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NYC Building Code- When Do You Need Automatic Sprinklers In Your Building?

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Automatic sprinklers have been quite a big issue when it comes to high rise buildings and they have been the subject of many  discussions at all levels within the construction industry. The main reason behind the heightened interest in automatic sprinklers is because of the regulations behind them which dictate when and where they should be installed as well as how they have to be installed. While there is no specific NYC building code that expressly deals with the installation of sprinklers in buildings in the city, there are many other regulations and codes by different authorities which effectively control them.

The first and probably the most important of these regulations is Local Law 26 of 2004. Under the retroactive requirements of this law, all business occupancy buildings that are more than 100 feet tall are required by law to install automatic sprinklers and the deadline for the full compliance with this law was set for July 2019. The law was enacted in 2004 as part of the efforts by the government to improve safety in high rise buildings which are quite many within the city following attacks by terrorists in 2002 on the World Trade Center. With the deadline coming up very fast, there has been something of a rush to ensure compliance and that is part of the reason why there has been so much talk about automatic sprinklers on the construction years in recent years.

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It is worth pointing out that the law does not make it mandatory for all buildings in New York to install automatic sprinklers- just the ones that meet the specified criteria. However, there is no law banning other types of buildings from installing their own sprinkler systems and, on the contrary, it is actually a good idea if you wish to improve safety in the building during unexpected fire outbreaks. Note that even though the law might not ask you expressly to install a sprinkler system in your building, if you choose to do so then you will have to comply with the same NYC building code regulations governing sprinkler installation just as everyone else.

Sprinkler installation tips

Keeping in mind that the deadline for the installation of sprinklers is fast approaching, if you are installing automatic sprinklers then you definitely want it done right and done fast. Here are some tips that should help you kill both birds with the same stone.

  • Hire professionals- It might cost you a few extra bucks to hire the best engineering firms but the extra expense is justified given the fact that they understand the NYC building code inside out as well as all the regulations and can guarantee you full compliance. Not to mention the fact that they will process the paperwork much faster and provide quick results.
  • Does your homework- getting a firm that understands the codes and regulations is good but you should not just take their word for it. It always pays to be conversant with the same so that you know if anything is being left out.

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