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NFPA 13 2010 Ed. Sprinkler Protection of Storage Occupancy in California

In January 2011, California adopted the 2010 Edition of the California Fire Code, along with the 2010 Edition of NFPA 13. This article will summarize the major differences between the storage chapters of the 2002 Edition (previously adopted standard) and 2010 Edition (newly adopted standard) of NFPA 13 published by the National Fire Protection Association.

While NFPA 13 committees reviewed over 850 proposals and comments in preparation for code changes to the 2010 edition, an additional 840 proposals(1) needed to be reviewed in preparation of the previous 2007 edition. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that an extra large number of code changes need to be understood by code practitioners operating in states that skipped the 2007 edition, such as the state of California.

The following sections present a summary of the major differences between the storage chapters of the 2002 and 2010 editions of NFPA 13. In addition, comments and further background information are presented to aid in the understanding of the reasoning used for the code changes.

Changes to Storage Chapters


Although NFPA 13 has become more complicated over the years, “I believe it’s becoming a user-friendly standard especially considering the diversity occurring within the construction industry” and new protection technologies being developed every year. “I’m sure many miss the days of being able to fit NFPA 13 in their back pocket, but the additional guidance is worth the ever-expanding size of this standard,” said Roland Huggins(1) of the Technical Correlating Committee for NFPA 13 before the publication of the 2007 edition of the code. The 2010 edition has taken this many steps further, from improvements in formatting and organization of the material, to new chapters addressing the latest building and technology challenges.


1. John Nicholson. “Updating NFPA 13.” NFPA Journal, January/February 2006. Published by the National Fire Protection Association.