by Brad Keyes, CHSP, on Jul 6, 2020 1:00:35 AM
Q: I am aware that there is an exception for sprinklers not to be required in a dedicated electrical room that is protected with 2-hour construction. My question: Is a communications equipment room (IT and telecom wire racks and routers) also excepted from being sprinklered? The hospital’s engineer marked the communications rooms as not required in their sprinkler drawings.
A: According to NFPA 13-2010, section 126.96.36.199, sprinklers shall not be required in electrical equipment rooms where all of the following conditions are met:
1) The room is dedicated to electrical equipment only.
2) Only dry-type electrical equipment is used.
3) Equipment is installed in a 2-hour fire-rated enclosure including protection for penetrations.
4) No combustible storage is permitted to be stored in the room.
So, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the room where the IT routers are housed a 2-hour fire-rated room?
- Is the room where the IT routers are housed dedicated to electrical equipment only?
- Is the room where the IT routers are housed free from any combustible storage?
I think you could make the argument that a IT Router room is an electrical equipment room, but does it meet all of the other requirement for sprinklers to be excluded?