Being proactive about fire safety is simply good business. If you’re planning to renovate your commercial building, it may also be a requirement. How can you determine if your renovation should include upgrades to your facility’s commercial sprinklers? Here are a few deciding factors to consider when completing a commercial upgrade and whether or not it will affect your sprinkler system.
The Value of Fire Suppression Systems
When placed in a commercial facility, a building sprinkler works by slowing or putting out the flames. In the event of a fire, an effective sprinkler system is invaluable. It can give your employees and customers more time to escape. It can make the job of firefighters safer and easier. Plus, it can limit the damage done to your inventory and facility. As a result, you’ll be able to get back to work faster, minimizing your loss of income. Since laws change frequently, the requirements of today are not the same as years ago. It’s a good idea to check with your commercial contractor.
Requirements and Renovations
Having an appropriate fire suppression system protects both people and property. It’s also a legal requirement in many locations. There are clear guidelines for new commercial construction; older buildings are often exempt. However, renovations can trigger requirements for installing or upgrading commercial sprinklers. That’s when things can get tricky quickly.
With multiple building codes at the local, state and federal level in play, it can be challenging to identify what must be done. Getting it wrong can result in costly delays and unexpected expenses. That’s why it’s vital to work with a commercial contractor who is well-versed in the requirements for commercial renovation and construction.
Knowing When Upgrades Are Necessary
Every commercial building renovation presents unique opportunities and challenges. An experienced commercial contractor will know how to manage them both. Their input helps to ensure that you get the best return on your investment. When it comes to sprinkler installation, the requirements depend on your facility’s location and the details of the project. However, certain factors make it likely that you will need to incorporate commercial sprinklers. Automatic sprinkler systems are often a must when renovations create situations like the following:
- Remodeling or renovation extends a commercial facility’s fire area beyond 5,000 square feet.
- A single tenant expansion requiring a new certificate of occupancy increases a commercial facility’s fire area beyond 12,000 square feet.
It’s important to note that the area being renovated is not the only space impacted. Especially if an upgrade triggers a code upgrade, such as a building’s commercial sprinklers. When renovations mandate the installation or upgrade of fire sprinklers, the system must extend throughout the building. It should also be designed to provide the maximum amount of coverage. In addition, water supply control valves must be clearly identified and easily accessed. If fire pumps are needed to support the sprinklers, they need to be placed either in a separate building or in a fire-rated room with exterior access.
At CBF Contracting, we’ve built a solid reputation by consistently delivering high-quality projects that are on time and on budget. With more than 30 years of experience in commercial and industrial construction in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York, we have an in-depth understanding of the relevant rules and regulations. We know what’s necessary to get the job done right the first time. To discuss your next commercial construction project, contact us today at 814-745-3000.