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FAQs - Fire Requirements

Q: Regarding 1.3 Special Technical Requirements for all use groups (except R3/R4), what about pressure criteria and pump requirements?

At this point your concern would be only the designated work area. Assuming you were working below the 8th floor you would size the riser for the entire building then deal with fire pump if and when you rehab the 8th floor.

Q: If I have a sprinklered building, which by today’s NCSBC does not require it to be sprinklered, and I am gutting the building, can the sprinkler system be removed?

According to Sec. 1.4c (2) Existing fire alarm, fire suppression and standpipe systems shall not be removed without replacement and shall be maintained in operating condition.

Q: What if the existing head layout doesn’t conform?

In this case you would modify the head layout to fit the alteration or reconstruction proposed.

Q: What happens when flow control devices installed during an alteration negatively impact the sprinkler system flow rate?

When you alter a system you must do it as required by the code. However, modifications cannot degrade the existing sprinkler system.

Q: In supplemental requirements (Sec. 1.11A) would there be a requirement for fire barrier separation between sprinklered work area and unsprinklered work areas?

Yes, if the fire area exceeds the requirements of North Carolina State Building Code Chapter 9, section 903.

Q: What about an unenclosed existing stairway?

Sec. 1.1 g 4iii Introduction states in regards to change of use hazard indexes: “Stairways and other vertical openings located in a building or portion of a building where there is a change of use are required to meet certain enclosure requirement for the new use which are specified in Sections 1.12 through 1.28 of the NCRC.”

Q: Do you need to rate a structure/space because of change of use?

Only if it is required as part of a one hour space separation.

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