Chapter 9.18
FIRE SPRINKLER REQUIREMENTS

Sections:

9.18.010    Scope.

9.18.020    Where required.

9.18.030    Systems out of service.

9.18.040    Fire flow for buildings with sprinkler systems.

9.18.050    Repealed.

9.18.060    System design.

9.18.070    Fire department connection (FDC) location.

9.18.010 Scope.

The following fire sprinkler and standpipe requirements apply to all commercial (and residential where indicated) buildings. In cases where the IFC is more restrictive, the more restrictive requirements shall prevail. (Ord. 3396 § 1, 2021; Ord. 3306 § 2 (Exh. 2), 2018; Ord. 3196 § 1, 2016; Ord. 3007 § 1, 2013)

9.18.020 Where required.

In addition to the requirements of Section 903.2, an approved automatic fire sprinkler system shall be installed and maintained throughout all buildings, structures, floors, and suites described in this section. All sprinkler and standpipe systems shall be installed per the applicable NFPA and South County Fire (SCF) fire sprinkler standard. For the purposes of this section, spaces separated by fire walls, fire barriers, fire partitions and fire-resistance-rated horizontal assemblies noted in IBC Chapter 7 shall not be considered to be separate area(s) or building(s). Partial area automatic sprinkler systems are prohibited.

A. In every building constructed under the International Residential Code containing three or more attached dwelling units. One- and two-family dwellings located 500 feet or greater from a public or private hydrant (the length of panhandles or access tracts shall be included in this measurement) shall require a residential fire sprinkler system. Residential or quick response standard sprinkler heads shall be used in accordance with their approved listing in the dwelling.

B. In all new buildings and structures with a fire area of 5,000 or greater square feet, regardless of type or use.

C. In all new buildings without adequate fire flow.

D. In existing buildings, structures, or suites that undergo an addition or change in use where the new total fire area is 5,000 square feet or greater.

E. In all existing buildings or structures that undergo an alteration, repair, modification, or similar improvement requiring a building permit without adequate fire flow.

F. In existing buildings, structures, suites, or occupancies where the value of all alterations or repairs performed within a 72-month period exceeds 50 percent of the assessed value of the building at the time of the first alteration, repair, modification, or similar improvement requiring a building permit, an automatic fire sprinkler system and/or fire standpipes shall be installed throughout the building if one would otherwise be required for the building if of new construction. The value of the building shall be as listed by the Snohomish County assessor’s office or other acceptable method approved by the fire code official. Buildings not listed with an appraised value shall utilize an alternate method of valuation prescribed by the fire code official.

G. In all existing buildings, structures, occupancies, or suites that undergo an alteration, repair, modification, or similar improvement in accordance with the International Existing Building Code (IEBC).

H. In existing buildings, structures, occupancies, or suites having an existing automatic fire sprinkler system that does not provide protection to all areas, when the unprotected areas undergo an alteration, repair, modification, or similar improvement requiring a building permit, those unprotected areas shall be provided with protection as approved by the fire code official.

I. Where required emergency fire access road grade is 12 percent or greater.

J. Open air parking garage standpipes. Approved dry standpipes shall be installed when adequate fire protection is not available for vehicles parked in open-air parking garages or rooftops. (Ord. 3396 § 1, 2021; Ord. 3306 § 2 (Exh. 2), 2018; Ord. 3196 § 1, 2016; Ord. 3007 § 1, 2013)

9.18.030 Systems out of service.

For the first 48 hours, the owner may provide a competent adult to serve as a fire watch. After the initial 48 hours, the fire watch must be provided by a licensed and bonded private security company or other approved means until the system is returned to full service. The owner must furnish the fire marshal with the name and contact information of the competent adult and/or security company within eight hours of implementing a fire watch. (Ord. 3396 § 1, 2021; Ord. 3306 § 2 (Exh. 2), 2018; Ord. 3196 § 1, 2016; Ord. 3007 § 1, 2013)

9.18.040 Fire flow for buildings with sprinkler systems.

The fire flow required by IFC Appendix B may be reduced by 50 percent when an approved automatic fire sprinkler is installed throughout the building. (Ord. 3396 § 1, 2021; Ord. 3306 § 2 (Exh. 2), 2018; Ord. 3196 § 1, 2016; Ord. 3007 § 1, 2013)

9.18.050 NFPA 13R system modifications.

Repealed by Ord. 3306. (Ord. 3196 § 1, 2016; Ord. 3007 § 1, 2013)

9.18.060 System design.

A. Sprinkler systems shall be capable of delivering a minimum of a 10 percent safety factor in addition to the required system demand of 20 psi residual pressure.

B. Approved supervised indicating control valves shall be provided at the point of connection to the riser on each floor in buildings three or greater stories.

C. Sprinkler protection for R1 and R2 shall be provided on exterior balconies, decks, and ground floor patios provided there is a roof or deck above. Sidewall sprinklers that are used to protect such areas shall be permitted to be located such that their deflectors are within one inch to six inches below the structural members and a maximum distance of 14 inches below the deck of the exterior balconies and decks that are constructed of open wood joist construction.

D. All “M,” “S” and “H” occupancy (as defined by the IBC) canopies and overhangs that exceed four feet in width shall be provided with fire sprinklers regardless of construction type.

E. Townhouses as defined by the IBC shall be provided with an NFPA 13D fire sprinkler system. (Ord. 3396 § 1, 2021; Ord. 3306 § 2 (Exh. 2), 2018; Ord. 3196 § 1, 2016; Ord. 3007 § 1, 2013)

9.18.070 Fire department connection (FDC) location.

FDCs shall be installed remote from the building, out of the collapse zone, in an approved location along a public street or fire apparatus access road and within 50 feet of a fire hydrant or as approved by the fire code official.

All FDCs shall be installed in accordance with the appropriate NFPA and SCF’s fire sprinkler standard.

Hydrants and FDCs shall not be located closer than 50 feet from the building or as approved by the fire code official.

The number of hydrants used to provide fire flows shall be as specified in IFC Table C102.1, except that all buildings over 5,000 square feet shall be protected by a minimum of two hydrants; one of which shall be located within 150 feet of the most remote location of the exterior wall of the first story. The second hydrant may be located up to 330 feet (as measured by vehicle travel) from the first hydrant. For fire flows requiring more than two hydrants, additional hydrants shall be installed in approved locations with a maximum spacing of 330 feet. The number, spacing, and/or location of hydrants may be modified by the fire marshal as needed to ensure adequate fire protection.

Exception: one- and two-family dwellings. (Ord. 3396 § 1, 2021; Ord. 3306 § 2 (Exh. 2), 2018; Ord. 3196 § 1, 2016; Ord. 3007 § 1, 2013)