As a home owner in New York City, your main priority is to make sure that you live in a safe and protected environment. That means being able to deal with unexpected emergencies like fires which could not only cause serious damage to your property but could lead to loss of life. One of the best ways to protect your home from unexpected fires is by installing residential sprinkler systems which serve as the primary line of defense in the event that you suffer such a calamity. But, it is important to point out here that choosing and installing the right residential sprinkler systems is not exactly what you would call a walk in the park. Failure to choose the right system or to install it properly could lead to financial loss and the sprinklers might not even be able to serve their purpose.
When installing a residential sprinkler system for a new construction project it is always a good idea to have the design team installing it to collaborate with the architects working on the construction project and there are many arguments that can be put forward to explain why this is so. For starters, they will be better able to optimize the sprinkler head count and so you will not end up buying more sprinklers that you actually need. If the architecture of the building is not included in the design of the automatic sprinkler system then the coverage might be complicated and you might need a higher sprinkler head count. The more the sprinklers, the more the piping and the more you are going to spend on labor and the cost of supplies. In addition, you might end up needing a stand pipe or more and that could further complicate issues with regulatory authorities.
Regulation for Automatic Residential Sprinkler Systems
Even though the New York City Government does not make it mandatory to install automatic sprinklers in all types of residential buildings, you should always remember that if you should choose to install such a system then it will have to be inspected by the NYC Department of Buildings and it must therefore meet some specific standards. Otherwise it might not be approved for occupancy until all the requirements are met.
The fact that you are building or living in a residential building alone does not automatically make you exempt from having to install a residential sprinkler system. On the contrary, the regulations stipulate that in New York City all occupancies classified as Group R must be fitted with a functional automatic sprinkler system. This also applies to buildings with mixed occupancies but where Group R occupancies are the most dominant. The system has to cover all the fire areas in the building and the only three types of residences that are exempt from these regulations in the city are;
- Detached single family dwellings
- Detached 2-family dwellings
- Townhouses or multiple one-family dwellings
However, the structures mentioned above must not extend more than three stories above the ground and each dwelling unit has to have its own independent fire exit.