DOES THE OWNER HAVE INSURANCE STANDARDS?
Does the owner have insurance requirements?
The most common standard that applies to fire sprinkler systems in the United States is NFPA 13.
However, NFPA 13 is not the only standard under which fire sprinklers can be designed.
Factory Mutual, also known as FM global, is one popular insurer in the United States which provides an exhaustive library of their own standards. FM is generally the only insurer who provides standards that are recognized outside their own organization.
Currently, AXA XL is the only other insurer that also provides a complete set of guidelines.
Other insurers publish technical advisory bulletins where they see necessary. These are mostly based on recognized standards, but sometimes include deviations or additional requirements.
These were important, especially before FM freely published their recommendations and NFPA 13 improved storage and industrial criteria.
While these maybe similar to most of the NFPA 13 requirements, there are areas which can be significantly more conservative.
One of the obvious big-picture examples for FM Global is the FM global data sheet 3-26, which provides specific design criteria a cross several FM defined hazards. an ordinary hazard Group 1 dry system under NFPA 13 might be a .15 density over 1950 square feet, but under FM global that same hazard maybe hazard category two, or HC-2, and be a .20 density over 3500 square feet.
That’s 1,950 with 0.15 density as compared to a 0.20 over 3,500 sqft.
FM global is so much more than a few design criteria, but that is one example of how it can dramatically impact the design of a system.
Building owners can benefit from more stringent standards by potentially having a more robust system, but it hits the wallet as well. Owners can save on their insurance premiums because the insurer is able to reduce their real risk.
If I am a designer or estimator, why does this matter?
Insurance criteria can be very different then code minimum and asking in owner if they have insurance requirements prevent major issues or changes later in a project.
I'm Joe Meyer, this is MeyerFire University.
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