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Fire Sprinkler System Codes for Houston Area Businesses

As a business owner, building manager, or warehouse operator, you have a lot on your plate. Fire safety may rarely cross your mind, but considering this issue is important to ensure protection for your employees, customers and inventory.

Think for a moment: are you up-to-date with the fire sprinkler codes in Houston? If you’re not sure, brush up on these codes now. If there’s any area where your building falls short, count on Kauffman Co. to bring you back up to code.

Where Automatic Sprinklers Are Required

Automatic sprinklers are required in certain buildings based on occupancy, classification, size and construction. In general, your building requires sprinklers if one or more of the following conditions apply:

  • The building exceeds 12,000 square feet.
  • The occupancy load is 300 people or more.
  • The building has more than three stories above ground.

All existing high rise buildings located within Houston city limits must be equipped with automatic sprinklers in accordance with NFPA 13 Section J104. As of December 31, 2014, a minimum of 50% of all floors of the building must have an operational sprinkler system. By December 31, 2017 the total square footage of the building must be equipped with operational sprinklers.

Exempt Locations

You are not required to install automatic sprinklers in the following locations:

  • Rooms where applying water, or combining flame and water, could create a serious hazard.
  • Rooms where sprinklers are considered undesirable because of the nature of its contents, so long as the lack of sprinklers is approved by the building official.
  • Generator or transformer rooms where the walls, floor and ceiling have a fire-resistance rating of two hours or greater.
  • Rooms that are built solely out of noncombustible materials and house wholly noncombustible contents.
  • Elevator machine rooms used exclusively for machines that are separate from the rest of the building and contain smoke detectors.

Servicing, Testing and Maintenance Requirements

The Fire Marshall requires only qualified, licensed companies to conduct servicing, testing, repair, maintenance and tagging of automatic fire sprinkler systems. Houston fire code complies with NFPA 25, which requires the following services to be performed in the timelines mentioned:

  • Visual inspections must take place quarterly. Records of these inspections must be kept.
  • System testing must take place annually. Documentation of test results and repairs must be kept.
  • A partial “trip test” of dry-pipe valves must be performed annually.
  • A full “trip test” of dry-pipe valves must be performed every three years.

Fire Sprinkler Services in Houston, TX

You don’t have the time or expertise to put these rules into practice, but at Kauffman Co., fire safety is our full-time job. Let us handle all your sprinkler service needs, from installation and maintenance to testing and repair. Our services keep you in compliance with Houston fire codes, not to mention help ensure your safety if a fire should break out on your property.

Contact Kauffman Co. to schedule fire sprinkler services in Houston today.

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