Helpful Hints: Top 10 Life Safety Compliance Deficiencies of 2011 - Part 9
We are winding down to the end our blog series on the Top Ten
Life Safety Compliance Deficiencies of 2011 with this week's entry
#9, K56 - Sprinkler System Installations. The deadline to
have your buildings fully sprinkled is August 13, 2013 and
with so many providers having to have sprinkler systems installed
over the last couple of years the rigor for compliance on K56 is
only going to grow.
With that in mind, I wanted to focus this week's entry on the
common errors and scenarios that occur with Sprinkler System
Installations to really give you an idea of ways that you can get
K56 -Sprinkler System Installation
Sprinklers must be installed throughout a facility in accordance
with NFPA 13
- Complete sprinkler system required for all new
- Complete sprinkler system required for certain existing
- Complete sprinkler system required for all nursing homes,
regardless of construction type by Aug. 13,
Waivers and FSESs for lack of sprinklers in certain
areas will no longer be permitted after that date. There will be no
extensions to complete sprinkler installation.
Common Errors with Sprinklers
Common areas that incorrectly lack sprinkler coverage
No size requirements to qualify a space as a closet
- Combustible overhangs that extend more than 4ft off
- Room behind dryers
- Elevator machine rooms
No exception in code
Exceptions can be met
- Electrical rooms
- Walk-in coolers/freezers
- Linen/Trash Chutes
Items connected to sprinklers or sprinkler pipes
Sprinklers not properly spaced
- Between 6ft and 15ft apart with most sprinklers
- Single sprinkler exceeds maximum protection area
- Sprinklers installed within 4in of ceiling/wall joint
- Pendants not between 1in and 12in of ceiling
- Light fixtures
- Cubicle curtains
Improperly sized mesh
Curtain bunched in front of sprinkler
- Exit signs
- Movable walls
- Book shelf or Filing Cabinet
All areas of a building must be sprinkler protected for a
building to be fully sprinkled (Combustible overhangs greater than
4ft, elevator machine rooms, electrical rooms, walk in
coolers/freezers and closets are the most commonly omitted
Full Suppression would be considered fully sprinkled - the
entire premises (NFPA 13 Section 5-6 contains tables to show
minimum distances from sprinkler to obstructions).
Common Citation Scenarios
If the following isn't true:
- An automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with NFPA
13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, to provide
complete coverage for all portions of the building.
- The system is properly maintained in accordance with NFPA 25,
Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of
Water-Based Fire Protection Systems and it is fully
- There is a reliable, adequate water supply for the system.
Required sprinkler systems are equipped with water flow and tamper
switches, which are electrically connected to the building fire
alarm system. LSC reference: 19.3.5
I hope you have found these common errors and citation scenarios
to be helpful. Through regulatory changes sprinkler systems have
been brought closer to the forefront on the facilities management
side in Senior Living and the first step in ensuring compliance and
safe buildings is the installation.
I appreciate those who have shared your experience about
previous K Tags on the list and I encourage you all to do so.
Sharing what's happened to you could save someone else a headache
and a citation during survey.
I complete the series next week on the Top Ten Life Safety
Compliance Deficiencies of 2011 with #10, K12 - Construction Type.
With that final entry, I'll include a summary of the entire Top Ten
list to provide you a quick review.
I look forward to talking with you all next week!
Top 10 Deficiencies and How to Avoid Them, Indiana State
Department of Health
Preventative Maintenance Manual, Ohio
Department of Health
So That's What They Look For, CMS
This entry was written by Thursday, January 17, 2013
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