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Fire Authority Requiring Sprinklers in AZ Unlawful?

adamflyer's picture

So the city I am wanting to build in Dewey-Humboldt, AZ does not have any requirements for fire sprinklers in residential construction. However, the local fire authority does have a requirement for a 13D system if the total floor area (including garage and attic storage and covered porches >4ft ) is over 5,000 ft^2 which I am.

I got a quote for a sprinkler system and am trying to figure out a way of getting out of the $10k price tag. I would much rather spend that money on something more useful even if it were another type of fire protection. It probably would not be so bad if I could install the system myself but they also require a professional to design it and it to be installed by a contractor.

I happened to stumble upon this last night:

9-807. Mandated fire sprinklers in certain residences prohibited; exception; permit application format
A. A municipality shall not adopt a code or ordinance or part of a uniform code or ordinance that prohibits a person or entity from choosing to install or equip or not install or equip fire sprinklers in a single family detached residence or any residential building that contains not more than two dwelling units.  A municipality shall not impose any fine, penalty or other requirement on any person or entity for choosing to install or equip or not install or equip fire sprinklers in such a residence.  This section does not apply to any code or ordinance that requires fire sprinklers in a residence and that was adopted before December 31, 2009.
B. A fire sprinkler permit application may be in either print or electronic format.
C. A municipality shall include the provisions of subsection A of this section on fire sprinkler permit applications that are for a single family detached residence or any residential building that contains not more than two dwelling units.

So does anyone know what kind of authority local fire authorities have to enforce their rules and/or if they are in the wrong for having a sprinkler requirement for residences? I doubt they had this rule before 2009. I called them this morning but the guy I needed to talk to was out so I left a message to call me back.

I think you have to talk to a (post #215638, reply #1 of 3)

I think you have to talk to a lawyer.  Or at least your local city/county board people.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Cities/States/Sprinkler (post #215638, reply #2 of 3)

Cities/States/Sprinkler Companies/Insurance Companies are all guilty of letting the Best or the Better stand of the way of the Good.

What I mean is that residential sprinklers are good.....any number of them in any volume at any reasonable pressure.  They should allow potable domestic cold water sprinklers to be installed in single family residential.  So long as the plumbing is run in a manner that the sprinklers are in line between the source and a fixture, you have no issues with stagnation because the line gets flushed with every use of the fixture.  Pex pipe makes it even more doable than standard copper.  So what if you don't have the full pressure they would like you to have?  Some water is always going to be better than none. 

Likewise with sprinkler head requirements.  You don't need a system with 20 heads to cover every sq ft in your house.  You only need a couple of heads to give you a path to an exit.

All the other requirements are cover our as BS.  Some cities demand a separate supply line from the main.  They would say thats to gain higher pressure I would guess but the real reason is that they fear being sued if they shut off your water for non-payment and someone happens to die in a fire where the sprinklers dont work.  They don't want them on the potable lines because the water will stagnate but with pex and proper planning, sprinkler heads are no more a danger of stagnation than any other fixture in your house.  Its pretty simple, you never run a head that isn't in the middle of a fixture supply line.

Five sprinkler heads could have adequately covered my 4,000 sq ft house to 10 would have been excellent....most cities would want four in my living room alone and 3 or more in my kitchen.

Called the fire marshal again (post #215638, reply #3 of 3)

Called the fire marshal again today and he was out again. Problem with my situation is I will be on well water and will require a tank and pump so I think that adds some cost and I am guessing will require seperate pipes that will stagnate.