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This standard shall provide the minimum requirements for the design and installation of automatic fire sprinkler systems and exposure protection sprinkler systems covered within this standard.
This standard shall not provide requirements for the design or installation of water mist fire protection systems, which are not considered fire sprinkler systems and are addressed by NFPA 750.
This standard is written with the assumption that the sprinkler system shall be designed to protect against a single fire originating within the building.
The purpose of this standard shall be to provide a reasonable degree of protection for life and property from fire through standardization of design, installation, and testing requirements for sprinkler systems, including private fire service mains, based on sound engineering principles, test data, and field experience.
Sprinkler systems and private fire service mains are specialized fire protection systems and shall require design and installation by knowledgeable and experienced personnel.
This standard shall apply to the following:
  1. Character and adequacy of water supplies
  2. Sprinklers
  3. Fittings
  4. Piping
  5. Valves
  6. All materials and accessories, including the installation of private fire service mains
This standard shall also apply to "combined service mains" used to carry water for both fire service and other uses as well as to mains for fire service use only.
The provisions of this standard reflect a consensus of what is necessary to provide an acceptable degree of protection from the hazards addressed in this standard at the time the standard was issued.
Unless otherwise specified, the provisions of this standard shall not apply to facilities, equipment, structures, or installations that existed or were approved for construction or installation prior to the effective date of the standard. Where specified, the provisions of this standard shall be retroactive.
In those cases where the authority having jurisdiction determines that the existing situation presents an unacceptable degree of risk, the authority having jurisdiction shall be permitted to apply retroactively any portions of this standard deemed appropriate.
The retroactive requirements of this standard shall be permitted to be modified if their application clearly would be impractical in the judgment of the authority having jurisdiction, and only where it is clearly evident that a reasonable degree of safety is provided.
Nothing in this standard is intended to prevent the use of systems, methods, or devices of equivalent or superior quality, strength, fire resistance, effectiveness, durability, and safety over those prescribed by this standard.
Technical documentation shall be submitted to the authority having jurisdiction to demonstrate equivalency.
The system, method, or device shall be approved for the intended purpose by the authority having jurisdiction.
Metric units of measurement in this standard shall be in accordance with the modernized metric system known as the International System of Units (SI).
Two units (liter and bar), outside of but recognized by SI, are commonly used in international fire protection.
These units with conversion factors shall be used as listed in Table
Table Conversion Factors
Name of Unit Unit Symbol Conversion Factor
liter L 1 gal = 3.785 L
millimeter per minute mm/min 1 gpm/ft2 = 40.746 mm/min = 40.746 (L/min)/m2
cubic decimeter dm3 1 gal = 3.785 dm3
pascal Pa 1 psi = 6894.757 Pa
bar bar 1 psi = 0.0689 bar
bar bar 1 bar = 105 Pa
Note: For additional conversions and information, see ASTM SI10, Standard for Use of the International System of Units (SI): The Modern Metric System.
If a value for measurement as given in this standard is followed by an equivalent value in other units, the first stated shall be regarded as the requirement.
The standard abbreviations in Table 1.6.2 shall be used on the hydraulic calculation form discussed in Chapter 23.
Table 1.6.2 Hydraulic Symbols
Symbol or Abbreviation Item
p Pressure in psi
gpm U.S. gallons per minute
q Flow increment in gpm to be added at a specific location
Q Summation of flow in gpm at a specific location
Pt Total pressure in psi at a point in a pipe
Pf Pressure loss due to friction between points indicated in location column
Pe Pressure due to elevation difference between indicated points. This can be a plus value or a minus value. If minus, the (—) shall be used; if plus, no sign is needed.
Pv Velocity pressure in psi at a point in a pipe
Pn Normal pressure in psi at a point in a pipe
E 90-degree ell
EE 45-degree ell
Lt.E Long-turn elbow
Cr Cross
T Tee-flow turned 90 degrees
GV Gate valve
BV Butterfly (wafer) check valve
Del V Deluge valve
ALV Alarm valve
DPV Dry pipe valve
CV Swing check valve
WCV Butterfly (wafer) check valve
St Strainer
psi Pounds per square inch
v Velocity of water in pipe in feet per second
K K-factor
C-factor Friction loss coefficient
Some dimensions used in this standard are exact and some are not. Nominal dimension are often used, such as the dimensions used for pipe sizes. The metric equivalent shown in this standard might not be an exact conversion to the SI unit, but the nominal metric equivalent is typically used or a reasonably equivalent value or approximate conversion is used. It shall be acceptable to use the exact conversion or the conversions stated in the standard, even though they might not be exact.
Nothing in this standard shall be intended to restrict new technologies or alternate arrangements, provided the level of safety prescribed by this standard is not lowered.
Materials or devices not specifically designated by this standard shall be utilized in complete accord with all conditions, requirements, and limitations of their listings.