A number of challenges are faced on the regular in the fire sprinkler industry. Most of these challenges faced are related to the design of fire sprinkler systems. Other important issues are related to standards, specifications, maintenance and education. Read this article to learn about some of these challenges and how to deal with these challenges.
About Design Challenges
When it comes to fire sprinkler system design, challenges come up when a new device is installed in a building and somehow affects the sprinkler system. For example, when High Volume Low Speed (HVLS) fans are installed in a building, the fans should be at least 36 inches below the sprinklers. Fans work best, without interfering with your sprinkler system, when centered between four sprinklers.
One thing that will definitely help your sprinkler system function better is an anti-freeze system for the fire sprinkler pipes. The antifreeze system is made up of glycerine or propylene glycol. However, glycerine should never exceed a concentration of 48% by volume and propylene glycol should not exceed a concentration of 38% by volume.
Some potential solutions for protecting wet pipe from freezing are as followed:
– Running Pipe in heated interior walls and tenting insulation over piping in attic spaces.
– Run pipe in exterior walls and put insulation between the pipe and the exterior skin of your building.
Another item that may be a challenge for your sprinkler system is rack storage of exposed plastics. When designing a storage facility, you have to look carefully at exposed, expanded plastics.
If your storage facility has exposed, expanded plastics, engineers will have to create their own criteria. Following the Factory Mutual (FM) ‘s discharge criteria should help you protect exposed plastics but you will need to go beyond creating efficient sprinkler flow and pressure for the best results.
Also in a facility, beware of the discharge from a sprinkler parallel to the ceiling slope. It may not protect the floor area underneath the sprinkler.
In this scenario, a sprinkler would have to be installed down a slope to protect more of the area under the higher slope. This is problematic because the sprinkler down the slope will further delay when water will get to a fire and make it more challenging for water to penetrate a vertical fire plume if the sprinkler spray is not vertical.
For the best sprinkler installation, design intent needs to be taking into account such as hazard classification of occupancy, commodity classification of any storage, and the adequacy of the water supply.
Once a well-designed fire sprinkler system is created, it needs to be maintained properly and occupants need to be educated on how the system works.
Fireline Corporation can design, furnish and install all types of fire sprinkler systems including wet pipe systems, pre-action systems and deluge systems as well as standpipe systems and fire pumps. To learn about our Sprinkler & Foam systems click here.
Fireline is a Maryland corporation founded in 1947 by John S. Waters. Fireline remains a pioneer in the fledgling fire equipment distribution business and we have grown to encompass all facets of fire protection. Our Totally Integrated Protection Solutions provide you with a wide variety of services. We can design, install, inspect, or service any type of fire protection system. From fire alarm to fire extinguisher, we do it all!
If you have any questions about Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher and Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers,Sprinklers, fire equipment, or other Fireline products and services, contact Fireline by calling 410.247.1422 or click heretoday!