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Basic Guide to NFPA 13 Occupancy and Commodity Classifications


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Outlines and defines the occupancy and commodity classifications for fire sprinkler protection as listed in NFPA 13.

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Basic Guide to NFPA 13 Occupancy and Commodity Classifications

  1. 1.
  2. 2. NFPA 13:5.1 NFPA 13, chapter five, provides criteria for classification of occupancy hazard and commodity classification. It is important to note, that these classifications in NFPA 13 are for sprinkler installation, design, and water supply requirements only, and are not to be indicative of the general hazard classification for the occupancy (such as those outlined in NFPA 1 and NFPA 101).
  3. 3. NFPA 13:5.1 ● Light Hazard ● Ordinary Hazard (Group I or Group II) ● Extra Hazard (Group I or Group II)
  4. 4. NFPA 13:5.2 and A.5.2 “...quantity and/or combustibility of contents is low and fires with relatively low rates of heat release are expected.” Examples: ➔ Churches ➔ Clubs ➔ Educational ➔ Hospitals ➔ Animal Shelters ➔ Museums ➔ Offices ➔ Institutional ➔ Residential ➔ Unused attic spaces
  5. 5. NFPA 13:5.3.1 and A.5.3.1 ...combustibility is low, quantity of combustibles is moderate, stockpiles do not exceed 8 ft., and fires with moderate rates of heat release are expected... Examples: ➔ Auto showrooms ➔ Bakeries ➔ Beverage mfg. ➔ Dairy processing ➔ Electronic plants ➔ Glass mfg. ➔ Laundries ➔ Porte cocheres ➔ Laundries ➔ Mechanical rooms
  6. 6. NFPA 13:5.3.2 and A.5.3.2 ...quantity and combustibility of contents are moderate to high, stockpiles with moderate heat release not to exceed 12 ft., stockpiles with high rates of heat release not to exceed 8 ft. Examples: ➔ Barns and stables ➔ Chemical plants ➔ Distilleries ➔ Dry cleaners ➔ Libraries ➔ Machine shops ➔ Repair garages ➔ Stages
  7. 7. NFPA 13:5.4.1 and A.5.4.1 “...quantity and combustibility of contents are very high and dust, lint, or other materials are present, introducing the probability of rapidly developing fires with high rates of heat release but with little or no combustible or flammable liquids.” Examples: ➔ Aircraft hangars ➔ Die casting ➔ Plywood mfg. ➔ Textiles ➔ Saw mills ➔ Hydraulic fluid use areas ➔ Upholstering
  8. 8. NFPA 13:5.4.2 and A.5.4.2 “...moderate to substantial amounts of flammable or combustible liquids or occupancies where shielding of combustibles is extensive.” Examples: ➔ Flammable liquids spray ➔ Mfg./mobile home building ➔ Open oil quenching ➔ Plastics mfg. ➔ Dipping operations ➔ Car stacks and lift systems
  9. 9. NFPA 13: The commodity classification refers to the combination of products, packing material, and containers within an individual occupancy. Sprinkler protection is based on the types of products, how they are packaged and stored, and total quantity.
  10. 10. NFPA 13:5.6.3 ● Class I ● Class II ● Class III ● Class IV
  11. 11. NFPA 13: Noncombustible products meeting the following criteria: ➔ Placed directly on wood pallets ➔ Placed in single-layer corrugated cartons, with or without pallets ➔ Shrink- or paper-wrapped as a unit load with or without pallets
  12. 12. NFPA 13: Noncombustible products stored in: ➔ Slatted wooden crates ➔ Solid wood boxes ➔ Multi-layered corrugated cartons “...or equivalent combustible packaging material, with or without pallets…”
  13. 13. NFPA 13: Products fashioned from: ➔ Wood ➔ Paper ➔ Natural fibers ➔ Group C plastics (13: “...with or without cartons, boxes, or crates and with or without pallets.…”
  14. 14. NFPA 13: Products meeting the following criteria (with or without pallets): ➔ Group B plastics ➔ Group A free-flowing plastics ➔ 5-15% cartoned Group A unexpanded plastics ➔ 5-25% cartoned Group A expanded plastics ➔ 5-15% exposed Group A unexpanded plastics ➔ Group A plastics meeting the criteria of Figure or Figure of NFPA 13
  15. 15. ● Plastics, Elastomers, and Rubber (13:5.6.4) ● Rolled Paper (13:5.6.5)