Must all high rise buildings in Illinois be protected by automatic sprinklers?
Not necessarily. The 2000 NFPA Life Safety Code that has been adopted and is enforced by the Office of the State Fire Marshal does not contain an across-the-board requirement that all high rise buildings be protected by an automatic fire sprinkler system. The Life Safety Code addresses fire safety requirements within buildings based upon the occupancy classification of the structure. Furthermore, the Life Safety Code has varying requirements for “new” occupancies as opposed to “existing” occupancies. Although true that the Life Safety Code does indeed require some high rise occupancies to have automatic fire sprinkler systems, other occupancy classifications are allowed to either be protected with an automatic fire sprinkler system or prove equivalent safety through the use of an engineered life safety engineered life safety system. (The Life Safety Code describes an engineered life safety system as a document developed by a registered professional engineer who is experienced in fire a