater than 2 ft (600 mm) where combustibles are stored.
9.2.4 Dwelling Units
9.2.4.1 Bathrooms
9.2.4.1.1*
Unless sprinklers are required by 9.2.4.1.2 or 9.2.4.1.3, sprinklers shall not be required in bathrooms that are located within dwelling units, that do not exceed 55 ft2 (5.1 m2) in area, and that have walls and ceilings of noncombustible or limited-combustible materials with a 15-minute thermal barrier rating, including the walls and ceilings behind any shower enclosure or tub.
9.2.4.1.2
Sprinklers shall be required in bathrooms of limited care facilities and nursing homes, as defined in NFPA 101.
9.2.4.1.3
Sprinklers shall be required in bathrooms opening directly onto public corridors or exitways.
9.2.4.2* Closets and Pantries
Sprinklers are not required in clothes closets, linen closets, and pantries within dwelling units in hotels and motels where the area of the space does not exceed 24 ft2 (2.2 m2) and the walls and ceilings are surfaced with noncombustible or limited-combustible materials.
9.2.5* Hospital Clothes Closets
Sprinklers shall not be required in clothes closets of patient sleeping rooms in hospitals where the area of the closet does not exceed 6 ft2 (.6 m2), provided the distance from the sprinkler in the patient sleeping room to the back wall of the closet does not exceed the maximum distance permitted by 9.5.3.2.
9.2.6*
Sprinklers shall not be required in electrical equipment rooms where all of the following conditions are met:
  1. The room is dedicated to electrical equipment only.
  2. Only dry-type or liquid-type with listed K-class fluid electrical equipment is used.
  3. Equipment is installed in a 2-hour fire-rated enclosure including protection for penetrations.
  4. Storage is not permitted in the room.
9.2.7 Cloud Ceilings
9.2.7.1*
Sprinklers shall be permitted to be omitted above cloud ceilings where all of the following apply:
  1. * The combined total area of the openings around the cloud are less than or equal to 20 percent of the area of the ceiling, construction feature, or plane used to determine the boundaries of the compartment.
  2. The width of the gap and the maximum sprinkler protection area are in accordance with Table 9.2.7.1.
  3. The requirements of 9.2.7.2 are met.
  4. Spaces above cloud ceilings contain either noncombustible or limited-combustible construction with minimal combustible loading.
Table 9.2.7.1 Maximum Sprinkler Protection Area Based on Ceiling Cloud Width and Opening Width
Ceiling Cloud — Minimum Width Dimension (ft) Maximum Area (ft2) — Opening Width ≤0.5 in./ft of Ceiling Height Maximum Area (ft2) — Opening Width ≤0.75 in./ft of Ceiling Height Maximum Area (ft2) — Opening Width ≤1 in./ft of Ceiling Height
2—<2.5 175 70 NP
2.5—4 225 120 70
>4 225 150 150
9.2.7.2
When sprinklers are omitted from above a cloud ceiling in accordance with 9.2.7.1, the requirements of this section shall apply.
9.2.7.2.1
All sprinklers shall be quick response standard spray or extended coverage pendent or upright sprinklers.
9.2.7.2.2
Maximum cloud ceiling height shall not exceed 20 ft (6.1 m).
9.2.7.2.3
Maximum spacing and area of protection shall not exceed the maximum requirements of Table 10.2.4.2.1(a) for light hazard and Table 10.2.4.2.1 (b) for ordinary hazard.
9.2.7.2.3.1
Where extended coverage sprinklers are used, the maximum distance between sprinklers shall not exceed 16 ft (4.9 m).
9.2.7.2.4
Cloud ceilings shall be of smooth ceiling construction.
9.2.7.2.5*
For irregular shaped ceiling clouds (not rectangular) the minimum width dimension shall be the smallest width dimension of the cloud and for the gap shall be the greatest dimension between clouds or adjacent walls as applicable.
9.2.8 Revolving Doors Enclosures
Sprinkler protection shall not be required within revolving door enclosures.
9.2.9
Sprinklers shall not be required to be installed in furniture such as portable wardrobe units, cabinets, trophy cases, and similar items not intended for occupancy. This type of feature shall be permitted to be attached to the finished structure.
9.2.10* Equipment Enclosures
Sprinklers shall not be required to be installed within electrical equipment, mechanical equipment, or air handling units not intended for occupancy.
9.2.11 Noncombustible Vertical Shafts
Sprinklers shall not be required at the top of noncombustible or limited-combustible, nonaccessible vertical duct, electric, and mechanical shafts as permitted by 9.3.3.1.1 and 9.3.3.1.2.
9.2.12 Noncombustible Stairways
9.2.12.1
Sprinklers shall not be required at the bottom of stairwells complying with the provisions of 9.3.4.2.3.1.
9.2.12.2
Sprinklers shall not be required for exterior stair towers complying with the provisions of 9.3.4.2.4.
9.2.13 Elevator Hoistways and Machine Rooms
Sprinklers shall not be required in locations complying with 9.3.6.4, 9.3.6.5, or 9.3.6.6.
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