In a few months, the 2019 edition of NFPA 13 will be available. A few Notices of Intent to Make a Motion were passed at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Session in Las Vegas this past June. Once the resulting changes are incorporated into the document, the way will be clear for approval by the NFPA Standards Council.
The 2019 NFPA 13 is completely reorganized. This is the first major format change since the 2007 edition. The new NFPA 13 format is intended to help us find the things we are looking for in the standard a little easier. The chapters are now organized in a logical sequence, i.e., in the order of how a system is put together.
The 2016 edition of NFPA 13 had 27 chapters. The 2019 edition has been reorganized into 30 chapters.
Information from previous Chapter 5 Classification of Occupancies has been moved into Chapter 4 General Requirements.
Requirements for Miscellaneous Storage and Low-Piled Storage (old Chapter 13) also was moved into Chapter 4. Note that the information on Commodity Classifications will be found in Chapter 20.
Also residing in Chapter 4 are System Area Limitations (old Section 8.2), requirements for Working Plans (old Section 23.1), and Water Supply Information (old Section 23.2).
Dry Pipe Underground (old section 8.15.21) has been relocated to Chapter 6 Underground Requirements.
Chapter 7 System Components and Hardware contains much of the information from the old Chapter 6, as well as old Section 7.10 Additives and Coatings.
Chapter 8 System Requirements contains all the information from the old Chapter 7, old Sections 8.14 Pilot Line Detectors, 23.6 Exposure Protection Sprinkler Systems and 23.7 Pipe Schedules.
Sprinkler installation and location requirements are contained in Chapters 9 through 15. A new chapter, Chapter 9 Sprinkler Location Requirements, provides the general requirements for sprinkler locations formerly found in old Sections 8.1 Basic Requirements, 8.3 Use of Sprinklers, 8.5 Position, Locations and Use of Sprinklers, and 8.15 Special Situations.
Chapter 10 contains requirements for standard response upright, pendent and sidewall sprinklers from old Sections 8.6 and 8.7.
Chapter 11 contains requirements for extended coverage standard response upright, pendent and sidewall sprinklers from old Sections 8.8 and 8.9.
Chapter 12 contains requirements for residential sprinklers from old Section 8.10. Chapter 13 contains requirements for control-mode specific application sprinklers (CMSA) from old Section 8.11. Chapter 14 contains requirements for early suppression fast response (ESFR) sprinklers from old Section 8.12.
Chapter 15 contains requirements for open, special, dry type, and old-style sprinklers from old Sections 8.4.4, 8.4.8, 8.4.9 and 8.15.16.
Chapter 16 Installation of Sprinklers, Piping, Valves and Appurtenances contains the remaining information from old Chapters 6 and 8, including old Sections 6.1 General, 6.2 Sprinklers, 6.3 Aboveground Pipe and Tube, parts of 6.4 Fittings, parts of 6.6 Valves, 6.7 FDCs, 8.16 Piping Installation, 8.17 System Attachments, and 8.18 Bonding and Grounding.
Old Chapter 9 has been split into two chapters: Chapter 17 Installation Requirements for Hanging and Support of System Piping and Chapter 18 Installation Requirements for Seismic Protection.
Chapter 19 General Design Approaches contains old Chapter 11 Design Approaches and old Sections 23.6 Exposure Protection Sprinkler Systems and 23.7 Pipe Schedules.
The remaining nine chapters devoted to storage (remember Chapter 13 Miscellaneous Storage and Low-Piled Storage now resides in Chapter 4) have been combined into five chapters.
The new format for storage chapters is organized around the type of sprinkler that will be used – control mode density area (CMDA), CMSA or ESFR – rather than by storage arrangement and commodity used in the 2016 edition.
Chapter 20 General Requirements for the Protection of Storage has been greatly expanded.
Section 20-2 provides the following guidance on establishing the storage requirements:
20.2 Protection of storage shall follow the following criteria:
Requirements for in-rack sprinklers are consolidated in a new Chapter 25 In‐Rack Sprinklers.
One of the more interesting items in this format change is the new Chapter 28 Existing System Modifications. Requirements related to systems modifications previously scattered among a half a dozen chapters have been collected into this chapter. This should be a very helpful change.
The new format NFPA 13 is intended to help us to find things easier. I believe as we get used to using this edition, we will find that to be the case.
To help us find things initially, the 2019 edition also will include cross-reference tables for sections and paragraphs between 2016 to 2019 and for 2019 to 2016 (I think).
Now we understand that this reformat/reorganization has resulted in a reduction of the total number pages in the document by perhaps 40 or 50 pages.