Where Systems Are Required

New Construction Fire Sprinkler Requirements:


All new buildings/structures in the Village of Wheeling are required to be equipped with an approved fire sprinkler system unless specifically noted in the Village Fire and/or Building Codes.  This includes:

  • Business (i.e., professional offices).
  • Commercial (i.e., retail sales).
  • Industrial (i.e., manufacturing/warehousing).
  • Multifamily (including town homes, condominiums, apartments).
  • Single Family (including detached and pre-manufactured (i.e. mobile) single family homes).
Unique Wheeling Requirements Within Buildings/Structures That Must Have Fire Sprinklers:

  • Closets, regardless of size.
  • Bathrooms, regardless of size.
  • Utility closets and other enclosed spaces containing heat-producing appliances and/or natural gas regulating devices.
  • Garages and carports.
  • Canopies adjacent to the structure that exceed 16 square feet and protrude out more than 4 feet.
  • Balconies, decks, and porches (Multi-family).
  • Attics (Multifamily).

Exception to Fire Sprinkler Requirement:


The exception to the new construction requirements are buildings used solely for:

  • Detached accessory building and/or structures (i.e. tool/storage sheds and playhouses), picnic shelters, gazebos, and public restrooms that are no greater than 225 square feet, no combustible, explosive, or hazardous materials are stored, no fossil fuel heating appliances are used, and the structure is at least 25 feet from any adjacent structure (See Wheeling Municipal Code Title 14, Fire, Chapter 14.01 - Fire Prevention Code for specific limitations)
  • Transmission and/or distribution of electrical power (ex. transformer sub-station).
  • Telecommunication buildings (subject to specific conditions; see Wheeling Municipal Code Title 14, Fire, Chapter 14.01 - Fire Prevention Code for specific conditions) (ex. regional telephone exchange structure).
  • All other new buildings/structures must be equipped with an approved fire sprinkler system.

Existing Commercial, Industrial, Business or Multifamily Buildings or Structures:


These buildings/structures must be retrofitted with a fire sprinkler system if:

  • Building area is increased (a fire wall is not considered as an exterior wall when calculating the total building area).
  • Degree of fire hazard is increased (as defined by The Village of Wheeling Building Code).
  • Approved occupancy load is increased.

Existing Detached Single Family Homes:


These buildings/structures must be retrofitted with a fire sprinkler if:

  • An alteration or rebuild is more than 50% of the total building area.
  • A horizontal addition increases the total square footage by more than 50% of the first floor area.
  • A vertical addition exceeds 100% of the square footage of the first floor (i.e. addition of a complete 2nd floor).
  • Any alteration, rebuild, or addition project costs more than 50% of its County (Cook or Lake; depending upon location) assessed value at the time of permit submission.
  • Any combination of the above items.
  • These same conditions apply to repairs to an existing building/structure regardless if damaged by fire, wind, storm, flood, etc.