Published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
This edition of NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, was prepared by the Technical Committee on Hanging and Bracing of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, the Technical Committee on Sprinkler System Discharge Criteria, and the Technical Committee on Sprinkler System Installation Criteria, released by the Technical Correlating Committee on Automatic Sprinkler Systems, and acted on by the National Fire Protection Association, Inc., at its May Meeting held May 17-20, 1999, in Baltimore, MD. It was issued by the Standards Council on July 22, 1999, with an effective date of August 13, 1999, and supersedes all previous editions.
Changes other than editorial are indicated by a vertical rule in the margin of the pages on which they appear. These lines are included as an aid to the user in identifying changes from the previous edition.
This edition of NFPA 13 was approved as an American National Standard on August 13, 1999.
Origin and Development of NFPA 13
NFPA 13 represents the first standard published under the auspices of the NFPA Committee on Automatic Sprinklers. Originally titled Rules and Regulations of the National Board of Fire Underwriters for Sprinkler Equipments, Automatic and Open Systems, the standard has been continuously updated to keep in step with change.
Full information about the NFPA actions on various changes will be found in the NFPA Proceedings. The dates of successive editions are as follows: 1896, 1899, 1902, 1905, 1907, 1908, 1912, 1913, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929. In 1930, a separate standard was published on Class B systems. This was integrated into the 1931 edition. Further revisions were adopted in 1934, 1935, and 1936. A two-step revision was presented in the form of a progress report in 1939 and finally adopted in 1940. Further amendments were made in 1947, 1950, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, and 1989.
The 1991 edition incorporated an entire rewrite of the standard to make the overall format user friendly. Substantive changes were made to numerous terms, definitions, and descriptions, with additional refinements made in 1994.
The centennial (1996) edition included a significant rework of the requirements pertaining to the application, placement, location, spacing, and use of various types of sprinklers. Other changes provided information on extended coverage sprinklers and recognized the benefits of fast-response sprinkler technology.
The 1999 edition encompasses a major reorganization of NFPA's Sprinkler Project that included the establishment of a Technical Correlating Committee on Automatic Sprinkler Systems and four new sprinkler systems technical committees, the consolidation of NFPA's sprinkler system design and installation requirements, and the implementation of numerous technical changes.
The scope of NFPA 13 has been expanded to address all sprinkler system applications. The 1999 edition contains information on the installation of underground pipe from NFPA 24 and sprinkler system discharge criteria for on-floor and rack storage of Class I, II, III, IV, and plastic commodities, rubber tires, baled cotton, and roll paper that were previously located in NFPA 231, 231C, 231D, 231E, and 231F. Additionally, sprinkler system information for specialized hazards from over 40 NFPA documents has been either copied into NFPA 13 using NFPA's extract policy or specifically referenced. A new chapter has been also added to address the structural aspects of exposed and buried system piping. A table of cross-references to previous editions and material that was located in other NFPA documents is included at the end of this document.
More specific changes include a new sprinkler identification marking system and the designation of sprinkler sizes by nominal K-factors. New criteria for the use of steel pipe in underground applications has been added, as well as a new provision to guard against microbiologically influenced corrosion. Obstruction rules for specific sprinkler types and rules for locating sprinklers in concealed spaces have been revised. New limitations have been placed on the sprinkler sizes in storage applications, and criteria for the K-25 sprinkler have been added. Additionally, the requirements for protecting sprinklers against seismic events also has undergone significant revision.