International Building Code Section 903


International Building Code 903.1

General. Automatic sprinkler systems shall comply
with this section.

Alternative protection. Alternative automatic
fire-extinguishing systems complying with Section 904
shall be permitted in lieu of automatic sprinkler protection
where recognized by the applicable standard and approved
by the fire code official.

International Building Code 903.1.1

Alternative protection. Alternative automatic
fire-extinguishing systems complying with Section 904
shall be permitted in lieu of automatic sprinkler protection
where recognized by the applicable standard and approved
by the fire code official.

International Building Code 903.2

Where required. Approved automatic sprinkler systems
in new buildings and structures shall be provided in the
locations described in this section.
Exception: Spaces or areas in telecommunications buildings
used exclusively for telecommunications equipment,
associated electrical power distribution equipment, batteries
and standby engines, provided those spaces or areas are
equipped throughout with an automatic fire alarm system
and are separated from the remainder of the building by fire
barriers consisting of not less than 1-hour fire-resistance-
rated walls and 2-hour fire-resistance-rated floor/
ceiling assemblies.

Group A. An automatic sprinkler system shall
be provided throughout buildings and portions thereof used
as Group A occupancies as provided in this section. For
Group A-1, A-2, A-3 and A-4 occupancies, the automatic
sprinkler system shall be provided throughout the floor area
where the Group A-1, A-2, A-3 or A-4 occupancy is
located, and in all floors between the Group A occupancy
and the level of exit discharge. For Group A-5 occupancies,
the automatic sprinkler system shall be provided in the
spaces indicated in Section 903.2.1.5.

Group A-1. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be provided for Group A-1 occupancies where
one of the following conditions exists:
1. The fire area exceeds 12,000 square feet (1115
m2).
2. The fire area has an occupant load of 300 or more.
3. The fire area is located on a floor other than the
level of exit discharge.
4. The fire area contains a multitheater complex.

Group A-2. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be provided for Group A-2 occupancies where
one of the following conditions exists:
1. The fire area exceeds 5,000 square feet (465 m2);
2. The fire area has an occupant load of 100 or more;
or
3. The fire area is located on a floor other than the
level of exit discharge.

Group A-3. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be provided for Group A-3 occupancies where
one of the following conditions exists:
1. The fire area exceeds 12,000 square feet (1115
m2).
2. The fire area has an occupant load of 300 or more.
3. The fire area is located on a floor other than the
level of exit discharge.
Exception: Areas used exclusively as participant
sports areas where the main floor area is located at the
same level as the level of exit discharge of the main
entrance and exit.

Group A-4. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be provided for Group A-4 occupancies where
one of the following conditions exists:
1. The fire area exceeds 12,000 square feet (1115
m2).
2. The fire area has an occupant load of 300 or more.
3. The fire area is located on a floor other than the
level of exit discharge.
Exception: Areas used exclusively as participant
sports areas where the main floor area is located at the
same level as the level of exit discharge of the main
entrance and exit.

Group A-5. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be provided for Group A-5 occupancies in the
following areas: concession stands, retail areas, press
boxes and other accessory use areas in excess of 1,000
square feet (93 m2).

Group E. An automatic sprinkler system shall
be provided for Group E occupancies as follows:
1. Throughout all Group E fire areas greater than 20,000
square feet (1858 m2) in area.
2. Throughout every portion of educational buildings
below the level of exit discharge.
Exception: An automatic sprinkler system is not
required in any fire area or area below the level of exit
discharge where every classroom throughout the building
has at least one exterior exit door at ground level.

Group F-1. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be provided throughout all buildings containing a
Group F-1 occupancy where one of the following conditions
exists:
1. Where a Group F-1 fire area exceeds 12,000 square
feet (1115 m2);
2. Where a Group F-1 fire area is located more than three
stories above grade plane; or
3. Where the combined area of all Group F-1 fire areas
on all floors, including any mezzanines, exceeds
24,000 square feet (2230 m2).
174 2006 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE
FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS

Woodworking operations. An automatic
sprinkler system shall be provided throughout all Group
F-1 occupancy fire areas that contain woodworking
operations in excess of 2,500 square feet (232m2) in area
which generate finely divided combustible waste or use
finely divided combustible materials.

Group H. Automatic sprinkler systems shall be
provided in high-hazard occupancies as required in Sections
903.2.4.1 through 903.2.4.3.

General. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be installed in Group H occupancies.

Group H-5. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be installed throughout buildings containing
Group H-5 occupancies. The design of the sprinkler system
shall not be less than that required by this code for
the occupancy hazard classifications in accordance with
Table 903.2.4.2. Where the design area of the sprinkler
system consists of a corridor protected by one row of
sprinklers, the maximum number of sprinklers required
to be calculated is 13.

Pyroxylin plastics. An automatic sprinkler
system shall be provided in buildings, or portions
thereof, where cellulose nitrate film or pyroxylin plastics
are manufactured, stored or handled in quantities
exceeding 100 pounds (45 kg).

Group I. An automatic sprinkler system shall
be provided throughout buildings with a Group I fire area.
Exception: An automatic sprinkler system installed in
accordance with Section 903.3.1.2 or 903.3.1.3 shall be
allowed in Group I-1 facilities.

Group M. An automatic sprinkler system shall
be provided throughout buildings containing a Group M
occupancy where one of the following conditions exists:
1. Where a Group M fire area exceeds 12,000 square
feet (1115 m2);
2. Where a GroupMfire area is located more than three
stories above grade plane; or
3. Where the combined area of all GroupMfire areas on
all floors, including any mezzanines, exceeds 24,000
square feet (2230 m2).

High-piled storage. An automatic sprinkler
system shall be provided in accordance with the
International Fire Code in all buildings of Group M
where storage of merchandise is in high-piled or rack
storage arrays.

Group R. An automatic sprinkler system
installed in accordance with Section 903.3 shall be provided
throughout all buildings with a Group R fire area.

Group S-1. An automatic sprinkler system shall
be provided throughout all buildings containing a Group
S-1 occupancy where one of the following conditions
exists:
1. A Group S-1 fire area exceeds 12,000 square feet
(1115 m2);
2. A Group S-1 fire area is located more than three stories
above grade plane; or
3. The combined area of all Group S-1 fire areas on all
floors, including any mezzanines, exceeds 24,000
square feet (2230 m2).

Repair garages. An automatic sprinkler
system shall be provided throughout all buildings used as
repair garages in accordance with Section 406, as shown:
1. Buildings two or more stories in height, including
basements, with a fire area containing a repair
garage exceeding 10,000 square feet (929 m2).
2. One-story buildings with a fire area containing a
repair garage exceeding 12,000 square feet (1115
m2).
3. Buildings with a repair garage servicing vehicles
parked in the basement.

Bulk storage of tires. Buildings and structures
where the area for the storage of tires exceeds
20,000 cubic feet (566 m3) shall be equipped throughout
with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with
Section 903.3.1.1.

Group S-2. An automatic sprinkler system shall
be provided throughout buildings classified as enclosed
parking garages in accordance with Section 406.4 or where
located beneath other groups.
Exception: Enclosed parking garages located beneath
Group R-3 occupancies

Commercial parking garages. An automatic
sprinkler system shall be provided throughout
buildings used for storage of commercial trucks or buses
where the fire area exceeds 5,000 square feet (464 m2).

Windowless stories in all occupancies. An
automatic sprinkler system shall be installed in the locations
set forth in Sections 903.2.10.1 through 903.2.10.1.3.
Exception: Group R-3 and Group U.

Stories and basements without openings.
An automatic sprinkler system shall be installed
throughout every story or basement of all buildings
where the floor area exceeds 1,500 square feet (139.4m2)
and where there is not provided at least one of the following
types of exterior wall openings:
1. Openings below grade that lead directly to ground
level by an exterior stairway complying with Section
1009 or an outside ramp complying with Section
1010. Openings shall be located in each 50
2006 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE 175
FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS
linear feet (15 240 mm), or fraction thereof, of
exterior wall in the story on at least one side.
2. Openings entirely above the adjoining ground
level totaling at least 20 square feet (1.86 m2) in
each 50 linear feet (15 240 mm), or fraction
thereof, of exterior wall in the story on at least one
side.

Opening dimensions and access.
Openings shall have a minimum dimension of not less
than 30 inches (762 mm). Such openings shall be
accessible to the fire department from the exterior and
shall not be obstructed in a manner that fire fighting or
rescue cannot be accomplished from the exterior.

Openings on one side only. Where
openings in a story are provided on only one side and
the oppositewall of such story is more than 75 feet (22
860 mm) from such openings, the story shall be
equipped throughout with an approved automatic
sprinkler system, or openings as specified above shall
be provided on at least two sides of the story.

Basements. Where any portion of a
basement is located more than 75 feet (22 860 mm)
from openings required by Section 903.2.10.1, the
basement shall be equipped throughout with an
approved automatic sprinkler system.

Rubbish and linen chutes. An automatic
sprinkler system shall be installed at the top of rubbish
and linen chutes and in their terminal rooms. Chutes
extending through three or more floors shall have additional
sprinkler heads installed within such chutes at
alternate floors. Chute sprinklers shall be accessible for
servicing.

Buildings 55 feet or more in height. An
automatic sprinkler system shall be installed throughout
buildings with a floor level having an occupant load of 30
or more that is located 55 feet (16 764 mm) or more
above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.
Exceptions:
1. Airport control towers.
2. Open parking structures.
3. Occupancies in Group F-2.

During construction. Automatic sprinkler
systems required during construction, alteration and demolition
operations shall be provided in accordance with the
International Fire Code.

Other hazards. Automatic sprinkler protection
shall be provided for the hazards indicated in Sections
903.2.12.1 and 903.2.12.2.

Ducts conveying hazardous exhausts.
Where required by the International Mechanical Code,
automatic sprinklers shall be provided in ducts conveying
hazardous exhaust, or flammable or combustible
materials.
Exception: Ducts in which the largest cross-sectional
diameter of the duct is less than 10 inches (254 mm).

Commercial cooking operations. An
automatic sprinkler system shall be installed in commercial
kitchen exhaust hood and duct system where an
automatic sprinkler system is used to comply with Section
904.

Other required suppression systems. In
addition to the requirements of Section 903.2, the provisions
indicated in Table 903.2.13 also require the installation
of a suppression system for certain buildings and areas.

International Building Code 903.2.1

Group A. An automatic sprinkler system shall
be provided throughout buildings and portions thereof used
as Group A occupancies as provided in this section. For
Group A-1, A-2, A-3 and A-4 occupancies, the automatic
sprinkler system shall be provided throughout the floor area
where the Group A-1, A-2, A-3 or A-4 occupancy is
located, and in all floors between the Group A occupancy
and the level of exit discharge. For Group A-5 occupancies,
the automatic sprinkler system shall be provided in the
spaces indicated in Section 903.2.1.5.

Group A-1. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be provided for Group A-1 occupancies where
one of the following conditions exists:
1. The fire area exceeds 12,000 square feet (1115
m2).
2. The fire area has an occupant load of 300 or more.
3. The fire area is located on a floor other than the
level of exit discharge.
4. The fire area contains a multitheater complex.

Group A-2. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be provided for Group A-2 occupancies where
one of the following conditions exists:
1. The fire area exceeds 5,000 square feet (465 m2);
2. The fire area has an occupant load of 100 or more;
or
3. The fire area is located on a floor other than the
level of exit discharge.

Group A-3. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be provided for Group A-3 occupancies where
one of the following conditions exists:
1. The fire area exceeds 12,000 square feet (1115
m2).
2. The fire area has an occupant load of 300 or more.
3. The fire area is located on a floor other than the
level of exit discharge.
Exception: Areas used exclusively as participant
sports areas where the main floor area is located at the
same level as the level of exit discharge of the main
entrance and exit.

Group A-4. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be provided for Group A-4 occupancies where
one of the following conditions exists:
1. The fire area exceeds 12,000 square feet (1115
m2).
2. The fire area has an occupant load of 300 or more.
3. The fire area is located on a floor other than the
level of exit discharge.
Exception: Areas used exclusively as participant
sports areas where the main floor area is located at the
same level as the level of exit discharge of the main
entrance and exit.

Group A-5. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be provided for Group A-5 occupancies in the
following areas: concession stands, retail areas, press
boxes and other accessory use areas in excess of 1,000
square feet (93 m2).

International Building Code 903.2.1.1

Group A-1. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be provided for Group A-1 occupancies where
one of the following conditions exists:
1. The fire area exceeds 12,000 square feet (1115
m2).
2. The fire area has an occupant load of 300 or more.
3. The fire area is located on a floor other than the
level of exit discharge.
4. The fire area contains a multitheater complex.

International Building Code 903.2.1.2

Group A-2. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be provided for Group A-2 occupancies where
one of the following conditions exists:
1. The fire area exceeds 5,000 square feet (465 m2);
2. The fire area has an occupant load of 100 or more;
or
3. The fire area is located on a floor other than the
level of exit discharge.

International Building Code 903.2.1.3

Group A-3. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be provided for Group A-3 occupancies where
one of the following conditions exists:
1. The fire area exceeds 12,000 square feet (1115
m2).
2. The fire area has an occupant load of 300 or more.
3. The fire area is located on a floor other than the
level of exit discharge.
Exception: Areas used exclusively as participant
sports areas where the main floor area is located at the
same level as the level of exit discharge of the main
entrance and exit.

International Building Code 903.2.1.4

Group A-4. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be provided for Group A-4 occupancies where
one of the following conditions exists:
1. The fire area exceeds 12,000 square feet (1115
m2).
2. The fire area has an occupant load of 300 or more.
3. The fire area is located on a floor other than the
level of exit discharge.
Exception: Areas used exclusively as participant
sports areas where the main floor area is located at the
same level as the level of exit discharge of the main
entrance and exit.

International Building Code 903.2.1.5

Group A-5. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be provided for Group A-5 occupancies in the
following areas: concession stands, retail areas, press
boxes and other accessory use areas in excess of 1,000
square feet (93 m2).

International Building Code 903.2.10

Windowless stories in all occupancies. An
automatic sprinkler system shall be installed in the locations
set forth in Sections 903.2.10.1 through 903.2.10.1.3.
Exception: Group R-3 and Group U.

Stories and basements without openings.
An automatic sprinkler system shall be installed
throughout every story or basement of all buildings
where the floor area exceeds 1,500 square feet (139.4m2)
and where there is not provided at least one of the following
types of exterior wall openings:
1. Openings below grade that lead directly to ground
level by an exterior stairway complying with Section
1009 or an outside ramp complying with Section
1010. Openings shall be located in each 50
2006 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE 175
FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS
linear feet (15 240 mm), or fraction thereof, of
exterior wall in the story on at least one side.
2. Openings entirely above the adjoining ground
level totaling at least 20 square feet (1.86 m2) in
each 50 linear feet (15 240 mm), or fraction
thereof, of exterior wall in the story on at least one
side.

Opening dimensions and access.
Openings shall have a minimum dimension of not less
than 30 inches (762 mm). Such openings shall be
accessible to the fire department from the exterior and
shall not be obstructed in a manner that fire fighting or
rescue cannot be accomplished from the exterior.

Openings on one side only. Where
openings in a story are provided on only one side and
the oppositewall of such story is more than 75 feet (22
860 mm) from such openings, the story shall be
equipped throughout with an approved automatic
sprinkler system, or openings as specified above shall
be provided on at least two sides of the story.

Basements. Where any portion of a
basement is located more than 75 feet (22 860 mm)
from openings required by Section 903.2.10.1, the
basement shall be equipped throughout with an
approved automatic sprinkler system.

Rubbish and linen chutes. An automatic
sprinkler system shall be installed at the top of rubbish
and linen chutes and in their terminal rooms. Chutes
extending through three or more floors shall have additional
sprinkler heads installed within such chutes at
alternate floors. Chute sprinklers shall be accessible for
servicing.

Buildings 55 feet or more in height. An
automatic sprinkler system shall be installed throughout
buildings with a floor level having an occupant load of 30
or more that is located 55 feet (16 764 mm) or more
above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.
Exceptions:
1. Airport control towers.
2. Open parking structures.
3. Occupancies in Group F-2.

International Building Code 903.2.10.1

Stories and basements without openings.
An automatic sprinkler system shall be installed
throughout every story or basement of all buildings
where the floor area exceeds 1,500 square feet (139.4m2)
and where there is not provided at least one of the following
types of exterior wall openings:
1. Openings below grade that lead directly to ground
level by an exterior stairway complying with Section
1009 or an outside ramp complying with Section
1010. Openings shall be located in each 50
2006 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE 175
FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS
linear feet (15 240 mm), or fraction thereof, of
exterior wall in the story on at least one side.
2. Openings entirely above the adjoining ground
level totaling at least 20 square feet (1.86 m2) in
each 50 linear feet (15 240 mm), or fraction
thereof, of exterior wall in the story on at least one
side.

Opening dimensions and access.
Openings shall have a minimum dimension of not less
than 30 inches (762 mm). Such openings shall be
accessible to the fire department from the exterior and
shall not be obstructed in a manner that fire fighting or
rescue cannot be accomplished from the exterior.

Openings on one side only. Where
openings in a story are provided on only one side and
the oppositewall of such story is more than 75 feet (22
860 mm) from such openings, the story shall be
equipped throughout with an approved automatic
sprinkler system, or openings as specified above shall
be provided on at least two sides of the story.

Basements. Where any portion of a
basement is located more than 75 feet (22 860 mm)
from openings required by Section 903.2.10.1, the
basement shall be equipped throughout with an
approved automatic sprinkler system.

International Building Code 903.2.10.1.1

Opening dimensions and access.
Openings shall have a minimum dimension of not less
than 30 inches (762 mm). Such openings shall be
accessible to the fire department from the exterior and
shall not be obstructed in a manner that fire fighting or
rescue cannot be accomplished from the exterior.

International Building Code 903.2.10.1.2

Openings on one side only. Where
openings in a story are provided on only one side and
the oppositewall of such story is more than 75 feet (22
860 mm) from such openings, the story shall be
equipped throughout with an approved automatic
sprinkler system, or openings as specified above shall
be provided on at least two sides of the story.

International Building Code 903.2.10.1.3

Basements. Where any portion of a
basement is located more than 75 feet (22 860 mm)
from openings required by Section 903.2.10.1, the
basement shall be equipped throughout with an
approved automatic sprinkler system.

International Building Code 903.2.10.2

Rubbish and linen chutes. An automatic
sprinkler system shall be installed at the top of rubbish
and linen chutes and in their terminal rooms. Chutes
extending through three or more floors shall have additional
sprinkler heads installed within such chutes at
alternate floors. Chute sprinklers shall be accessible for
servicing.

International Building Code 903.2.10.3

Buildings 55 feet or more in height. An
automatic sprinkler system shall be installed throughout
buildings with a floor level having an occupant load of 30
or more that is located 55 feet (16 764 mm) or more
above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.
Exceptions:
1. Airport control towers.
2. Open parking structures.
3. Occupancies in Group F-2.

International Building Code 903.2.11

During construction. Automatic sprinkler
systems required during construction, alteration and demolition
operations shall be provided in accordance with the
International Fire Code.

International Building Code 903.2.12

Other hazards. Automatic sprinkler protection
shall be provided for the hazards indicated in Sections
903.2.12.1 and 903.2.12.2.

Ducts conveying hazardous exhausts.
Where required by the International Mechanical Code,
automatic sprinklers shall be provided in ducts conveying
hazardous exhaust, or flammable or combustible
materials.
Exception: Ducts in which the largest cross-sectional
diameter of the duct is less than 10 inches (254 mm).

Commercial cooking operations. An
automatic sprinkler system shall be installed in commercial
kitchen exhaust hood and duct system where an
automatic sprinkler system is used to comply with Section
904.

International Building Code 903.2.12.1

Ducts conveying hazardous exhausts.
Where required by the International Mechanical Code,
automatic sprinklers shall be provided in ducts conveying
hazardous exhaust, or flammable or combustible
materials.
Exception: Ducts in which the largest cross-sectional
diameter of the duct is less than 10 inches (254 mm).

International Building Code 903.2.12.2

Commercial cooking operations. An
automatic sprinkler system shall be installed in commercial
kitchen exhaust hood and duct system where an
automatic sprinkler system is used to comply with Section
904.

International Building Code 903.2.13

Other required suppression systems. In
addition to the requirements of Section 903.2, the provisions
indicated in Table 903.2.13 also require the installation
of a suppression system for certain buildings and areas.

International Building Code 903.2.2

Group E. An automatic sprinkler system shall
be provided for Group E occupancies as follows:
1. Throughout all Group E fire areas greater than 20,000
square feet (1858 m2) in area.
2. Throughout every portion of educational buildings
below the level of exit discharge.
Exception: An automatic sprinkler system is not
required in any fire area or area below the level of exit
discharge where every classroom throughout the building
has at least one exterior exit door at ground level.

International Building Code 903.2.3

Group F-1. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be provided throughout all buildings containing a
Group F-1 occupancy where one of the following conditions
exists:
1. Where a Group F-1 fire area exceeds 12,000 square
feet (1115 m2);
2. Where a Group F-1 fire area is located more than three
stories above grade plane; or
3. Where the combined area of all Group F-1 fire areas
on all floors, including any mezzanines, exceeds
24,000 square feet (2230 m2).
174 2006 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE
FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS

Woodworking operations. An automatic
sprinkler system shall be provided throughout all Group
F-1 occupancy fire areas that contain woodworking
operations in excess of 2,500 square feet (232m2) in area
which generate finely divided combustible waste or use
finely divided combustible materials.

International Building Code 903.2.3.1

Woodworking operations. An automatic
sprinkler system shall be provided throughout all Group
F-1 occupancy fire areas that contain woodworking
operations in excess of 2,500 square feet (232m2) in area
which generate finely divided combustible waste or use
finely divided combustible materials.

International Building Code 903.2.4

Group H. Automatic sprinkler systems shall be
provided in high-hazard occupancies as required in Sections
903.2.4.1 through 903.2.4.3.

General. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be installed in Group H occupancies.

Group H-5. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be installed throughout buildings containing
Group H-5 occupancies. The design of the sprinkler system
shall not be less than that required by this code for
the occupancy hazard classifications in accordance with
Table 903.2.4.2. Where the design area of the sprinkler
system consists of a corridor protected by one row of
sprinklers, the maximum number of sprinklers required
to be calculated is 13.

Pyroxylin plastics. An automatic sprinkler
system shall be provided in buildings, or portions
thereof, where cellulose nitrate film or pyroxylin plastics
are manufactured, stored or handled in quantities
exceeding 100 pounds (45 kg).

International Building Code 903.2.4.1

General. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be installed in Group H occupancies.

International Building Code 903.2.4.2

Group H-5. An automatic sprinkler system
shall be installed throughout buildings containing
Group H-5 occupancies. The design of the sprinkler system
shall not be less than that required by this code for
the occupancy hazard classifications in accordance with
Table 903.2.4.2. Where the design area of the sprinkler
system consists of a corridor protected by one row of
sprinklers, the maximum number of sprinklers required
to be calculated is 13.

International Building Code 903.2.4.3

Pyroxylin plastics. An automatic sprinkler
system shall be provided in buildings, or portions
thereof, where cellulose nitrate film or pyroxylin plastics
are manufactured, stored or handled in quantities
exceeding 100 pounds (45 kg).

International Building Code 903.2.5

Group I. An automatic sprinkler system shall
be provided throughout buildings with a Group I fire area.
Exception: An automatic sprinkler system installed in
accordance with Section 903.3.1.2 or 903.3.1.3 shall be
allowed in Group I-1 facilities.

International Building Code 903.2.6

Group M. An automatic sprinkler system shall
be provided throughout buildings containing a Group M
occupancy where one of the following conditions exists:
1. Where a Group M fire area exceeds 12,000 square
feet (1115 m2);
2. Where a GroupMfire area is located more than three
stories above grade plane; or
3. Where the combined area of all GroupMfire areas on
all floors, including any mezzanines, exceeds 24,000
square feet (2230 m2).

High-piled storage. An automatic sprinkler
system shall be provided in accordance with the
International Fire Code in all buildings of Group M
where storage of merchandise is in high-piled or rack
storage arrays.

International Building Code 903.2.6.1

High-piled storage. An automatic sprinkler
system shall be provided in accordance with the
International Fire Code in all buildings of Group M
where storage of merchandise is in high-piled or rack
storage arrays.

International Building Code 903.2.7

Group R. An automatic sprinkler system
installed in accordance with Section 903.3 shall be provided
throughout all buildings with a Group R fire area.

International Building Code 903.2.8

Group S-1. An automatic sprinkler system shall
be provided throughout all buildings containing a Group
S-1 occupancy where one of the following conditions
exists:
1. A Group S-1 fire area exceeds 12,000 square feet
(1115 m2);
2. A Group S-1 fire area is located more than three stories
above grade plane; or
3. The combined area of all Group S-1 fire areas on all
floors, including any mezzanines, exceeds 24,000
square feet (2230 m2).

Repair garages. An automatic sprinkler
system shall be provided throughout all buildings used as
repair garages in accordance with Section 406, as shown:
1. Buildings two or more stories in height, including
basements, with a fire area containing a repair
garage exceeding 10,000 square feet (929 m2).
2. One-story buildings with a fire area containing a
repair garage exceeding 12,000 square feet (1115
m2).
3. Buildings with a repair garage servicing vehicles
parked in the basement.

Bulk storage of tires. Buildings and structures
where the area for the storage of tires exceeds
20,000 cubic feet (566 m3) shall be equipped throughout
with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with
Section 903.3.1.1.

International Building Code 903.2.8.1

Repair garages. An automatic sprinkler
system shall be provided throughout all buildings used as
repair garages in accordance with Section 406, as shown:
1. Buildings two or more stories in height, including
basements, with a fire area containing a repair
garage exceeding 10,000 square feet (929 m2).
2. One-story buildings with a fire area containing a
repair garage exceeding 12,000 square feet (1115
m2).
3. Buildings with a repair garage servicing vehicles
parked in the basement.

International Building Code 903.2.8.2

Bulk storage of tires. Buildings and structures
where the area for the storage of tires exceeds
20,000 cubic feet (566 m3) shall be equipped throughout
with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with
Section 903.3.1.1.

International Building Code 903.2.9

Group S-2. An automatic sprinkler system shall
be provided throughout buildings classified as enclosed
parking garages in accordance with Section 406.4 or where
located beneath other groups.
Exception: Enclosed parking garages located beneath
Group R-3 occupancies

Commercial parking garages. An automatic
sprinkler system shall be provided throughout
buildings used for storage of commercial trucks or buses
where the fire area exceeds 5,000 square feet (464 m2).

International Building Code 903.2.9.1

Commercial parking garages. An automatic
sprinkler system shall be provided throughout
buildings used for storage of commercial trucks or buses
where the fire area exceeds 5,000 square feet (464 m2).

International Building Code 903.3

Installation requirements. Automatic sprinkler
systems shall be designed and installed in accordance with Sections
903.3.1 through 903.3.7.

Standards. Sprinkler systems shall be designed
and installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1,
903.3.1.2 or 903.3.1.3.

NFPA 13 sprinkler systems. Where the
provisions of this code require that a building or portion
thereof be equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler
system in accordance with this section, sprinklers
shall be installed throughout in accordance with NFPA
13 except as provided in Section.

Exempt locations. Automatic sprinklers
shall not be required in the following rooms or
areas where such rooms or areas are protected with an
approved automatic fire detection system, in accordance
with Section 907.2, that will respond to visible
or invisible particles of combustion. Sprinklers shall
not be omitted from any room merely because it is
damp, of fire-resistance-rated construction or contains
electrical equipment.
176 2006 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE
FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS
1. Any room where the application of water, or
flame and water, constitutes a serious life or fire
hazard.
2. Any room or space where sprinklers are considered
undesirable because of the nature of the
contents, when approved by the fire code official.
3. Generator and transformer rooms separated
from the remainder of the building by walls and
floor/ceiling or roof/ceiling assemblies having
a fire-resistance rating of not less than 2 hours.
4. In rooms or areas that are of noncombustible
construction with wholly noncombustible contents.

NFPA 13R sprinkler systems. Where
allowed in buildings of Group R, up to and including four
stories in height, automatic sprinkler systems shall be
installed throughout in accordance with NFPA 13R.

Balconies and decks. Sprinkler protection
shall be provided for exterior balconies, decks and
ground floor patios of dwelling units where the building
is of Type V construction. Sidewall sprinklers that are
used to protect such areas shall be permitted to be
located such that their deflectors are within 1 inch (25
mm) to 6 inches (152 mm) below the structural members
and a maximum distance of 14 inches (356 mm)
below the deck of the exterior balconies and decks that
are constructed of open wood joist construction.

NFPA 13D sprinkler systems. Where
allowed, automatic sprinkler systems in one- and
two-family dwellings shall be installed throughout in
accordance with NFPA 13D.

Quick-response and residential sprinklers.
Where automatic sprinkler systems are required by this
code, quick-response or residential automatic sprinklers
shall be installed in the following areas in accordance with
Section 903.3.1 and their listings:
1. Throughout all spaces within a smoke compartment
containing patient sleeping units in Group I-2 in
accordance with this code.
2. Dwelling units, and sleeping units in Group R and I-1
occupancies.
3. Light-hazard occupancies as defined in NFPA 13.

Obstructed locations. Automatic sprinklers
shall be installed with due regard to obstructions that will
delay activation or obstruct the water distribution pattern.
Automatic sprinklers shall be installed in or under covered
kiosks, displays, booths, concession stands, or equipment
that exceeds 4 feet (1219 mm) in width. Not less than a 3-foot
(914 mm) clearance shall be maintained between automatic
sprinklers and the top of piles of combustible fibers.
Exception: Kitchen equipment under exhaust hoods
protected with a fire-extinguishing system in accordance
with Section 904.

Actuation. Automatic sprinkler systems shall
be automatically actuated unless specifically provided for in
this code.

Water supplies. Water supplies for automatic
sprinkler systems shall comply with this section and the
standards referenced in Section 903.3.1. The potable water
supply shall be protected against backflow in accordance
with the requirements of this section and the International
Plumbing Code.

Domestic services. Where the domestic
service provides the water supply for the automatic
sprinkler system, the supply shall be in accordance with
this section.

Limited area sprinkler systems.
Limited area sprinkler systems serving fewer than 20
sprinklers on any single connection are permitted to
be connected to the domestic service where a wet
automatic standpipe is not available. Limited area
sprinkler systems connected to domestic water supplies
shall comply with each of the following requirements:
1. Valves shall not be installed between the
domestic water riser control valve and the
sprinklers.
Exception: An approved indicating control
valve supervised in the open position in
accordance with Section 903.4.
2. The domestic service shall be capable of supplying
the simultaneous domestic demand and
the sprinkler demand required to be hydraulically
calculated by NFPA 13, NFPA 13R or
NFPA 13D.

Residential combination services.A
single combinationwater supply shall be allowed provided
that the domestic demand is added to the sprinkler
demand as required by NFPA 13R.

Secondary water supply. A secondary
on-sitewater supply equal to the hydraulically calculated
sprinkler demand, including the hose stream requirement,
shall be provided for high-rise buildings in Seismic
Design Category C, D, E or F as determined by this
code. The secondary water supply shall have a duration
of not less than 30 minutes as determined by the occupancy
hazard classification in accordance withNFPA13.
Exception: Existing buildings.

Hose threads. Fire hose threads and fittings
used in connection with automatic sprinkler systems shall
be as prescribed by the fire code official.

International Building Code 903.3.1

Standards. Sprinkler systems shall be designed
and installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1,
903.3.1.2 or 903.3.1.3.

NFPA 13 sprinkler systems. Where the
provisions of this code require that a building or portion
thereof be equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler
system in accordance with this section, sprinklers
shall be installed throughout in accordance with NFPA
13 except as provided in Section.

Exempt locations. Automatic sprinklers
shall not be required in the following rooms or
areas where such rooms or areas are protected with an
approved automatic fire detection system, in accordance
with Section 907.2, that will respond to visible
or invisible particles of combustion. Sprinklers shall
not be omitted from any room merely because it is
damp, of fire-resistance-rated construction or contains
electrical equipment.
176 2006 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE
FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS
1. Any room where the application of water, or
flame and water, constitutes a serious life or fire
hazard.
2. Any room or space where sprinklers are considered
undesirable because of the nature of the
contents, when approved by the fire code official.
3. Generator and transformer rooms separated
from the remainder of the building by walls and
floor/ceiling or roof/ceiling assemblies having
a fire-resistance rating of not less than 2 hours.
4. In rooms or areas that are of noncombustible
construction with wholly noncombustible contents.

NFPA 13R sprinkler systems. Where
allowed in buildings of Group R, up to and including four
stories in height, automatic sprinkler systems shall be
installed throughout in accordance with NFPA 13R.

Balconies and decks. Sprinkler protection
shall be provided for exterior balconies, decks and
ground floor patios of dwelling units where the building
is of Type V construction. Sidewall sprinklers that are
used to protect such areas shall be permitted to be
located such that their deflectors are within 1 inch (25
mm) to 6 inches (152 mm) below the structural members
and a maximum distance of 14 inches (356 mm)
below the deck of the exterior balconies and decks that
are constructed of open wood joist construction.

NFPA 13D sprinkler systems. Where
allowed, automatic sprinkler systems in one- and
two-family dwellings shall be installed throughout in
accordance with NFPA 13D.

International Building Code 903.3.1.1

NFPA 13 sprinkler systems. Where the
provisions of this code require that a building or portion
thereof be equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler
system in accordance with this section, sprinklers
shall be installed throughout in accordance with NFPA
13 except as provided in Section.

Exempt locations. Automatic sprinklers
shall not be required in the following rooms or
areas where such rooms or areas are protected with an
approved automatic fire detection system, in accordance
with Section 907.2, that will respond to visible
or invisible particles of combustion. Sprinklers shall
not be omitted from any room merely because it is
damp, of fire-resistance-rated construction or contains
electrical equipment.
176 2006 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE
FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS
1. Any room where the application of water, or
flame and water, constitutes a serious life or fire
hazard.
2. Any room or space where sprinklers are considered
undesirable because of the nature of the
contents, when approved by the fire code official.
3. Generator and transformer rooms separated
from the remainder of the building by walls and
floor/ceiling or roof/ceiling assemblies having
a fire-resistance rating of not less than 2 hours.
4. In rooms or areas that are of noncombustible
construction with wholly noncombustible contents.

International Building Code 903.3.1.1.1

Exempt locations. Automatic sprinklers
shall not be required in the following rooms or
areas where such rooms or areas are protected with an
approved automatic fire detection system, in accordance
with Section 907.2, that will respond to visible
or invisible particles of combustion. Sprinklers shall
not be omitted from any room merely because it is
damp, of fire-resistance-rated construction or contains
electrical equipment.
176 2006 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE
FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS
1. Any room where the application of water, or
flame and water, constitutes a serious life or fire
hazard.
2. Any room or space where sprinklers are considered
undesirable because of the nature of the
contents, when approved by the fire code official.
3. Generator and transformer rooms separated
from the remainder of the building by walls and
floor/ceiling or roof/ceiling assemblies having
a fire-resistance rating of not less than 2 hours.
4. In rooms or areas that are of noncombustible
construction with wholly noncombustible contents.

International Building Code 903.3.1.2

NFPA 13R sprinkler systems. Where
allowed in buildings of Group R, up to and including four
stories in height, automatic sprinkler systems shall be
installed throughout in accordance with NFPA 13R.

Balconies and decks. Sprinkler protection
shall be provided for exterior balconies, decks and
ground floor patios of dwelling units where the building
is of Type V construction. Sidewall sprinklers that are
used to protect such areas shall be permitted to be
located such that their deflectors are within 1 inch (25
mm) to 6 inches (152 mm) below the structural members
and a maximum distance of 14 inches (356 mm)
below the deck of the exterior balconies and decks that
are constructed of open wood joist construction.

International Building Code 903.3.1.2.1

Balconies and decks. Sprinkler protection
shall be provided for exterior balconies, decks and
ground floor patios of dwelling units where the building
is of Type V construction. Sidewall sprinklers that are
used to protect such areas shall be permitted to be
located such that their deflectors are within 1 inch (25
mm) to 6 inches (152 mm) below the structural members
and a maximum distance of 14 inches (356 mm)
below the deck of the exterior balconies and decks that
are constructed of open wood joist construction.

International Building Code 903.3.1.3

NFPA 13D sprinkler systems. Where
allowed, automatic sprinkler systems in one- and
two-family dwellings shall be installed throughout in
accordance with NFPA 13D.

International Building Code 903.3.2

Quick-response and residential sprinklers.
Where automatic sprinkler systems are required by this
code, quick-response or residential automatic sprinklers
shall be installed in the following areas in accordance with
Section 903.3.1 and their listings:
1. Throughout all spaces within a smoke compartment
containing patient sleeping units in Group I-2 in
accordance with this code.
2. Dwelling units, and sleeping units in Group R and I-1
occupancies.
3. Light-hazard occupancies as defined in NFPA 13.

International Building Code 903.3.3

Obstructed locations. Automatic sprinklers
shall be installed with due regard to obstructions that will
delay activation or obstruct the water distribution pattern.
Automatic sprinklers shall be installed in or under covered
kiosks, displays, booths, concession stands, or equipment
that exceeds 4 feet (1219 mm) in width. Not less than a 3-foot
(914 mm) clearance shall be maintained between automatic
sprinklers and the top of piles of combustible fibers.
Exception: Kitchen equipment under exhaust hoods
protected with a fire-extinguishing system in accordance
with Section 904.

International Building Code 903.3.4

Actuation. Automatic sprinkler systems shall
be automatically actuated unless specifically provided for in
this code.

International Building Code 903.3.5

Water supplies. Water supplies for automatic
sprinkler systems shall comply with this section and the
standards referenced in Section 903.3.1. The potable water
supply shall be protected against backflow in accordance
with the requirements of this section and the International
Plumbing Code.

Domestic services. Where the domestic
service provides the water supply for the automatic
sprinkler system, the supply shall be in accordance with
this section.

Limited area sprinkler systems.
Limited area sprinkler systems serving fewer than 20
sprinklers on any single connection are permitted to
be connected to the domestic service where a wet
automatic standpipe is not available. Limited area
sprinkler systems connected to domestic water supplies
shall comply with each of the following requirements:
1. Valves shall not be installed between the
domestic water riser control valve and the
sprinklers.
Exception: An approved indicating control
valve supervised in the open position in
accordance with Section 903.4.
2. The domestic service shall be capable of supplying
the simultaneous domestic demand and
the sprinkler demand required to be hydraulically
calculated by NFPA 13, NFPA 13R or
NFPA 13D.

Residential combination services.A
single combinationwater supply shall be allowed provided
that the domestic demand is added to the sprinkler
demand as required by NFPA 13R.

Secondary water supply. A secondary
on-sitewater supply equal to the hydraulically calculated
sprinkler demand, including the hose stream requirement,
shall be provided for high-rise buildings in Seismic
Design Category C, D, E or F as determined by this
code. The secondary water supply shall have a duration
of not less than 30 minutes as determined by the occupancy
hazard classification in accordance withNFPA13.
Exception: Existing buildings.

International Building Code 903.3.5.1

Domestic services. Where the domestic
service provides the water supply for the automatic
sprinkler system, the supply shall be in accordance with
this section.

Limited area sprinkler systems.
Limited area sprinkler systems serving fewer than 20
sprinklers on any single connection are permitted to
be connected to the domestic service where a wet
automatic standpipe is not available. Limited area
sprinkler systems connected to domestic water supplies
shall comply with each of the following requirements:
1. Valves shall not be installed between the
domestic water riser control valve and the
sprinklers.
Exception: An approved indicating control
valve supervised in the open position in
accordance with Section 903.4.
2. The domestic service shall be capable of supplying
the simultaneous domestic demand and
the sprinkler demand required to be hydraulically
calculated by NFPA 13, NFPA 13R or
NFPA 13D.

Residential combination services.A
single combinationwater supply shall be allowed provided
that the domestic demand is added to the sprinkler
demand as required by NFPA 13R.

International Building Code 903.3.5.1.1

Limited area sprinkler systems.
Limited area sprinkler systems serving fewer than 20
sprinklers on any single connection are permitted to
be connected to the domestic service where a wet
automatic standpipe is not available. Limited area
sprinkler systems connected to domestic water supplies
shall comply with each of the following requirements:
1. Valves shall not be installed between the
domestic water riser control valve and the
sprinklers.
Exception: An approved indicating control
valve supervised in the open position in
accordance with Section 903.4.
2. The domestic service shall be capable of supplying
the simultaneous domestic demand and
the sprinkler demand required to be hydraulically
calculated by NFPA 13, NFPA 13R or
NFPA 13D.

International Building Code 903.3.5.1.2

Residential combination services.A
single combinationwater supply shall be allowed provided
that the domestic demand is added to the sprinkler
demand as required by NFPA 13R.

International Building Code 903.3.5.2

Secondary water supply. A secondary
on-sitewater supply equal to the hydraulically calculated
sprinkler demand, including the hose stream requirement,
shall be provided for high-rise buildings in Seismic
Design Category C, D, E or F as determined by this
code. The secondary water supply shall have a duration
of not less than 30 minutes as determined by the occupancy
hazard classification in accordance withNFPA13.
Exception: Existing buildings.

International Building Code 903.3.6

Hose threads. Fire hose threads and fittings
used in connection with automatic sprinkler systems shall
be as prescribed by the fire code official.

International Building Code 903.4

Sprinkler system monitoring and alarms. All
valves controlling thewater supply for automatic sprinkler sys-
2006 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE 177
FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS
tems, pumps, tanks, water levels and temperatures, critical air
pressures and water-flow switches on all sprinkler systems
shall be electrically supervised.
Exceptions:
1. Automatic sprinkler systems protecting one- and
two-family dwellings.
2. Limited area systems serving fewer than 20 sprinklers.
3. Automatic sprinkler systems installed in accordance
withNFPA 13R where a common supply main is used
to supply both domestic water and the automatic
sprinkler systems and a separate shutoff valve for the
automatic sprinkler system is not provided.
4. Jockey pump control valves that are sealed or locked
in the open position.
5. Control valves to commercial kitchen hoods, paint
spray booths or dip tanks that are sealed or locked in
the open position.
6. Valves controlling the fuel supply to fire pump
engines that are sealed or locked in the open position.
7. Trim valves to pressure switches in dry, preaction and
deluge sprinkler systems that are sealed or locked in
the open position.

Signals. Alarm, supervisory and trouble signals
shall be distinctly different and automatically transmitted to
an approved central station, remote supervising station or
proprietary supervising station as defined in NFPA 72 or,
when approved by the fire code official, shall sound an audible
signal at a constantly attended location.
Exceptions:
1. Underground key or hub valves in roadway boxes
provided by the municipality or public utility are
not required to be monitored.
2. Backflow prevention device test valves located in
limited area sprinkler system supply piping shall
be locked in the open position. In occupancies
required to be equipped with a fire alarm system,
the backflow preventer valves shall be electrically
supervised by a tamper switch installed in accordance
with NFPA 72 and separately annunciated.

Alarms. Approved audible devices shall be
connected to every automatic sprinkler system. Such sprinkler
water-flow alarm devices shall be activated by water
flowequivalent to the flowof a single sprinkler of the smallest
orifice size installed in the system. Alarm devices shall
be provided on the exterior of the building in an approved
location. Where a fire alarm system is installed, actuation of
the automatic sprinkler system shall actuate the building fire
alarm system.

Floor control valves. Approved supervised
indicating control valves shall be provided at the point of
connection to the riser on each floor in high-rise buildings.

International Building Code 903.4.1

Signals. Alarm, supervisory and trouble signals
shall be distinctly different and automatically transmitted to
an approved central station, remote supervising station or
proprietary supervising station as defined in NFPA 72 or,
when approved by the fire code official, shall sound an audible
signal at a constantly attended location.
Exceptions:
1. Underground key or hub valves in roadway boxes
provided by the municipality or public utility are
not required to be monitored.
2. Backflow prevention device test valves located in
limited area sprinkler system supply piping shall
be locked in the open position. In occupancies
required to be equipped with a fire alarm system,
the backflow preventer valves shall be electrically
supervised by a tamper switch installed in accordance
with NFPA 72 and separately annunciated.

International Building Code 903.4.2

Alarms. Approved audible devices shall be
connected to every automatic sprinkler system. Such sprinkler
water-flow alarm devices shall be activated by water
flowequivalent to the flowof a single sprinkler of the smallest
orifice size installed in the system. Alarm devices shall
be provided on the exterior of the building in an approved
location. Where a fire alarm system is installed, actuation of
the automatic sprinkler system shall actuate the building fire
alarm system.

International Building Code 903.4.3

Floor control valves. Approved supervised
indicating control valves shall be provided at the point of
connection to the riser on each floor in high-rise buildings.

International Building Code 903.5

Testing and maintenance. Sprinkler systems shall
be tested and maintained in accordance with the International
Fire Code.