Sprinkler Requirements

A permit is required for all new construction to a building requiring the owner to install an automatic sprinkler system throughout the entire building, with the following exceptions:

  • Construction or location of no more than a total of two residential units on a parcel.
  • Construction of more than two single family dwellings on one property, provided the single family dwellings are separated by a minimum 40 m (131.2 ft).
  • Alterations where the value of construction is not more than 50% of the assessed value of the building, as determined by the BC Assessment Authority.
  • Additions to an existing building not exceeding 25% of the existing floor area or 200 m2 (2,152 ft2), whichever is less, and for buildings of non-combustible construction additions not exceeding 25% of the existing floor area or 600 m2, whichever is less.
  • Construction of a detached building less than 100 m2 (1,076 ft2) in area.
  • Unoccupied mechanical buildings (ie.e. telephone-switching equipment buildings) not exceeding 300 m2 (3,229 ft2).
  • Non-combustible carwash buildings not exceeding 300 m2 (3,229 ft2).
  • Non-combustible buildings used only for storing and processing steel or rock products.
  • Fabric-covered buildings in I-1 to I-4 Industrial Zones used only for storage of goods with a low fire hazard, as established by a registered professional specializing in building codes and fire science in a report.
  • Non-combustible canopies over gas pumps or similar flammable liquid handling areas.

What information is required for the permit?

Applications must include the following:

And documents as listed in

Note: For the purposes of the sprinkler requirements, construction includes any construction for which a permit was issued within the 24 months preceding a permit application, i.e. construction is cumulative unless 2 years has passed since the last permit was issued for work at the building.

When do I need an engineer for changes to an existing building's sprinkler system?

When you are adding more than 8 sprinkler heads or relocating more than 20 heads. Adding pendant heads to existing uprights when a concealed space is created by the addition of a t-bar ceiling does not count as new heads. If you are adding less than 8 heads or relocating more than 20 heads, a qualified sprinkler installer is sufficient.

If the changes are being made in the original sprinkler system's design area, revised hydraulic calculations are required.

Contact Us

Building Inspections Section 250-755-4429
building.inspections@nanaimo.ca

Last updated: July 25, 2017

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