back to blog

Fire Sprinkler Head Location and Coverage

At Kauffman Co., we believe that an intelligently designed sprinkler system is the single most important thing you can have in your building to keep it safe from fires at all times. And the most important aspect of fire sprinkler installation is making sure your sprinkler heads are located in the proper places to provide the best coverage.

Sprinkler Head Location and Coverage

There are two main criteria for determining the location of sprinkler heads:

  • Because fire sprinklers are heat activated, sprinkler heads must be located high up on or near the ceiling.
  • Sprinkler heads must be unobstructed to provide maximum flow to the areas that need it. This means they cannot be blocked by beams, trusses, soffits, or any other elements of your building’s construction.

When properly installed, most sprinkler heads will have an 8’ coverage radius. This is one of many determining factors in how the sprinkler heads must be spaced.

Sprinkler Head Distance and Spacing Requirements

The NFPA lays out specific spacing requirements for sprinkler heads. These requirements are based on hazard level as well as pump flow calculations and may need to be adjusted based on any obstructions that may be present in the area of the sprinkler head.

Hazard Level Coverage (in sq ft) per Sprinkler Head Maximum Allowed Distance Between Sprinkler Heads
Light Hazard (areas with low concentrations of flammable materials) 130-200 sq ft per head 15 ft
Ordinary Hazard 1 & 2 (areas with moderate concentrations of flammable materials) 130 sq ft per head 15 ft
Extra Hazard 1 & 2 (areas with a high concentration of flammable materials) 90-130 sq ft per head (based on obstructions and flow calculations) 12 ft

Other sprinkler head spacing requirements include:

  • Distance from walls: half the distance between sprinkler heads (i.e. 15’ between sprinkler heads, 7.5’ from walls)
  • Minimum distance between sprinkler heads: usually 6’
  • Distance from ceilings: minimum 1”, maximum 12”.*

* Most sprinkler heads will be installed 1″ from the ceiling. Concealed, recessed, or flush-mounted sprinkler heads may be listed for shorter distances.

Extended Coverage Sprinkler Heads

If your building needs more protection than you can get with a standard coverage fire sprinkler, or if heads cannot be installed to meet normal spacing requirements, you may need to install extended coverage sprinkler heads. These sprinkler heads have an increased radius of approximately 10 ft and can be spaces about 20 ft apart. At Kauffman Co., our fire sprinkler design engineers will take your specific building factors into consideration to install a fire protection system that will keep you safe at all times. If you need to install a fire sprinkler system in Houston, call Kauffman Co. today!

Proudly serving

Alvin  |  Angleton  |  Austin  |  Baytown
 |  Beaumont  |  Bellaire  |  
Clute  |  Conroe
 |  Deer Park  |  Dickinson  |  Freeport
 Friendswood  |  Galena Park
 |  Galveston  |  Houston  |  Humble