BCAB #1565 - Sprinklers in a Garbage Room, Sentances, &

April 18, 2002

BCAB #1565

Re: Sprinklers in a Garbage Room, Sentances, &

Project Description

The project in question is a new unsprinklered building with retail use on the ground floor and residential occupancy above. An enclosed garbage room is proposed rather than exterior "dumpsters."

Reason for Appeal

Article requires rooms for the storage of combustible refuse to be sprinklered. Sentence requires automatic sprinkler systems to "notify the fire department" when they are activated. Sentence permits water for fewer than 9 sprinklers to be supplied by the building’s domestic water supply. Sentence permits backflow prevention from sprinkler systems through the use of an alarm check valve.

Appellant’s Position

The appellant contends that neither monitoring nor backflow prevention is required for the two sprinklers installed to protect the garbage room. The permission in the code for the two sprinklers to be tapped into the domestic water system results in these sprinklers being part of the plumbing system, not a stand-alone sprinkler system. Therefore, Sentences and do not apply.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the garbage room sprinklers do constitute a sprinkler system intended for fire protection. Therefore, the sprinkler system must be connected to the fire alarm system such that activation of the sprinklers would notify the fire department. There is also a requirement to protect the domestic water system from the sprinkler system by a backflow prevention device.

Appeal Board Decision #1565

It is the determination of the Board that the two sprinkler heads do not constitute a system as intended by the code and Sentence exempts the need for fire department notification for a "local group of sprinklers." As the two heads are not considered to be a system, Sentence does not apply either.

George Humphrey, Chair