Sprinkler Head Distance

Q: How close can a sprinkler head be located to a wall mounted cabinet? I have some cabinets that were added after the sprinkler heads were installed, and the heads are now about 2 inches from the cabinets. Is this a problem and will I have to have the sprinkler heads moved?

A: Yes, I believe that will be a problem. Section 5-5.3.3 of NFPA 13 (1999 edition) says the minimum distance permitted between a sprinkler and the wall is dependent on the value for each style of sprinkler. For the purpose of sprinkler spacing, the front of the wall mounted cabinet is the wall when calculating the minimum distance. Most, if not all, types of sprinklers used in a hospital require a minimum of 4 inches clearance between the sprinkler and the wall (or cabinet, in this case.) So, your 2 inch clearance would be considered a deficiency and either the cabinet or sprinkler heads need to be relocated.