I have a question that I have been pondering for a while. As an AHJ we have some strip malls (or similar construction where there are multiple businesses in different suites), and in a few instances I have come across a single suite that is sprinklered due to the occupancy type within that suite.
For example an older strip mall gets a casino to move into a single suite changing it to a Group A occupancy, which now requires sprinklers. They have been allowed to sprinkler just that suite as long as there is a 2-3 hour rated fire separation between the neighboring suites.
Is this in alignment with the code?
Are they considered “separate buildings” due to the fire separation provided between suites?
If so, how do we avoid confusion when our crews respond for a fire?
They see a PIV and FDC and connect, only to realize when they go inside that there aren’t even sprinklers in the suite on fire. It just doesn’t seem operationally sound to me. Do you have any thoughts on this?
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