13 Changes to NFPA 13

As the newest edition of NFPA 13 is set to be presented next month, NFPA has published some of the notable changes to this document:
  1. CPVC compatibility - where corrosion inhibitors are used in combination systems that include coated steel pipe and CPVC pipe, the coating must be tested for compatibility with CPVC.
  2. Freeze protection requirements - tentative interim amendments regarding antifreeze solution to prevent the freezing of water in sprinkler pipes has been formally adopted into the standard
  3. Sprinkler requirements for elevator spaces and hoistways - allows fire sprinklers to be omitted from elevator machine rooms, elevator machinery spaces, control spaces, or hoistways of traction elevators where a number of conditions are met, and brings the standard in alignment with other model building codes
  4. Title change to NFPA 13R - Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in Low-Rise Residential Occupancies
  5. Sprinkler protection in small bathrooms - Apartment buildings with bathrooms less than 55 square feet (5 square meters) must now have sprinkler protection where they were not  previously required to do so.
  6. Shadow areas -  shadow areas are permitted in the protection area of a sprinkler as long as they do not exceed 15 square feet per sprinkler.

  7. "Sprinkler system" definition - modified to describe a system as an integrated network of piping that includes a water supply source, a water control valve, a water flow alarm, and a drain; this largely effects the requirements of NFPA 25.
  8. Backflow preventer requirements - a forward flow test will now be required on all NFPA 13/13R installations.
  9. Storage chapter - newly added; allows for an alternative design approach.
  10. Sloped ceilings - provides five common ceiling arrangements that allow for hydraulic calculations
  11. Water mist systems - refers users to NFPA 750.
  12. Cloud ceilings - protection to follow the use of obstruction rules.
  13. ESFR and CMSA sprinklers - these will now be permitted to protect light and ordinary hazard areas.