The primary goal of this manual is to provide an environment for occupants that is reasonably safe from fire and products of combustion. To achieve this goal, the objectives are to protect occupants who are not intimate with initial fire development for the time needed to take appropriate action, and to improve the survivability of occupants who are intimate with initial fire development.
The secondary goals of this manual are to provide a reasonable level of building usability and property protection from the effects of fire and products of combustion. To achieve these goals, the objectives are to increase the likelihood that, in the event of a fire, critical operational functions are not interrupted for longer than 24 hours and the loss of real or personal property does not exceed $500,000.00.
This manual contains fire protection engineering design criteria to meet the goals identified above, by protecting patients, visitors, and staff; maintaining the continuity of important clinical and administrative activities; and protecting VA property. This generally will require the installation of automatic sprinkler protection in VA owned buildings. In VA occupied buildings, sprinkler protection shall be required to protect VA property or for compliance with the Life Safety Code or the Federal Fire Safety Act PL-102-522. See Section 6.1. (Note: Protection shall not be required to limit the loss of non-VA property.)
This manual applies to all categories of VA construction and renovation projects, station level projects, and acquisition of all VA property (including leases).
This manual supersedes new construction criteria contained in VA Circulars, Information Letters, and Directives, which are dated prior to the publication date of this manual.
This manual is intended to apply to new construction. It can be used as guidance with respect to existing features.
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