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Wardrobe Closets in Health Care Occupancies
NFPA 13, 2007 edition, section 8.1.1.(1) (a) requires that a building have sprinkler coverage throughout. The Standard is very specific in permitting the omission of sprinklers under certain circumstances. There is an exception for closets in 22.214.171.124 as follows;
"Sprinklers are not required in clothes closets, linen closets and pantries within dwelling units of hotels and motels where the area of the space does not exceed 24 sq ft, the least dimension does not exceed 3 ft, and the walls and ceilings are surfaced with noncombustible or limited-combustible materials."
The appendix note for this reads; "Portable wardrobe units, such as those typically used in nursing homes and mounted to the wall, do not require sprinklers to be installed in them. Although the units are attached to the finished structure, the standard views those units as pieces of furniture rather than a part of the structure; thus, sprinklers are not required."
This code exception leaves open some gray areas, and therefore our office has issued the following statement of clarification on how we treat this exception;
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