With few exceptions, all new construction requires the installation of automatic fire sprinklers. Administration of the fire sprinkler regulations are through the Healdsburg Fire Department. Please contact a Fire Prevention Officer at 707-431-3357 with questions.
The threshold for additions and remodel projects with regard to when fire sprinklers will need to be included in your project differ between single family/duplex dwellings (R-3) and all other types of buildings or structures. The following definitions identify the thresholds:
SUBSTANTIAL ADDITION. All existing buildings or structures not classified as Group R-3 occupancy, any addition of floor area that is greater than twenty-five percent (25%) of the existing gross floor area.
SUBSTANTIAL ADDITION, Group R-3. In all existing Group R-3 buildings or structures, any addition of floor area that exceeds fifty percent (50%) of the existing gross floor area.
SUBSTANTIAL REMODEL. In all existing buildings or structures, any alteration of floor area that is greater than fifty percent (50%) of the existing gross floor area or meets the definition of a substantial improvement as defined by the 2016 California Building Code.
ALTERATION OF FLOOR AREA. For the purpose of this definition, the following criteria shall be considered in determining the percentage of “alteration of floor area.” The 50% referred to under “Substantial Remodel” applies to the entire building’s gross floor area in plan view. The entire room or space where the remodel is taking place will be considered in the calculation, either alone or in combination with any of the following:
a. Removing wall finishes and exposing framing of;
• Interior wall (where finishes are removed from one side only the room or space to which the framing is exposed will be included in the calculation).
• Perimeter exterior wall (one or both sides).
b. New wall construction, removing, or repositioning, either interior or perimeter exterior walls, the rooms or spaces on both sides of the wall will be included in the calculation.
c. Removal of the ceiling in any room or space to expose rafters trusses, beams, purlins, or floor joists. The floor joists must be within a floor/ceiling assembly.
d. Removal of the roof structure (only rooms or spaces that are directly below the removed roof structure will be included in the calculation).
e. Other alterations considered substantial by the Fire Code Official (see DSA-AC definition of “Alteration” in the 2016 California Building Code).
f. In the non-residential portion of multi-tenant buildings, individual tenant space improvements in which the space is reduced to a “shell” condition, shall require that the future tenant improvement comply with these fire sprinkler requirements.
Items g, h, and i, are not to be included in the alteration of floor area calculation:
g. Partial removal of wall finishes necessary for repair due to flooding.
h. Removal of floor finishes which exposes floor framing and/or the removal of concrete slab, unless part of a floor/ceiling assembly.
i. Relocating plumbing fixtures in bathrooms and/or kitchen.