I asking for a building that contains a desalination plant and a storage of water bottles (in carton boxes).

Should we split the factory and the storage or not (according to NFPA 13)?

And which section in the code that deals with this matter?

  • $\begingroup$ I find it extremely safe to say that the NFPA code will not prevent you from storing product next to its manufacture. If you store product without fireproof walls, you may end up with sub-optimal sprinkler requirements. Note that your insurance provider may have different requirements than the NFPA code. $\endgroup$
    – Tiger Guy
    Apr 19, 2021 at 20:05

1 Answer 1


NFPA 13 is the industry standard on all matters related with sprinkler systems in the USA. However, as a standard, it needs to be adopted by each of the States Building Department to incorporate into the State Building Code. Also, the State may impose additional requirements, as Amendments to NFPA 13, which are also to be met. So, in your case, you shall contact the local building department as the first stop.

To your specific question, the paragraphs below explains well:

" Since fire sprinkler design involves plenty of technical concepts, the NFPA 13 dedicates its Chapter 3 to defining key terms that are used throughout the document. An automatic sprinkler is defined as a “a fire suppression or control device that operates automatically when its heat-activated element is heated to its thermal rating or above, allowing water to discharge over a specified area.” There is a common misconception that automatic sprinklers are activated by smoke, but actually they respond to heat.

General requirements apply for all sprinkler systems regardless of the type of building or specific configuration, unless there is a direct exception in the code. If a building uses fire sprinklers, NFPA 13 demands full coverage for the entire property unless the standard indicates clearly that a specific building area is optional."

The NFPA 13 standard is nearly 500 pages long, and very detailed in requirements and specifications. You can get it from Amazon for 79 dollars, a money well spent, I think.

Add - On top of the jurisdiction of your facility, the NFPA standard, you should find out from the EPA what substances/materials are permitted to be stored alongside of the manufacturing area, and limit on the quantity.


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