For the first time, the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 13: Installation of Sprinkler Systems includes code language that clarifies the use of Flexible Sprinkler Hose Fittings and provides applicable guidelines.
The new language appears in the 2007 edition of NFPA 13. This clarification is welcome news for contractors who want the well-documented advantages of flexible fittings. Such fittings typically are faster and easier to install, making installers more productive and reducing backlogs. They also result in simplified project and materials management, and eliminate the need to use oversized rings in order to meet IBC code requirements in seismic areas.
Although flexible fittings have been approved for use for some time by both UL and FM, the addition of code language in NFPA 13 means that engineers and AHJs now have clear guidelines that simplify the product submittal process.
NFPA 13 now states that Flexible Sprinkler Hose Fittings supported by a suspended ceiling do not have to be independently supported from the building and should be used in accordance with its listings, including installation instructions.