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Third Edition

Fire Protection Systems, Third Edition, is designed to provide accurate and authoritative
information for the design and specification of plumbing systems. The publisher makes
no guarantees or warranties, expressed or implied, regarding the data and information
contained in this publication. All data and information are provided with the understanding
that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, consulting, engineering, or other
professional services. If legal, consulting, or engineering advice or other expert assistance is
required, the services of a competent professional should be engaged.

American Society of Plumbing Engineers


6400 Shafer Court, Suite 350
Rosemont, IL 60018
(847) 296-0002
info@aspe.org aspe.org

Copyright 2016 by American Society of Plumbing Engineers

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any
means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information
storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

ISBN978-1-891255-39-7
Printed in the United States of America
10987654321

10/03/17
FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS
THIRD EDITION

CHAIR
Jonathan Kulpit, PE, CPD, CFPS

CONTRIBUTORS
Wally Barker|Scott Bartmess, PE, CFPS |Allen Bunner
Brian Conway, PE | Jerry Graupman | Bill Howerton
Jonathan Kulpit, PE, CPD, CFPS | Daniel Lampke, M.S.F.P.E.
Matthew Sciarretti, PE, CPD, CFPS, LEED AP BD+C | Julie Sherby
Bella Treyger | Greg Trombold

TECHNICAL REVIEWERS
Anthony Curiale, CPD, LEED AP | Carol Johnson, CPD, LEED AP, CFI
Larisa Miro, CPD | April Ricketts, PE, CPD
Frank Sanchez, CPD, GPD | Susan Smith | Karl Yrjanainen, PE, CPD
James Zebrowski, PE, CPD, FASPE | Stephen Ziga, CPD, SET, CFPS
Thura Zin, CPD, GPD

EDITOR
Gretchen Pienta

GRAPHIC DESIGNER
Nadine Saucedo

ABOUT ASPE
The American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), founded in 1964, is the international
organization for professionals skilled in the design and specification of plumbing systems.
ASPE is dedicated to the advancement of the science of plumbing engineering, to the
professional growth and advancement of its members, and to the health, welfare, and
safety of the public. The Society disseminates technical data and information, sponsors
activities that facilitate interaction with fellow professionals, and, through research and
education programs, expands the base of knowledge of the plumbing engineering industry.
ASPE members are leaders in innovative plumbing design, effective materials and energy
use, and the application of advanced techniques from around the world.

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10/03/17
Table of Contents

1: FIRE PROTECTION FUNDAMENTALS....................................................................... 1


Codes and Standards.................................................................................................................1
Authorities Having Jurisdiction..................................................................................................2
Fire Protection Organizations...................................................................................................3
National Fire Protection Association..........................................................................3
UL ....................................................................................................................................3
FM Global......................................................................................................................4
Fire Prevention.............................................................................................................................4
Passive Fire Protection................................................................................................................5
Fire-Rated Barriers.......................................................................................................5
Structural Stability........................................................................................................5
Direct Means of Egress................................................................................................5
Detection and Notification.........................................................................................................6
Suppression Systems...................................................................................................................6
Development of the Life Safety Code......................................................................7
2: BASIC CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS OF FIRE.............................................................. 9
Smoke............................................................................................................................................9
Smoke Control............................................................................................................. 10
Material Combustibility........................................................................................................... 10
Fire Extinguishing...................................................................................................................... 11
Exits and Openings.................................................................................................................. 13
Fire Barriers............................................................................................................................... 13
3: FIRE SAFETY IN BUILDING DESIGN....................................................................... 13
Fire Safety Personnel............................................................................................................... 14
New Construction...................................................................................................................... 14
Remodeling................................................................................................................................ 15
4: COMMISSIONING, TESTING, AND MAINTENANCE.............................................. 17
Fire Protection System Commissioning.................................................................................. 17
Commissioning Team.................................................................................................. 17
Commissioning Authority...................................................................................... 18
Fire Commissioning Agent.................................................................................... 18
Registered Design Professional........................................................................... 18
Integrated Testing Agent...................................................................................... 18
Documentation............................................................................................................ 18
Owners Project Requirements.............................................................................. 19
Basis of Design ..................................................................................................... 19
Commissioning Plan.............................................................................................. 19
Final Commissioning Report................................................................................. 19
Commissioning Process.............................................................................................. 19
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vi Fire Protection Systems

Planning Phase....................................................................................................... 19
Design Phase.......................................................................................................... 20
Construction Phase................................................................................................ 20
Occupancy Phase.................................................................................................. 20
Re-Commissioning and Retro-Commissioning........................................................ 20
Integrated Testing..................................................................................................................... 20
Maintenance.............................................................................................................................. 21
Inspection..................................................................................................................... 21
Testing ......................................................................................................................... 21
Cleaning ..................................................................................................................... 22
Preventive Maintenance .......................................................................................... 22
Repair and Replacement ......................................................................................... 22
Carbon Monoxide Detection.................................................................................................. 23
5: FIRE DETECTION SYSTEMS.................................................................................... 23
Basic Components of a Fire Alarm System.......................................................................... 24
Manual vs. Automatic Detection Systems............................................................................. 25
Types of Detection Devices.................................................................................................... 25
Heat Detectors............................................................................................................ 25
Fixed-Temperature Heat Detectors..................................................................... 26
Rate-Compensation Type..................................................................................... 26
Rate-of-Rise Type.................................................................................................. 27
Smoke Detectors......................................................................................................... 27
Ionization Type...................................................................................................... 27
Photoelectric Type................................................................................................. 27
Flame Detectors.......................................................................................................... 27
Water Flow Detectors............................................................................................... 28
Choosing a Detector Device................................................................................................... 28
Detector Location and Spacing............................................................................................. 30
Evacuation Signaling................................................................................................................ 30
6: FIRE SUPPRESSION OVERVIEW............................................................................. 31
Extinguishing Agents................................................................................................................ 31
Water........................................................................................................................... 32
Alternative Suppression Systems........................................................................................... 33
7: FIRE PUMPS........................................................................................................... 35
Pump Components.................................................................................................................... 36
Booster Pumps........................................................................................................................... 37
Spare Pumps............................................................................................................................. 37
Maintaining Pressure................................................................................................................ 38
Jockey Pumps.............................................................................................................. 38
Hydropneumatic Tanks.............................................................................................. 38
Pump Curves.............................................................................................................................. 39
8: PRIVATE MAINS, STANDPIPES, AND HOSE SYSTEMS........................................... 41
Standpipe and Hose Systems................................................................................................ 42
Standpipe Requirements........................................................................................... 43
Standpipe Classes..................................................................................................... 43
Standpipe System Types.......................................................................................... 43
Flow and Pressure Requirements............................................................................. 44
Flow Rates............................................................................................................... 44
Pressure Requirements........................................................................................... 44
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Table of Contents vii

Hose Connections....................................................................................................... 44
Material Selection...................................................................................................... 45
System Acceptance Tests.......................................................................................... 45
9: AUTOMATIC SPRINKLER SYSTEMS....................................................................... 47
History of Fire Sprinklers........................................................................................................ 47
NFPA 13....................................................................................................................... 47
Fire Sprinkler System Design.................................................................................................. 47
Basis of Design........................................................................................................... 48
Sprinkler System Types............................................................................................. 48
Wet Pipe Systems.................................................................................................. 48
Dry Pipe Systems................................................................................................... 48
Preaction Systems ................................................................................................. 49
Deluge Systems...................................................................................................... 50
Combined Dry Pipe and Preaction Sprinkler Systems...................................... 50
Antifreeze Systems ............................................................................................... 50
Occupancy Classifications....................................................................................................... 51
Light Hazard............................................................................................................... 51
Ordinary Hazard Group 1...................................................................................... 51
Ordinary Hazard Group 2...................................................................................... 51
Extra Hazard Group 1............................................................................................. 52
Extra Hazard Group 2............................................................................................. 52
Components and Materials.................................................................................................... 52
Sprinklers..................................................................................................................... 52
Sprinkler Types...................................................................................................... 53
Piping........................................................................................................................... 54
Alarms.......................................................................................................................... 54
Other Components..................................................................................................... 55
Basic Installation Requirements.............................................................................................. 55
Area Limitations.......................................................................................................... 55
Spacing per Sprinkler Head and Between Sprinkler Heads............................. 55
Deflector Positions...................................................................................................... 56
Obstructions to Sprinkler Discharge....................................................................... 56
System Drains............................................................................................................. 57
Hanging and Restraint Requirements..................................................................... 57
Design Approaches.................................................................................................................. 57
Pipe Schedule Systems.............................................................................................. 57
Hydraulically Calculated Systems.......................................................................... 58
Design and Construction Documents...................................................................................... 58
System Acceptance.................................................................................................................. 59
Hydrostatic Tests......................................................................................................... 59
Pneumatic Tests........................................................................................................... 59
Flushing......................................................................................................................... 59
Operational Tests....................................................................................................... 59
10: BASIC HYDRAULICS FOR SPRINKLER SYSTEMS.................................................. 61
Assumptions and Simplifications............................................................................................. 61
Compressibility........................................................................................................... 61
Density and Temperature......................................................................................... 61
Viscosity....................................................................................................................... 61
One-Dimensional Flow.............................................................................................. 62
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viii Fire Protection Systems

Results of Assumptions and Simplifications............................................................ 62


Pressure Losses in Pipes........................................................................................................... 63
Energy Loss.................................................................................................................. 63
Water Pressure........................................................................................................... 63
Absolute Pressure vs. Gauge Pressure................................................................... 63
Pressure Due to Elevation......................................................................................... 63
The Hazen-Williams Equation.................................................................................. 64
Water Flow Tables..................................................................................................... 65
Friction Losses for Fittings and Valves.................................................................... 65
Water Exiting the Pipe............................................................................................................ 66
Density/Area Method.............................................................................................................. 73
11: HYDRAULIC CALCULATIONS............................................................................... 73
Beginning the Calculation......................................................................................... 74
Equivalent K Factors.................................................................................................. 77
Result............................................................................................................................ 77
Elevation Changes.................................................................................................................... 77
Hydraulic Calculation Forms................................................................................................... 78
Area Modifications................................................................................................................... 79
Looped and Gridded Piping................................................................................................. 80
12: FIREFIGHTING FOAM.......................................................................................... 83
How Foams Extinguish Fire...................................................................................................... 83
Criteria for Foam to Be Effective............................................................................ 83
Foam Characteristics................................................................................................................ 84
Drainage Rate............................................................................................................ 84
Expansion Rate........................................................................................................... 84
Types of Foams......................................................................................................................... 84
Aqueous Film-Forming Foam.................................................................................... 84
Alcohol-Resistant Aqueous Film-Forming Foam..................................................... 85
Protein Foam............................................................................................................... 85
Fluoroprotein Foam.................................................................................................... 85
Alcohol-Resistant Fluoroprotein Foam.................................................................... 85
Film-Forming Fluoroprotein....................................................................................... 85
Alcohol-Resistant Film-Forming Fluoroprotein....................................................... 85
Class A Foam Concentrate....................................................................................... 85
Proportioning............................................................................................................................. 85
Percentages................................................................................................................. 86
Proportioning Methods.............................................................................................. 86
Pre-Mix/Dump-In.................................................................................................. 86
Balanced-Pressure Proportioning Systems......................................................... 86
Line Proportioner................................................................................................... 86
Around the Pump .................................................................................................. 86
Water-Driven Foam Proportioner....................................................................... 86
Water Pressure........................................................................................................... 86
Discharge Devices.................................................................................................................... 86
Guidelines for Fire Protection with Foams........................................................................... 87
Storage....................................................................................................................................... 87
Environmental Impact of Foam............................................................................................... 87
13: WATER MIST SYSTEMS......................................................................................... 89
History of Water Mist.............................................................................................................. 89
Performance Principles of Water Mist................................................................................. 89
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Table of Contents ix

Conditions.................................................................................................................... 90
Standards and Approvals...................................................................................................... 90
Water Mist System Types....................................................................................................... 91
Single Fluid.................................................................................................................. 91
Twin Fluid..................................................................................................................... 92
System Design........................................................................................................................... 92
Comparisons to Other Fire Protection Technologies.......................................................... 94
Water Mist vs. Sprinklers.......................................................................................... 94
Water Mist vs. Water Spray................................................................................... 94
Water Mist vs. Clean Agents................................................................................... 94
Technical Issues to Consider..................................................................................... 94
14: CARBON DIOXIDE SYSTEMS............................................................................... 95
Carbon Dioxide as a Fire Suppression Agent.................................................................... 95
System Applications ................................................................................................. 96
Advantages and Disadvantages ........................................................................... 97
Alarms and Evacuation............................................................................................................ 98
Specifications............................................................................................................................. 98
Cylinders and Scales............................................................................................................... 98
Pipe Sizing Calculations.......................................................................................................... 99
Pressure-Relief Venting Formula ..........................................................................100
15: DRY AND WET CHEMICALS............................................................................... 103
Dry Chemical Extinguishing Systems...................................................................................103
Dry Chemical Agents...............................................................................................103
How Dry Chemicals Extinguish Fire.......................................................................104
System Types............................................................................................................104
Local Application ................................................................................................104
Handheld Hose Lines...........................................................................................104
Total Flooding......................................................................................................104
Storage and Maintenance.....................................................................................105
Wet Chemical Extinguishing Systems..................................................................................105
Wet Chemical Agents..............................................................................................105
How Wet Chemicals Extinguish Fires....................................................................106
System Description...................................................................................................106
16: CLEAN AGENTS................................................................................................. 107
Development of Clean Agents.............................................................................................107
Types of Clean Agents..........................................................................................................108
Extinguishing Methods...........................................................................................................108
Chemical Suppression...............................................................................................108
Evaporative Cooling at the Flames Reaction Zone..............................................108
Flame Cooling...........................................................................................................109
Environmental Impact.............................................................................................................109
Safety.......................................................................................................................................110
System Design.........................................................................................................................111
Design Procedure......................................................................................................111
Conclusions/Comparisons......................................................................................................113
17: PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS...................................................................... 115
Classifications..........................................................................................................................115
Installation................................................................................................................................116
Maintenance............................................................................................................................116
INDEX ...................................................................................................................
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x Fire Protection Systems

Figures

Figure 5-1 Continuous-Line Fixed-Temperature Heat Detector..........................................26


Figure 5-2 Rate-Compensation Heat Detector......................................................................26
Figure 5-3 Rate-of-Rise Heat Detector...................................................................................27
Figure 5-4 Photoelectric Light-Obscuration Smoke Detector..............................................27
Figure 5-5 Photoelectric Light-Scattering Smoke Detector..................................................27
Figure 6-1 The Fire Triangle......................................................................................................31
Figure 7-1 Fire Pump System....................................................................................................35
Figure 7-2 Vertical Turbine Fire Pump.....................................................................................35
Figure 7-3 Impeller Rotation.....................................................................................................36
Figure 7-4 Hydropneumatic Tank.............................................................................................38
Figure 7-5 Example Pump Curve, 1,000-gpm Rated Pump................................................39
Figure 8-1 Post Indicator Valve................................................................................................41
Figure 9-1 Wet Pipe Sprinkler System....................................................................................49
Figure 9-2 Dry Pipe Valve.........................................................................................................49
Figure 9-3 Preaction Valve Riser..............................................................................................49
Figure 9-4 Deluge Valve Riser..................................................................................................50
Figure 9-5 Antifreeze System...................................................................................................50
Figure 9-6 Vane-Type Water Flow Indicator.........................................................................54
Figure 9-7 Alarm Check Valve Riser........................................................................................55
Figure 9-8 Design Area Curve Example.................................................................................58
Figure 10-1 Axisymmetric Flow...................................................................................................62
Figure 11-1 Plan View of Sprinkler System..............................................................................73
Figure 11-2 Hydraulically Most Remote Area.........................................................................74
Figure 11-3 Hydraulic Node Points............................................................................................75
Figure 11-4 Illustration of Density/Area Method Calculation...............................................77
Figure 11-5 Example 11-1 Plan View.......................................................................................80
Figure 11-6 Standpipe System with Looped Piping...............................................................81
Figure 11-7 Water Flow Paths in Loops....................................................................................81
Figure 14-1 High-Pressure Carbon Dioxide Cylinder Arrangement....................................96
Figure 14-2 Summary of Carbon Dioxide Applications.........................................................97
Figure 14-3 CO2 Concentration Conversion Factors............................................................ 100
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Table of Contents xi

Tables

Table 4-1 Test and Inspection Frequency of Water-Based Suppression Systems......... 22


Table 5-1 Detector Applications Summary.......................................................................... 29
Table 6-1 Classifications of Combustible Materials........................................................... 31
Table 7-1 Centrifugal Fire Pump Component Sizing Data................................................ 37
Table 8-1 Flow Rate Required to Produce a Velocity of 10 fps in a Main................... 42
Table 9-1 Sprinkler Temperature Ratings and Temperature Classification
Color Codes ........................................................................................................... 53
Table 9-2 Approved Materials for Sprinkler System Pipe............................................... 54
Table 9-3 Spacing for Standard Pendent and Upright Sprinklers.................................. 56
Table 9-4 Drain Sizes for Sprinkler Systems........................................................................ 57
Table 9-5 Hanger Rod Sizing................................................................................................. 57
Table 9-6 Maximum Distance Between Hangers, ft........................................................... 57
Table 9-7 Underground Main Flushing Flow Rates............................................................. 59
Table 10-1 Density of Water at Varying Temperatures...................................................... 61
Table 10-2 Pipe Roughness Coefficients................................................................................. 64
Table 10-3 Equivalent Pipe Lengths for Fittings, ft................................................................ 65
Table 10-4 Equivalent Length Multipliers for C Factors Other than C = 120................. 65
Table 10-5A Water Flow Table, 1-inch Schedule 40 Steel Pipe.......................................... 66
Table 10-5B Water Flow Table, 1-inch Schedule 40 Steel Pipe...................................... 67
Table 10-5C Water Flow Table, 1-inch Schedule 40 Steel Pipe...................................... 68
Table 10-5D Water Flow Table, 2-inch Schedule 40 Steel Pipe.......................................... 69
Table 10-5E Water Flow Table, 2-inch Schedule 40 Steel Pipe...................................... 70
Table 10-5F Water Flow Table, 3-inch Schedule 40 Steel Pipe.......................................... 71
Table 10-5G Water Flow Table, 4-inch Schedule 40 Steel Pipe.......................................... 72
Table 11-1 Inside Diameters for Schedule 10 and Schedule 40 Steel Pipe, in.............. 75
Table 11-2 Equivalent Lengths of Common Fittings (for Schedule 40 Pipe), ft............... 76
Table 11-3 Step 1 of the Example Calculation in NFPA 13 Format................................. 78
Table 11-4 Steps 1 and 2 of the Example Calculation in NFPA 13 Format.................... 78
Table 11-5 Steps 1 and 2 and XX of the Example Calculation in
NFPA 13 Format..................................................................................................... 79
Table 11-6 Common Area Modifications ............................................................................... 79
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xii Fire Protection Systems

Table 12-1 Foam Characteristics.............................................................................................. 84


Table 14-1 Minimum Carbon Dioxide Concentrations for Extinguishment........................ 99
Table 14-2 Flooding Factors...................................................................................................100
Table 14-3 Flooding Factors for Specific Hazards.............................................................101
Table 16-1 Clean Agent Information.....................................................................................108
Table 16-2 Chemical Impacts on the Environment...............................................................110
Table 16-3 Minimum Design Concentrations for Five-Minute Exposure..........................110
Table 16-4 K Values for Equation 16-2................................................................................112
Table 16-5 Clean Agent Comparison Table.........................................................................113
Table 17-1 Portable Fire Extinguisher Classifications.........................................................115
Table 17-2 Travel Distances to Portable Fire Extinguishers...............................................116
Table 17-3 Hydrostatic Testing Requirements......................................................................116

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1

Fire Protection
Fundamentals 1
Uncontrolled fires are dangerous to people and property. Fire protection is a multifaceted
field dedicated to preventing and/or mitigating the effects of these fires. The fire protection
discipline has many distinct parts, including prevention, passive protection, suppression,
detection, and notification. An additional element, smoke management, is also part of fire
protection. Smoke management is required in some occupancies and can be a challenging
aspect of a project, so identifying when smoke management is required is critical.
CODES AND STANDARDS
Every person involved in building construction or maintenance should be aware that many
aspects of a facility are required to conform to standards and codes, which give engineers,
architects, and contractors the guidance they need to design and build safe environments
for human occupancy.
A code is a set of rules and regulations adopted by the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ)
to ensure minimum safety requirements. A standard is defined as a set of recommended
guidelines established by a professional organization that can be used as the basis for the
design, installation, and maintenance of a certain system. Fire protection codes and stan-
dards were developed to protect the lives of building occupants as well as properties and
their contents. Anyone working on a fire protection system should have knowledge of the
wide range of applicable standards and codes that apply to such systems and know where
to find a reference when required.
In the United States, the most widely accepted standards are issued by the National Fire
Protection Association (NFPA). The codes that adopt these standards are typically issued
by the governing state, with amendments added by counties and/or cities. The International
Building Code (IBC) and the International Fire Code (IFC) are two examples of codes
commonly encountered by fire protection professionals.
Standards may require the equipment and materials used in a fire protection system to
be listed or labeled by an organization that has a product certification program. Examples
of such organizations are UL, FM Global, and ASTM International.
Generally, the purpose of a fire code is to set minimum levels of acceptability in the design,
installation, and maintenance of fire protection systems. Many codes, as well as insurance
company standards, establish performance objectives by providing specific requirements.
These performance-based codes leave it up to the designer to determine how to meet those
objectives. More than one solution is usually applicable because new and original ideas are
constantly being developed.
Performance-based codes do not allow building inspectors or plan reviewers to grant
waivers from prescriptive code requirements. Safe alternate substitutions, however, may
be acceptable, and approval may be granted for such an installation if an equivalent level
10/03/17
2 Fire Protection Systems

of safety can be achieved. All local regulations required by the AHJ are mandatory and/or
enforceable. When applicable codes conflict, the most stringent or exclusive requirement
is enforceable.
Where multiple codes apply or the requirements for an installation are not clear, the local
AHJ should be consulted. It must be clearly understood that the applicable code, or any
governing code, does not abrogate, nullify, or abolish any law, ordinance, or rule adopted
by the local governing AHJ.
AUTHORITIES HAVING JURISDICTION
According to NFPA, the AHJ is the organization, office, or individual responsible for
approving an installation, piece of equipment, or procedure. AHJs may be governmental,
such as federal, regional, state, or local departments. They may also be individuals such as
fire chiefs, plan reviewers, or building inspectors. An insurance company representative
may also be an AHJ. It is important to identify all applicable AHJs at the beginning of a
project because they all will have a say in the projects requirements.
Before any building is built or remodeled, code dictates that a permit shall be secured
from the AHJ. Project approval and the permit are typically issued by the local building
department and/or fire prevention bureau. Permits are official documents issued in the name
of the owner to a contractor prior to the start of construction, and they are not transferable.
The permit process provides AHJs with information regarding what, where, how, and when
a specific building that is under their jurisdiction will be built or altered. Further, it allows
the building official to review and approve devices, safeguards, and procedures that may
be needed to ensure the safe use or occupancy of a building.
For a project of appreciable size and scope, a plan reviewer is typically required to review
the construction plans for compliance with the code. If it is determined that the planned
construction meets the minimum requirements of all applicable codes and standards, the
permit is issued. If all requirements are not met or if the plan reviewer requires clarifica-
tions, revisions to and a resubmission of the construction plans to the building department
may be required.
Changes in occupancy, storage (including arrangement, commodity, or quantity),
manufacturing process, or physical building alterations or upgrades also require a permit
and plan review.
When a project is being developed, the following steps usually take place:
1.Project design
2.Permitting
3.Construction/installation
4.Inspection and testing
5.Issuance of the certificate of occupancy
AHJs should be included as early as possible and in all steps of a project.
Before the certificate of occupancy is issued, as well as during construction, inspections
may be performed by the building and/or fire inspector. The purpose of an inspection is
to verify that construction is being completed in accordance with the approved plans and
applicable codes and standards. It is common for fire inspectors to require full functional
testing of fire protection and life-safety systems.
After construction is complete and the certificate of occupancy is issued, the relationship
between the owner (or the designated representative) and the AHJ is not over. The owner
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Chapter 1: Fire Protection Fundamentals 3

is responsible for the inspection, testing, and maintenance of all aspects of the buildings
fire protection system, including fire barriers, egress routes, emergency lighting, emer-
gency signage, smoke detectors, fire alarms, and fire sprinklers. The AHJ is responsible
for enforcing compliance with fire and life-safety requirements to help ensure the safety of
building occupants and first responders. Emergency response plans should be developed
and practiced by occupants, and a schedule and record of fire drills, training, and required
fire protection system inspection, testing, and maintenance should be maintained. These
plans and records must be retained by the owner and inspected by the AHJs.
The owner is responsible for maintaining their property and the systems and procedures
that protect the safety of its occupants. If an AHJ finds a property that is not maintained
to an acceptable level of safety, the owner can be fined, and the propertys certificate of
occupancy can be revoked.
FIRE PROTECTION ORGANIZATIONS
Many important organizations are associated with the fire protection industry. Three of
these organizations that are important to recognize are NFPA, UL, and FM Global.
National Fire Protection Association
NFPA is a nonprofit technical and educational organization dedicated to the protection
of lives and property from fire. The association was founded in 1896 when the need for a
single standard regarding sprinkler installation in buildings was recognized. The association
administers a standards-developing program and publishes fire and life-safety standards
and codes that are used by fire protection professionals, insurance companies, businesses,
and governments. NFPA also provides fire information and statistics to the fire protection
field, conducts onsite investigations of significant fires, and develops publications and
training programs. These are often the basis of education for the fire protection community
and the general public.
NFPA is a membership organization consisting of fire service personnel, engineers, con-
tractors, insurers, business and industry representatives, government officials, architects,
educators, volunteers, and private citizens.
NFPA standards do not have the power of enforcement; they are strictly advisory.
However, these standards have been adopted as the basis for most of the applicable fire
protection codes, which have enforcing power.
Some of the NFPA standards applicable to plumbing engineering are:
uu NFPA 13: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems
uu NFPA 14: Standard for the Installation of Standpipe and Hose Systems
uu NFPA 20: Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection
uu NFPA 24: Standard for the Installation of Private Fire Service Mains and Their Appur-
tenances
uu NFPA 25: Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire
Protection Systems
UL
UL is a safety consulting and certification company dedicated to promoting safe living and
has its roots in electrical and fire safety. UL was established in 1894 and published its first
standard, Tin Clad Fire Doors, in 1903. The following year, the UL Mark made its debut
with the labeling of a fire extinguisher.
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4 Fire Protection Systems

UL supports manufacturers, regulatory authorities, building owners, and insurance com-


panies with certification and customized testing services for a variety of fire suppression
equipment, including products for residential and commercial sprinkler systems. UL tests
and certifies sprinklers and nozzles to standards such as the following:
uu UL 199: Standard for Automatic Sprinklers for Fire Protection Service
uu UL 1767: Standard for Early-Suppression Fast-Response Sprinklers
uu UL 1626: Standard for Residential Sprinklers for Fire Protection Service
uu UL 2351: Standard for Spray Nozzles for Fire Protection Service
Other notable UL life-safety standards include:
uu UL 217: Standard for Smoke Alarms
uu UL 268: Smoke Detectors for Fire Alarm Systems
FM Global
FM Global performs research and testing, offers guidance, and provides insurance in the
fire protection field. It was founded in 1835 when it became apparent that large industrial
and commercial companies needed fire insurance coverage.
FM Global is similar to UL in that it tests equipment, devices, and systems to determine if
their reliability and efficiency will receive the FM Approved mark. The FM Approval Guide
lists all products, devices, equipment, and systems approved by FM Global. The guide also
includes details of installation and materials.
FM Global publishes its own requirements in FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data
Sheets; however, some NFPA standards are adopted in their entirety.
FIRE PREVENTION
Contractors, owners, building occupants, and even transient guests can play a part in fire
prevention. The best protection from a fire is for a fire to never start in the first place. This
is why it is important for everyone to do their part in fire prevention.
It is well understood that children must be taught that fires are dangerous and can quickly
become uncontrolled; however, often overlooked or underestimated is the fact that adults
also must be trained to understand the dangers of fire in their daily lives. Hazards exist,
whether they be in the kitchen in a home or in an industrial process in the workplace. Ed-
ucation is the heart of fire prevention. When fire risks are understood, safety and practical
fire prevention can be practiced.
Precautions such as prohibiting smoking and maintaining good housekeeping are of
paramount importance. Following standards and manufacturers instructions for the instal-
lation and use of building systems and components, especially those involving electricity
or combustion, can also help prevent a fire.
Building construction and industrial processes can put a facility at risk of fire. A height-
ened sense of caution and preparedness needs to be exercised under the following conditions
due to their inherent danger:
uu During welding, soldering, or brazing operations
uu In the vicinity of flammable or combustible materials storage
uu In areas with an accumulation of waste materials
uu When an open flame is used for any reason
uu When building fire protection systems are impaired
During any of the above conditions, the code or the AHJ may require a dedicated person
or persons qualified for the duty to conduct a fire watch while the condition exists.
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Chapter 1: Fire Protection Fundamentals 5

PASSIVE FIRE PROTECTION


Passive fire protection refers to fire separation, compartmentalization, structural stability,
and a safe means of escape. These are all aspects of fire protection that are built into a
building from the very beginning of design. For example, the construction and locations
of walls and doors could easily be overlooked when fire protection systems are being dis-
cussed, but they are critical to the protection of life and property in the built environment.
Fire-Rated Barriers
Fire-rated walls and doors are designed to contain the spread of smoke and fire. These walls
and doors are barriers used to create separations that protect an area of a building that is
free from smoke and fire from an area that is not. These fire-resistive barriers can be used
to compartmentalize a building to prevent the migration of smoke and fire to areas outside
of the building section where the fire began.
These building components and the resultant separations are rated in numbers of hours,
usually between 30 minutes and four hours. This rating is based on how long the building
component can maintain its integrity during a specific fire that increases in severity with
time based on a specific standard. It is important to understand that this rating does not
guarantee an integrity time for the building component during any fire that building com-
ponent may encounter for the time period stated by its rating. If a building component is
exposed to a more severe fire, then the component may fail sooner.
Structural Stability
Structural stability is also an important part of passive fire protection. The structural de-
sign of a building is required to account for the weight of the structure and the buildings
contents, but a safety factor or other methods need to be incorporated into the design to
ensure that the structure does not lose its ability to support the building in the case of a fire.
As an unprotected steel structure is heated in a fire, it can fail and cause a building to
collapse. Wood and concrete structures can also fail due to exposure to fire. The ways in
which these materials react to fire differ, but the result of their failures can be catastrophic.
Thus, the methods employed to prevent or slow the failure of a buildings structure are very
important aspects of fire protection.
Direct Means of Egress
The shape and layout of a building are also related to passive fire protection. Codes are very
specific about the maximum distances an occupant must travel to reach an exit. These exit
paths must meet specific requirements that often incorporate the use of the above-men-
tioned fire-resistive barriers. Paths of travel must be unobstructed, of a certain width, and
provided with emergency lighting. The direction an occupant must travel to reach an exit
must be clearly identified. The number and size of exits provided in a building are required
to be adequate to accommodate all building occupants during evacuation.
For passive fire protection systems to function as designed, it is important that their
importance is recognized and their use is understood. Exits and exit paths function only
when they are free from obstructions. Navigating an escape route can be difficult in a fire,
but it is significantly easier when an occupant is familiar with the route and has practiced
fire drills. Compartmentalization and fire separations function only when doors are closed.
Propping a door open will cause the fire barrier to fail and can increase the resultant damage
due to smoke and fire.
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6 Fire Protection Systems

DETECTION AND NOTIFICATION


Fire detection and occupant notification are a critical part of fire protection. They minimize
a fire events impact on life and property by reducing occupant evacuation and firefighter
response times. Timely evacuation is aided by local notification of the fire alarm system,
commonly provided by horns and strobes, and early suppression is made possible by
direct notification of the municipal fire department or by communication with remote
monitoring stations.
The requirements for facility fire alarm systems vary based on the applicable building
code, but most installations are based on the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code
(NFPA 72).
Fire detection most commonly is accomplished via the detection of smoke, but fire can
also be detected by other means such as heat or optical characteristics. Todays fire detec-
tion technologies offer a large number of options that must be properly matched to the
detection systems requirements, the environment in which the devices will be installed,
and the type of fire to detect.
Notification occurs after a fire is detected or some other alarm-initiating event happens,
such as the actuation of a manual pull station or sprinkler water flow switch. When a fire
alarm system goes into alarm, the sounding of horns and flashing of strobes is not the full
extent of the systems capabilities. Mass notification systems utilize pre-recorded voice
messages to instruct occupants, and notification can also be accomplished through the use
of text messaging and email. Fire alarm systems can also interact and control many building
system upon alarm, such as elevators, smoke or fire barrier doors, and HVAC systems. In
industrial occupancies, fire alarm systems can initiate the shutdown of process equipment.
The capabilities of fire alarm systems have been steadily evolving, and with increased
capabilities and the resultant functionality and integration, it is very important that system
reliability and proper function are field verified and commissioned.
SUPPRESSION SYSTEMS
Fire suppression systems are engineered and designed specifically for each individual
installation to protect a specified occupancy and/or property from a fire of a particular
size and type. The required design and associated calculations are based on an anticipat-
ed worst-case fire, often referred to as the design fire. Systems are typically designed to
suppress only one fire at a time. Systems typically consist of an extinguishing agent (water
or chemical, liquid or gas) often stored in a tank or provided with a connection to a large
source of that agent, a network of distribution piping, fittings, valves, and discharge nozzles.
Design calculations determine nozzle quantity, placement, flow rate, and pressure and
the total system quantity of the extinguishing agent required for suppression. The pipe,
fitting, and valve arrangements are critical aspects of fire suppression system design that
affect these calculations. Some fire suppression systems, however, are pre-engineered and
do not require design and calculation for each specific installation as long as the systems
guidelines are followed and the systems parameters are not exceeded. These pre-engineered
systems are common for kitchen hood fire suppression, but they can be found in other
applications as well.
To design an adequate fire suppression system, the designer must know what is required
to protect the particular occupancy type. This is based on the expected design fire and
the severity of the hazard. For use in the design of automatic sprinkler systems, NFPA
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Chapter 1: Fire Protection Fundamentals 7

13 lists occupancies in generalized hazard class categories based on the magnitude of the
expected fire severity. The designation of a particular occupancy to a specific hazard class
is a generalization that can be used as a guideline, but every property should be evaluated
based on its own design fires potential.
NFPA 13s hazard classifications are based on an occupancys quantity of combustible
material and its design fires heat release rate. More severe hazard classes signify more
challenging design fires and, therefore, more robust suppression systems. Assigning the
correct hazard class to a property is important because if the hazard potential is underes-
timated, the suppression system may not be able to contain a fire of a severity greater than
the one for which it was designed.
Development of the Life Safety Code
In the first decade of the 20th century, no technical committee was exclusively geared
toward life-safety concerns. The Triangle Shirtwaist fire on March 25, 1911 changed that
and helped in the development of todays Life Safety Code (NFPA 101).
One of the largest clothing manufacturing companies in New York City, the Triangle
Shirtwaist Company was located on the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors of the Asch Build-
ing. The company had more than 500 employees, many of whom were young women and
immigrants, who worked long hours in dirty, cramped conditions.
The building itself was a firetrap. It was constructed nearly completely of wood, which
was unusual for a building as tall as it was. Instead of three stairways as required by city
codes, the building had only two, as the architect had argued that the fire escape outside
the building could suffice as the third stairway. The fire escape, however, went only as far
as the second floor. The doors to the exits opened in toward the rooms instead of outward
because the stairways landing was only a stairs width from the door. Also, egress routes
were narrow and full of obstacles, and partitions were placed in front of elevators and
doors. Finally, the Triangles housekeeping contributed to the fire. Rags from cutaway cloth
materials frequently piled up on the floors and in storage bins. At the time of the fire, the
rag bins had not been emptied in two months.
Just before quitting time on March 25, 1911, a worker noticed smoke coming from one
of the rag bins. In the clothing industry, a fire of this nature was not unusual, but this fire
spread rapidly, overcoming employees who tried to put out the fire with buckets of water.
Workers on the eighth floor rushed for the exits. One exit was locked, a company policy
during working hours. Once it was unlocked, panic ensued, causing a logjam of people
in the stairway. Other workers frantically ran for the elevators, but the elevators had been
summoned to the tenth floor, where the executive offices were located. When the elevators
arrived, they were crammed with people. The elevators made so many trips in an effort to
save workers on the eighth and tenth floors that the operators were finally overcome by
smoke and exhaustion. Some workers climbed out onto the fire escape. One person fell
down the fire escape to the courtyard below. Others climbed down to the sixth floor and
then went down the stairs to the street.
Approximately 260 workers were on the ninth floor, which was congested with long
sewing tables that ran along the length of the floor. The only way to exit the floor was to
walk all the way to one end, negotiating around chairs and baskets. When the quitting bell
rang, the first worker out walked down the stairs to go home. When he reached the eighth
floor, he noticed smoke and flames. He continued on a short distance and then realized
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8 Fire Protection Systems

that he must warn the others on the ninth floor. By then, however, it was too late. The stairs
leading back to the ninth floor were consumed in flames.
The ninth-floor workers discovered the fire when it entered the windows from the floor
below. About 150 workers raced for the remaining stairway, and about 100 made it to the
street. Others ran for the fire escape. Jammed with people and hot from the fire, the fire
escape pulled away from the building, sending many people to their deaths. Many others
rushed for the elevators, but they were full. Some jumped or were pushed into the elevator
shaft. A few slid down the elevator cables.
The fire department arrived in a timely manner, but could do little because its equipment
only reached the seventh floor. A total of 147 people lost their lives in the fire.

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9

Basic Chemistry and


Physics of Fire 2
A fire is a chemical reaction involving fuel, oxygen, and heat. These elements form what
is called the fire triangle (see Chapter 6). Chemical reactions can be either endothermic,
a reaction that consumes heat during the process, or exothermic, a reaction that releases
heat during the process.
Heat is the energy that is absorbed or emitted when a given chemical reaction occurs. In
the case of fire, energy in the form of heat is required to begin the reaction, and then after
the reaction is started, heat is released. In other words, combustion begins as an endother-
mic reaction and then continues as an exothermic reaction. In the case of an explosion,
the combustion reaction proceeds rapidly.
Most combustibles, such as solid organic materials, flammable liquids, and gases, contain
a large percentage of carbon (C) and hydrogen (H). The most common oxidizing material
is the oxygen (O2) found in air. Air is composed of oxygen (approximately 20 percent),
nitrogen (approximately 80 percent), and traces of other elements. In general, any material
containing carbon and hydrogen can be combined with oxygen, or oxidized.
Usually, both fuel and oxygen molecules must be brought together and then activated
before a fire is produced. This activation can be caused by:
uu A spark from a nearby fire or from electrical equipment
uu High friction between two hard surfaces rubbing together, which in turn elevates the
materials temperature
uu Intense heat, which creates the possibility of the material reaching its flash point (see the
Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code, published by the National Fire Protection
Association [NFPA])
Once the fuel and oxygen are combined and activated, a chemical chain reaction starts,
which causes fire to develop. Heat, smoke, and gases are continuously produced during
this process. Once the fire begins, it will continue to burn as long as fuel, oxygen, and heat
are present.
Other elements that may affect a fire include the following:
uu A catalyst: A substance that when added or taken away may affect the rate of the chemical
reaction, while the substance itself is not changed
uu Inhibitors or stabilizers: Substances that hinder the mixing of fuel and oxygen
uu Contaminants: Substances that, if present, may or may not influence the reaction
SMOKE
Combustion produces smoke, gases, and heat, which form what is called the fire signature.
The fire signature is never the same for two fires. Smoke, gases, and heat can produce drastic
changes in the environment and be hazardous to humans. Statistics show that when a fire
occurs, about 60 percent of human casualties are due to smoke and toxic gas inhalation.
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10 Fire Protection Systems

This may be due to confusion, since people reaching a smoke-filled area on the way to an
escape route will normally turn back rather than go through the area to safety.
NFPA 92: Standard for Smoke Control Systems is a very good source of information on
smoke. According to NFPA, smoke is the airborne solid and liquid particulates and gases
evolved when a material undergoes pyrolysis or combustion, together with the quantity
of air that is entrained or otherwise mixed into the mass. These airborne particulates are
lightweight, and they rise and spread by air movement.
The amount of smoke produced when a fire burns depends on the mass of air or gas
drawn into the fire, which, in turn, is based on the type of combustible. The amount of air
is based on the pressure difference between the fire area and the adjacent space.
Smoke Control
In the early 1970s it became evident that, in the design of multistory buildings, smoke
control should be included as part of the life-safety systems. In all buildings, buoyancy and
the stack effect cause smoke to travel upward; however, smoke movement differs between
short buildings and tall buildings. In a short building, the influences of heat convective
movement and gas pressure are major factors in smoke movement. In tall buildings, the
stack effect drastically modifies the same factors due to the strong draft from the ground
floor to the roof due to the difference in temperature.
Computerized smoke-control models have been developed to assess and/or control smoke
movement in a building. These models can simulate the expected behavior of smoke in a
multilevel building. Variables such as the outside air temperature, wind speed, building
height, air leakage (in and out), building configuration, stack effect, thermal expansion, air
supply, and air exhaust can all be programmed into a computer-simulated scenario. This
modeling is useful in planning and assessing building design and performance.
A trend in smoke control in buildings is to create smoke-free areas, such as a buildings
egress or stairwells. Stairwell pressurization is an accepted way to prevent smoke from
seeping into stairwell enclosures. However, care must be taken to not create too much
overpressure, which can make access into the stairwell through doors nearly impossible.
For this reason, doors are designed to open out of rather than into a stairwell. The stack
effect and air movement are also factors in creating a smoke-free stairwell. Ducting air into
the stairwell at different levels is desirable to prevent uneven pressurization.
Another method of smoke control involves the pressurization capability of the floors
above and below the space where a fire occurs. This air-pressurized barrier prevents smoke
from infiltrating the adjacent floors by producing a higher pressure than the floor in which
the fire and smoke developed. Such an arrangement can be programmed into the air-con-
ditioning system as a fire emergency mode.
MATERIAL COMBUSTIBILITY
Fire protection professionals must have some knowledge of chemistry to estimate the
combustibility of the materials in an area as well as the heat and smoke expected to develop
during a fire.
The combustibility of a material really means its capacity to burn. Combustible materials
often present themselves in the form of gases, liquids, and solids. Simple organic materials
include common fuels, which are also the building blocks of more complex fuels. For exam-
ple, organic liquids like solvents and hydraulic fluids are all highly combustible. Common
combustibles encountered in everyday activity include the following:
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Chapter 2: Basic Chemistry and Physics of Fire 11

uu Wood and all wood products


uu Textiles and all textile materials
uu Cushioning, man-made foam, and other applicable synthetic materials
uu Finishes such as paints, stains, and lacquers
uu Flammable liquids and gases
uu Plastic materials
A noncombustible material as defined by NFPA is a material, in the form in which it is
used, and under the conditions anticipated, that will not ignite, burn, support combustion,
or release flammable vapors when subjected to fire or heat.
NFPA 220: Standard on Types of Building Construction also contains the requirements
for a material to be considered limited combustible.
As previously stated, the principal constituents of combustible materials are carbon (C)
and hydrogen (H+). Combustible organic solids are classified as either hydrocarbons, with
the chemical compounds CH and CH2 as a base, or others like cellulose and its compounds,
which contain the chemical group CH (OH). When these materials burn, the resulting
products are carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). If any of these combustible organic
materials is present when a fire occurs, the flames propagate quickly (at a rate of a few feet
per second).
FIRE EXTINGUISHING
When attempting to control a fire, the aim is to break the chemical reaction or the contin-
uous combination of fuel and oxygen. Another goal is to reduce one of its products: heat.
Since fire is an exothermic reaction, one way to extinguish a fire is by cooling.
The oldest and most universally known fire extinguishing agent is water. Water works
as an extinguishing agent because it:
uu Absorbs heat1 gallon per minute (gpm) at 60F can absorb 1,000 British thermal
unit per hour (Btuh).
uu Can extinguish a fire in a closed area at a rate of 1 gpm to a volume of 100 cubic feet.
uu Vaporizes at 500F and expands 2,500:1 at this temperature.
uu Is more effective when mixed with thinning agents, becoming what is referred to as
wet water.
uu Reduces the heat generated by a fire.
Other ways to extinguish a fire or control the chemical reaction are to:
uu Remove the fuel.
uu Reduce or eliminate the oxygen available for combustion by introducing an inert gas
such as nitrogen (N) or, in small fires, cover the fire with a blanket.
uu Apply chemical extinguishers such as carbon dioxide, sodium, or potassium bicarbonate
(or other dry chemicals).
To prevent the occurrence and/or spread of a fire, the designer should use methods to
reduce the combustibility of various materials. These methods may include (for unoccu-
pied areas) creating an inert atmosphere or using fire-retardant materials. However, many
materials contain oxidizing agents, which will provide oxygen for combustion even in an
inert atmosphere, so be aware of their presence.
The fire-retardant or flame-resistant treatment of otherwise combustible materials helps
protect against fire. This type of treatment for textile or wooden materials substitutes or im-
pregnates the material with a noncombustible (or less combustible) substance. The process
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12 Fire Protection Systems

can be accomplished through either an absorption or a saturation process. Impregnation


can be done in a vacuum, in which case it is called pressure impregnation.

10/03/17
13

Fire Safety in
Building Design 3
Fire safety must be incorporated early in the design of a building, and the applicable build-
ing codes and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards should be consulted
and the requirements strictly followed. One important element is the fire resistance of a
building, which is detailed in NFPA 220: Standard on Types of Building Construction. The
fire-resistance rating is the time that materials or assemblies can withstand exposure to fire
based on the tests prescribed by NFPA 220.
All architectural and engineering disciplines involved in the design of a building are
responsible for various aspects of fire protection, such as the following:
uu Determining the location, number, and construction of normal and emergency exits
(architect)
uu Designing emergency lighting, fire alarm systems, and grounding, and specifying spark-
proof equipment in hazardous locations (electrical engineer)
uu Determining the operation mode of the air-conditioning and/or ventilation equipment
in fire situations (mechanical engineer)
uu Protecting the buildings support beams and columns against high heat, performing
structural calculations, and selecting protective materials (structural engineer)
EXITS AND OPENINGS
During the design stage of a building, special attention is given to the protection of exits,
including stairways, corridors, and exit doors. All stairs and other exits in a building should
be arranged to clearly point in the direction of egress toward the street. Exit stairs that
continue beyond the floor of discharge to the street should be interrupted at the floor of
discharge by partitions, doors, or other effective means.
Building openings and penetrations are usually designed to help stop the spread of fire
and smoke while containing gaseous, total-flooding fire extinguishing systems. If a gaseous
agent is used, then strategically located relief vents must be provided for the air displaced
by the fire suppression agent when it is released.
FIRE BARRIERS
To contain a fire in a certain area, a building includes passive restraints, or fire barriers,
such as fire walls, fire-resistant floors, and fire-rated doors. Areas that may be more prone
to fire, such as control rooms, computer rooms, and repair and maintenance shops, must
be constructed of noncombustible materials. The walls, floors, and ceilings in these areas
must also be designed with a fire rating per code requirements. For example, if a door must
contain a glass opening larger than 100 square inches, a specific fire door rating will apply.
From a fire and smoke protection point of view, doors are designed and constructed
based on the degree of protection they provide, such as:
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14 Fire Protection Systems

uu Non-fire-rated doors, such as the type used in a one- or two-family dwelling that provide
limited protection when closed
uu Fire-rated doors tested to withstand fire for a defined period
uu Smoke-stop doors made of lighter construction, which provide a barrier to the spread
of smoke
For industrial construction, automatic fire doors in walls must be used to cut off the
following areas:
uu Boiler rooms
uu Emergency or standby diesel-generator rooms
uu Oil-storage rooms
uu Storage rooms for combustible materials
uu Flammable, oil-filled circuit breakers, switches, or transformers within a station
uu Fuel oil pump and heater rooms
uu Diesel fire pump rooms
FIRE SAFETY PERSONNEL
Fire prevention involves a personnel network dedicated to enforcing codes and continuously
educating the general public. Engineers, technicians, contractors, and firefighters design,
install, maintain, and operate fire protection and fire suppression equipment and systems.
Every industry has its own specific fire hazards and its own danger points, but specially
trained personnel help apply the right protection for the specific hazard.
However, trained professionals are not the only people responsible for fire safety in a
building. Building owners should include fire suppression systems in their properties and
develop fire prevention programs to fit their specific needs. Occupants should become
familiar with and practice the life-saving features. In large organizations, an individual or
team is typically responsible for safety, which includes fire prevention. Such organizations
should have a fire loss-prevention and control manager dedicated to personnel safety and
fire prevention.
NEW CONSTRUCTION
In the preliminary stages of building construction, a greater danger of fire exists because
permanent suppression means are not yet in place. Thus, the following basic fire protection
recommendations should be implemented:
uu Provide a temporary water supply source (excluding salt, tidal, or brackish water) for fire
protection during the initial construction period in the amount, pressure, and residual
pressure required by the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ). Backflow prevention per
the water authoritys requirements must be provided for the temporary connection. As
construction progresses, a permanent water supply must be made available as soon as
possible, and all temporary fire protection water connections should be disconnected
from the permanent supply.
uu Underground mains should be made available as soon as practical, and temporary sprin-
klers should be installed and used until the permanent system is installed and charged.
uu As construction progresses, standpipes should be brought up and maintained to be
ready for firefighting use. For high-rise buildings, firefighting personnel prefer to have
a standpipe (wet or dry) ready for operation, if needed, two floors below the highest
floor that is ready.
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Chapter 3: Fire Safety in Building Design 15

uu The use of open flames and welding/cutting equipment should be properly supervised.
The observation or supervision of such operations should be continued for 30 minutes
after the work is completed. For such operations, temporary permits are usually required
from the fire department.
uu Weather shelters and dust covers should be flame resistant.
uu Facilities for hydrant operation should be made available as soon as possible, and
emergency protection in the form of portable extinguishers and hose streams must
be provided. In certain cases, a watchperson and standby firefighting apparatus are
recommended.
uu Combustible materials should be kept at a minimum. Form work, shoring, bracing,
scaffolding, etc., should be made of mostly noncombustible materials, and the construc-
tion site should be kept clean and orderly. Contractors sheds should be constructed of
limited-combustible materials or kept outside the confines of new construction.
uu On rock sites (when blazing for fire protection lines), installation should be performed
simultaneously with general excavation to prevent damaging newly placed concrete.
uu Portable fire extinguishers should be made available within 100 feet of any work area
and within 30 feet of welding, burning, or other heat-producing equipment.
In summary, when new construction is concerned, it is always smart to:
uu Assign the overall fire prevention/protection to a responsible person.
uu Expedite the installation of firefighting systems.
uu Dispose of construction waste promptly.
uu Store combustibles in enclosed, ventilated, and easy-to-supervise areas.
uu Closely supervise temporary heaters.
uu Provide temporary fire suppression equipment (e.g., mobile hose stations and portable
extinguishers).
uu Carefully handle flammable liquids and gases.
uu Establish enclosed, controlled areas for smoking.
uu Take special precautions during welding and other operations involving open flame.
REMODELING
During building alteration or remodeling, the sprinkler system should be reconnected
or installed at an early stage and kept operational. If work is done on a certain section of
the system, that section should be isolated while the rest of the fire suppression system is
kept operational. If the entire system is out of order, then standby fire apparatus and/or
a watchperson may be employed per recommendations from the fire department or the
AHJ. After the system is repaired, refurbished, or modified, it must be re-inspected and
retested before the installation is considered complete.
In case a sprinkler system is rearranged (with no occupancy change) and sprinkler
heads must be replaced, they should match the existing sprinklers style, orifice diameter,
temperature rating, coating (if any), and deflector type. All of these replacement criteria are
true except if the occupancy and/or the type of inside construction (e.g., ceilings removed
or added) changes.

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16 Fire Protection Systems

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17

Commissioning, Testing,
and Maintenance 4
The procedures for fire suppression system commissioning are outlined in National Fire
Protection Association (NFPA) 3: Recommended Practice for Commissioning of Fire Protec-
tion and Life-Safety Systems. NFPA 4: Standard for Integrated Fire Protection and Life-Safety
System Testing contains testing procedures for fire protection and life-safety systems.
According to NFPA 3, commissioning (Cx) is a systematic process that provides docu-
mented confirmation that specific and interconnected fire and life-safety systems function
according to the intended design criteria set forth in the project documents and satisfy
the owners operational needs, including compliance requirements of any applicable laws,
regulations, codes, and standards requiring fire and life-safety systems.
Integrated testing and commissioning are sometimes confused and used interchangeably,
but they are not the same thing, which is why two separate NFPA standards were developed.
Integrated testing is a vital part of the entire commissioning process. It is used to verify that
a buildings fire and life-safety systems perform and interact as designed.
FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEM COMMISSIONING
According to NFPA 3, fire system commissioning has the following objectives: document-
ing the owners project requirements (OPR) and the basis of design (BOD), verifying that
equipment and systems were installed and perform as required, confirming that integrated
testing of fire and life-safety systems was performed, delivering operation and maintenance
manuals, training facility staff, and setting up a system for ongoing maintenance and testing.
All active and passive fire protection and life-safety systems included in a project must
be commissioned, including fixed fire suppression systems and their supporting infrastruc-
ture, control systems, fire and smoke alarm systems, emergency communications systems,
elevator systems, fire extinguishers, means of egress, through-penetration fire stops, fire
walls, barriers, and partitions, and smoke barriers and partitions.
Commissioning Team
The commissioning team can be comprised of any of the following individuals:
uu Owner and owners technical support personnel
uu Commissioning authority (CxA)
uu Fire commissioning agent (FCxA)
uu Installation contractors
uu Manufacturer representatives
uu Registered design professionals (RDP)
uu Construction manager/general contractor
uu Facility manager or10/03/17
operations personnel
18 Fire Protection Systems

uu Insurance representative
uu Third-party testing entity
uu Authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ)
uu Integrated testing agent (ITA)
Commissioning Authority
The CxA is the leader of the overall project commissioning team and is responsible for
planning, organizing, and facilitating the commissioning process on behalf of the owner.
In addition to having good technical knowledge of the systems being commissioned, the
CxA must also have a complete understanding of the commissioning process and possess
the organizational, documentation, communication, and team-building skills that are
necessary to lead and coordinate an effective commissioning team and to ensure that the
intent of the building owner is achieved.
Fire Commissioning Agent
The FCxA is the team leader in the fire protection system commissioning portion of a
project. This individual develops the commissioning plan, schedules and verifies process
requirements, prepares documentation and reports, witnesses and documents testing,
tracks compliance, and recommends system acceptance, among other responsibilities.
The FCxA should be knowledgeable and experienced in both the commissioning process
and fire protection system design. A qualified FCxA should have an advanced understanding
of the installation, operation, and maintenance of all fire protection and life-safety systems
to be installed, with particular emphasis on integrated system testing. This individual is a
representative of the owner and as such should be objective and unbiased and should not
have any financial interest in any of the systems being commissioned.
Registered Design Professional
A qualified RDP should have a comprehensive knowledge of the design, installation, oper-
ation, and maintenance of all of the systems proposed to be installed and how individual
and integrated systems operate during a fire or other emergency.
Integrated Testing Agent
The ITA should be knowledgeable in the design, installation, operation, and maintenance of
the types of fire protection and life-safety systems to be installed as well as have experience
in performance verification methods to validate the functionality of integrated systems
and components.
Documentation
Documentation of every step of the commissioning process is extremely critical to the
overall success of the project. As each decision is made, documentation provides a basis
for evaluation and acceptance before proceeding to the next step in the process.
Critical documents include the owners project requirements, basis of design, commis-
sioning plan, and final commissioning report. Other documents that should be generated
during the commissioning process include the commissioning specifications, design review
comments, certification documentation, submittal review comments, inspection reports,
test data reports, issue and resolution logs and reports, system manuals, and training
documentation.

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Chapter 4: Commissioning, Testing, and Maintenance 19

Owners Project Requirements


Developed by the owner, the OPR defines the expectations, goals, benchmarks, and success
criteria for the project. An effective OPR incorporates input from the design team, operation
and maintenance staff, and end users of the building and is updated throughout the project.
Basis of Design
Prepared by the design engineer, the BOD includes design submissions that explain how
the proposed design will meet the owners project requirements. It describes the engineers
approach to system selections and integration, focusing on design features critical to overall
building performance.
Commissioning Plan
The commissioning plan identifies the procedures, methods, and documentation for each
phase of the process. It is updated continuously throughout the design, construction, and
installation phases, and the completed plan becomes the commissioning record that is
given to the owner after construction.
The commissioning plan should include the following, as applicable to the specific project:
uu Commissioning scope and specifications
uu Commissioning team members, including their roles and responsibilities
uu Communication plan and protocols
uu Commissioning process tasks and schedules
uu Required documentation and deliverables
uu Required testing procedures
uu Recommended training
uu Owners project requirements
uu Basis of design
uu Design and submittal review
uu Issues log
uu Construction checklists
uu Meeting minutes
uu Functional performance and ongoing testing procedures
uu System manuals and warranties
uu Test data reports
Final Commissioning Report
All commissioning requirements, processes, documents, and findings are incorporated
in a final commissioning report that accompanies the construction contractors turnover
documentation. ASHRAE Guideline 0: The Commissioning Process recommends that the
final commissioning report be included with O&M manuals in a systems manual.
Commissioning Process
The fire protection system commissioning process has four phases: planning, design,
construction, and occupancy.
Planning Phase
It is best to begin a commissioning project before design to allow time to develop the plan
before anything is installed. The planning phase accomplishes the following:
uu Develops the owners project requirements
uu Establishes the team
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20 Fire Protection Systems

uu Identifies the commissioning scope


uu Develops the commissioning plan
Design Phase
During the design phase, the basis of design is developed, which should include a de-
scription of the project and systems to be commissioned, performance objectives, and
testing requirements. The construction documents should be compared with the BOD
and modifications should be made to ensure that the owners project requirements are
being met. The commissioning activities schedule should be created and approved, and
team members should be assigned specific tasks to accomplish according to the schedule.
Construction Phase
During construction, the team members should be performing and documenting their
tasks as required, and the FCxA should update the plan and schedule when needed. The
construction should be inspected before, during, and after installation. All systems, both
passive and active, shall be tested, and any issues found must be corrected and retested.
Occupancy Phase
The occupancy phase includes final system testing, delivering all documentation and
reports, training building personnel, and implementing the ongoing inspection, testing,
and maintenance program.
After all of the final modifications have been verified and accepted, the owner takes oc-
cupancy of the building and is henceforth responsible for the systems inspection, testing,
and maintenance.
Re-Commissioning and Retro-Commissioning
NFPA 3 also addresses re-commissioningto be performed when an existing system that
was previously commissioned is changedand retro-commissioningto be performed on
an existing system that was never commissioned. These processes shall be performed only
if the building or system is significantly changed; NFPA 3 does not prescribe an ongoing
program of re-commissioning.
INTEGRATED TESTING
Requirements for the integrated testing of fire and life-safety systems were originally a
component of NFPA 3, but they were removed and standardized in a new document, NFPA
4, in 2015. According to NFPA, the new standard is intended to make sure that buildings
with integrated and interconnected systems, such as fire alarms, sprinkler systems, emer-
gency communications systems, elevator systems, standby power systems, and stairway
pressurization systems, operate as intended using testing protocols, proper oversight, and
verification documentation. NFPA 4 is intended for both new and existing buildings.
The purpose of integrated testing is to ensure that all fire and life-safety systems work
together as intended. NFPA 4 does not include testing or performance requirements for
individual systems.
The integrated testing agent is responsible for planning, implementing, and documenting
integrated testing. If qualified, the building owner may act as the ITA.
Integrated testing should be performed at the end of the commissioning process, when
all systems have been installed. While NFPA 4 does not include a timeframe for testing,
the ITA should develop a test plan that includes the systems to be tested, documentation,
members of the integrated system test team, test scenarios, and test schedules. The test
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Chapter 4: Commissioning, Testing, and Maintenance 21

plan should include post-occupancy testing requirements based on an assessment of the


potential failure of a system. NFPA 4 lists a series of triggers prompting this testing, par-
ticularly after any modifications or additions to the system.
While NFPA 4 provides details on test methods and scenarios, the actual testing protocol
should be developed by the ITA based on the buildings particular systems.
MAINTENANCE
NFPA 25: Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Pro-
tection Systems describes the activities that are required to ensure that fire suppression
systems perform as designed when needed. Other NFPA standards for specific types of fire
protection systems include requirements as well. Manufacturers also should be consulted
for requirements specific to their systems.
Ongoing maintenance activities can be divided into the following categories:
uu Inspecting
uu Testing
uu Cleaning
uu Preventive maintenance
uu Repair and replacement
Inspection
Inspection schedules are usually generated by the owner (or owners representative) and are
based on the manufacturers recommendations for the particular equipment. Inspections
must be conducted to identify early warning signs of failure. A weekly inspection should
be made of any exposed parts, piping, valves, backflow preventers, hangers and supports,
etc. It is important to note any leaks, discoloration, rust, or incorrect positions in any of
these components. This inspection should be performed by someone who is trained to
know what to observe. Of particular importance are valves, most of which must be in a
permanently open position.
The weekly inspection of a fire protection system helps eliminate problems such as
blocked fire department connections, vandalized hydrants, leaking pipes and hoses, missing
nozzles, permanently open valves that are partially closed, blocked or padlocked emergency
exits, and freeze-ups (in the winter).
It is also important to inspect the following:
uu All gauges (monthly)
uu Priming of water (when required)
uu Clean, dry system valves (not full of grease and dirt)
uu System air or nitrogen pressure (weekly)
uu All control valves, including sealed valves (weekly) and locked valves (monthly)
Testing
The person in charge of the system must test it periodically, based on the requirements
of NFPA 25, practical experience, and/or manufacturer recommendations, to ensure that
the equipment meets specification requirements. All equipment testing must include
performance and safety checks.
Alarms must be tested on a regular schedule, which must be well publicized to building
occupants. Dry pipe systems must be tested annually but mainly before the winter. Table
4-1 illustrates the test and inspection frequency of water-based suppression systems.
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22 Fire Protection Systems

Table 4-1 Test and Inspection Frequency of Water-Based Suppression Systems


Inspection Frequency
Dry, deluge, and preaction system gauges Weekly
Wet system gauges Monthly
Sealed control valves Weekly
Locked control valves Monthly
Tamper switch control valves Monthly
Fire department connections Quarterly
Water flow alarm devices Quarterly
Valve supervisory alarm devices Quarterly
Hydraulic nameplate Quarterly
Buildings prior to freezing weather Annually
Hangers, seismic bracing, pipes, and fittings Annually
Sprinklers, spare sprinklers, information sign Annually
Check valves, interior Every 5 years
Internal inspection of piping Every 5 years
Test Frequency
Water flow alarm mechanical devices Quarterly
Water flow alarm vane and pressure switch type devices Semiannually
Priming water (dry, deluge, and preaction) Quarterly
Low air alarm Quarterly
Main drain (sole water supply through backflow or pressure-reducing valves) Quarterly
Main drain Annually
Control valves (position and operation) Annually
Dry pipe system trip test Annually
Dry pipe system full flow trip test Every 3 years
Antifreeze solution Annually
Gauges tested or recalibrated Every 5 years
Sprinklers (extra high temperatures or harsh environment) Every 5 years
Sprinklers, dry Every 10 years
Sprinklers, fast response Every 20 years
Maintenance Frequency
Low-point drains in dry pipe systems (after each operation of the system, before the onset of
As needed
freezing weather)
Sprinklers and automatic spray nozzles Annually
Valves, valve components, and trim (additional maintenance as required by the manufacturers
As needed
instructions)

Cleaning
A scheduled cleaning program is required. Maintenance personnel must perform basic
cleaning duties for each system on a regular basis. All parts of the fire protection system
must be kept clean and free of debris.
Preventive Maintenance
All fire protection equipment must be scheduled for preventive maintenance based on
regular inspection results and a scheduled preventive maintenance program.
Repair and Replacement
As a system ages, the need for repair and perhaps equipment replacement becomes more
prevalent. It is necessary to maintain spare parts and provide for their storage.
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23

Fire Detection
Systems 5
A fire protection system consists of prevention, suppression, notification, auxiliary con-
trol, detection, annunciation, and communication reporting systems. The detection and
communication reporting systems include the following:
uu A manual means of sensing the products of a fire
uu Automatic detectors that sense the products of a fire, harmful gases, or the flowing of
water or dispersal of suppression agents
uu Notification appliance circuits and notification appliances
uu Local and remote annunciation for the fire alarm system
uu A means of controlling auxiliary life-safety and non-life-safety systems
uu Communication systems that activate active fire suppression and containment systems
uu Communication reporting systems that report to on-premise or off-premise emergency
response centers for fire department dispatching
Unlike sprinkler or suppression systems, detection devices do not control or extinguish
a firethey merely detect the products of fire combustion or deadly gases such as carbon
monoxide or chlorine. However, detection systems are a critical aspect of fire suppression
systems because they provide notification of a developing fire early enough to allow for
the greatest available safe egress time (ASET). A balanced approach of early fire detection
and suppression control offers the best possible outcome toward achieving the goal of
protecting the lives of the occupants within the building.
CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTION
State and local building codes are adopting mandatory detection requirements for carbon
monoxide at a rapid pace. Thus, fire detection system designers need to be aware of these
requirements and change their approach to identifying not only what is needed for fire
detection, but also carbon monoxide and other harmful gas detection as well.
Because plumbing system designers often design and specify fuel-fired water heating
equipment and water purification systems that utilize halogenated gases and compounds, it
is important to be knowledgeable about carbon monoxide detectors and chlorine, ammonia,
and other gas detectors that can be connected to a fire alarm system. It is good practice
to coordinate systems with the professionals responsible for the fire alarm system to let
them know of a need for carbon monoxide or other harmful gas detectors and where in
the building they may be required.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has published additional secondary
power supply requirements for fire alarm systems with carbon monoxide detectors in NFPA
72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code and NFPA 720: Standard for the Installation of
Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detection and Warning Equipment. Along with these additional
power requirements come alarm reporting requirements and separate, distinct evacuation
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24 Fire Protection Systems

signaling requirements for carbon monoxide sensors. The details of these requirements
are outside the scope of this chapter, but the plumbing system designer must coordinate
with the design team to ensure that the proper detection devices are installed.
BASIC COMPONENTS OF A FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
Some of the questions that must be answered before designing a fire alarm system are:
uu What type of detection is required?
uu Is automatic smoke detection required?
uu Is a high-rise voice evacuation signaling system needed?
uu Is auxiliary control of stairwell pressurization required?
uu Is circuit pathway survivability needed for a defend-in-place strategy?
A fire alarm detection and signaling system contains the following components:
uu A control panel with operator interface and primary and secondary power supplies,
as well as communication and reporting circuits, signaling line circuits (SLC) for ad-
dressable components (intelligent and analog-type sensors), initiating device circuits
(IDC) for conventional detection devices (hardwired, non-intelligent type), and a
notification appliance circuit (NAC) for horn-strobe or speaker and strobe appliances
for evacuation signaling
uu A remote annunciator control panel with communication and reporting circuits
uu Auxiliary power to supply additional power and secondary power for NAC circuits or for
auxiliary power to primary components of the fire alarm system that are not powered
by the main control panel
uu Heat detectors, which can be either the intelligent analog addressable or the conven-
tional hardwired type
uu Smoke detectors
uu Manual fire alarm boxes, also referred to as pull stations
uu Water flow detectors, commonly referred to as flow switches on a sprinkler system
uu Notification appliances such as electric horns and strobes
uu Auxiliary control for both life-safety and non-life safety functions, such as air handler
shutdown, egress door unlocking, and elevator recall
A detection system must be properly designed and the detectors must be carefully selected
for the types of fire and non-fire hazards (i.e., harmful gases) and the resulting products
expected, which depend on the combustible materials, operational activities within the
area, and environmental factors of the protected space.
Even though detectors do not directly affect a fire, they may be connected to initiate
other functions, including:
uu Sounding a local and/or remote alarm that notifies building occupants of a fire situation
uu Isolating an area by closing dampers and doors
uu Either shutting down the operating ventilation equipment or starting smoke evacuation
fans and opening fresh-air dampers or doors
uu Supervising the system for ready-for-operation status
uu Activating fire suppression systems
Detectors in most types of buildings are electrically connected through communications
circuits (pathways) to a main fire alarm control panel (FACP). Detectors in high-rise
buildings or industrial complexes may also be connected via a communications pathway
from the FACP to a remote fire alarm annunciator panel (FAAP). Control panels are often
10/03/17
Chapter 5: Fire Detection Systems 25

located in a fire-rated control room, which is intended to be continuously attended. If the


building does not have continuous 24-hour supervision in a given location, the authority
having jurisdiction (AHJ) may insist that a remote annunciator panel be located at the
first point of entry for the emergency responders, such as a main lobby entrance or a fire
sprinkler riser room.
The control and annunciator panels may also receive trouble signals that indicate such
things as a fault in the supervisory system, a component being in the wrong position, a
depleted secondary power supply battery condition, or some other condition in need of
maintenance and correction.
MANUAL VS. AUTOMATIC DETECTION SYSTEMS
A fire detection system can be either manual or automatic. A manual system relies on a
person to observe fire and/or smoke and pull an alarm to alert occupants. The person may
also activate a suppression system.
An automatic system relies on a detector to sense products of combustion and activate
an alarm or fire suppression system and other auxiliary systems (smoke evacuation, etc.).
Automatic detection can be accomplished with electronic smoke detection, radiant energy
detection, or electronic heat detection, but it is important to note that automatic detection
is also defined in model building codes and NFPA standards as the detection of water
flow from a fire sprinkler or suppression system that must be installed and continuously
monitored as required by NFPA 13: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems and
NFPA 72. It is up to the designer to recognize this and any additional requirements for
automatic fire detection that involves applications in addition to water flow detection.
An automatic detection system notifies building occupants of a fire or a near-fire condi-
tion and summons an organized response. It may also activate a fire suppression system,
supervise the protection system, and detect any signs of a change of status as well as res-
toration to a non-fire condition.
Before installing an automatic detection system, it is first necessary to establish whether
or not it is needed. Local codes or regulations may provide guidance for this decision. Some
factors to consider are:
uu Importance of the area (types of contents and their value)
uu Degree of fire hazard within the area
uu Potential of fire spreading
uu Type of fire suppression
uu Normal occupancy of the area
uu Cost of detection and/or suppression systems
uu Installation of detection and suppression or just detection
Once a decision is made to install an automatic detection system, it is necessary to
establish the detection requirements for the area and then select the appropriate detector
types and place them in the correct locations and at the correct distances from one another.
TYPES OF DETECTION DEVICES
The four basic types of detectors are heat detectors, smoke/gas detectors, flame detectors,
and water flow detectors.
Heat Detectors
Heat detectors sense the heat produced by burning combustibles. They are the oldest and
least expensive automatic detectors available. They also have the lowest rate of false alarms.
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26 Fire Protection Systems

However, they are fairly slow in detecting a fire in its initial stage and are better suited for
small, confined spaces where high heat is expected. Heat detectors also do not detect the
early products of combustion like automatic smoke detectors and radiant energy sensors.
Understanding these limitations is paramount to designing an appropriate life-safety system.
Heat detectors can be either spot detectors, which are concentrated at a particular loca-
tion, or continuous-line detectors, which are used mostly for cable trays and conveyors.
The three types of heat detectors are based on the way they operate: fixed temperature,
rate compensation, and rate of rise.
Fixed-Temperature Heat Detectors
As a spot detector, the fixed-temperature heat detector consists of two metals (each having
a different coefficient of thermal expansion) that are bonded together. When heated, one
metal will bend toward the one that expands at a slower rate, causing an electrical contact
to close. This type of detector is very accurate and is set for various temperatures that can
be expected to develop during a fire. It is also automatically self-restoring, which means
that after the operation is complete, the detector returns to its original shape or condition.
The fixed-temperature type of heat detector is analogous to a thermally operated sprinkler
head in that it is rated and visually labeled for a specific operating temperature. It is also
UL Listed or FM Approved to provide detection coverage for a specific-size area.
As a continuous-line detector, the fixed-temperature heat detector can include a pair
of steel wires enclosed in a braided sheath to form a single cable (see Figure 5-1). The
two concentric elements are separated by
heat-sensitive insulation. Under heat ex-
posure, the insulation melts, and the wires
make contact. Since the portion affected
must be replaced, this type is not self-re-
storing.
Another type of continuous-line, Figure 5-1 Continuous-Line Fixed-
Temperature Heat Detector
fixed-temperature heat detector includes
two coaxial cables with temperature-sensitive semiconductor insulation between them. In
cases of high heat, the electrical resistance of the insulation decreases, and more current
flows between the wires, causing contact to be initiated. This type of detection is self-re-
storing because no insulation melting takes place during the process.
Rate-Compensation Type
The rate-compensation heat detector
(see Figure 5-2) reacts to the tem-
perature of the surrounding area.
When the temperature reaches a
predetermined level, regardless of
the rate of temperature rise, electrical
contact is made. The difference be-
tween a rate-compensated detector
and one with a fixed temperature Figure 5-2 Rate-Compensation Heat Detector
is that the former eliminates the response at the peak temperature. The entire detector
enclosure (rate compensation) must reach the critical (previously set) temperature and
only then does it make contact, sounding an alarm or activating a fire suppression system.
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Chapter 5: Fire Detection Systems 27

Rate-of-Rise Type
The rate-of-rise heat detector (see Fig-
ure 5-3) is effective when a rapid rise
in temperature is expected due to a fire
caused by a specific type of combustible.
This detector sounds an alarm and/or
starts a suppression system when the
temperature rise is faster than 15 to 25F
per minute. It will compensate for small Figure 5-3 Rate-of-Rise Heat Detector
fluctuations.
Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors can be of either the ionization type or the photoelectric type. The photo-
electric type is further divided into light-obscuration and light-scattering types.
Ionization Type
The ionization type is very common and uses a small quantity of low-grade radioactive
material to ionize the air within the detector and make it electrically conductive. If smoke
enters the detector, the smoke particles attach themselves to the ions, and ion mobility is
decreased. An alarm then sounds.
Photoelectric Type
In the photoelectric light-obscura-
tion type (see Figure 5-4), the detec-
tor consists of a two-piece metal tube
with a light source at one end and a
receiving photo cell at the other. Be-
tween the light source and the receiv-
er is a light beam. The rising smoke
from a fire obstructs the light nor- Figure 5-4 Photoelectric Light-Obscuration
mally traveling toward the receiving Smoke Detector
cell, which then causes the detector
to sound an alarm. Special light filters
prevent other light sources within the
area from influencing the cell. This
type has certain special applications
due to the length of the light beam,
which is operationally useful for a
distance up to 300 linear feet. Figure 5-5 Photoelectric Light-Scattering Smoke
The photoelectric light-scattering Detector
type (see Figure 5-5) is similar to the light-obscuration type, except that the light and cell
are located within the detector body, and light beams do not normally fall on the receiv-
ing cell. The light beam is scattered, so when the smoke rises, the light beam is redirected
toward the receiving cell, which then makes contact.
Flame Detectors
Flame detectors respond to radiant energy and respond very quickly to a fire. They are
often used in areas where the potential for an explosion exists.
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28 Fire Protection Systems

Light is visible to the human eye when its wavelength is between 4,000 and 7,700 ang-
stroms (A). When the wavelength is smaller than 4,000 A, it is ultraviolet light. When the
wavelength is greater than 7,700 A, it is infrared light. Both types of light (ultraviolet and
infrared) are invisible to the human eye.
The ultraviolet light generated by the sun might produce false alarms, so detectors have
been developed to reject sunlight and other unwanted radiation (e.g., from welding). Lenses
must be kept clean and free of dust or mist to be responsive and sensitive. One way to keep
them clean is to provide an air shield. Compressed air is either blown over the lens, or a
mechanism similar to windshield wipers on a car wipes the lens occasionally.
Infrared detectors operate best when they are separated from the flame by height and
distance. They work well in large open areas that contain an accumulation of flammable
liquids (e.g., aircraft hangars).
The sensing element is either a silicon solar cell or a sulfide cell made of lead or cadmium.
A built-in time delay allows the detector to discern a flicker from a continuous infrared
light emanating from a fire.
Water Flow Detectors
The paddle-type and pressure-switch types of water flow detectors are electrically connected
via communication pathways to the fire alarm system, which continuously monitors them
for a change of state to activated or trouble. These detectors have physical momentary
switches with two electrically isolated, identical sets of electrical terminals that consist of
a common terminal (neutral), a normally open terminal, and a normally closed terminal.
The electrical isolation is necessary so a line voltage circuit (typically 120 volts AC) can
be routed through one set of terminals for items such as an interior 4-inch water flow alarm
or a 10-inch exterior water flow alarm, which can be routed through the switch. Also, a
12-volt or 24-volt DC fire alarm initiating device circuit can be run through the other set of
terminals, allowing both supervision and detection of the state of the water flow detector.
In most cases, NFPA 13 requires the installation of 4-inch and 10-inch electrically operat-
ed bells (when a water motor gong is not used) as well as connection to a fire alarm control
system. If an automatic sprinkler system is installed, NFPA 72 requires it to be connected
to the automatic fire alarm system to notify building occupants and communicate with
an emergency reporting station for alarm and trouble conditions in the sprinkler system.
A good practice for any sprinkler or suppression system designer is coordinate the loca-
tion of these types of devices along with their valve supervisory switches (tamper switches)
with the fire protection engineer or alarm technician responsible for the design and layout
of the fire alarm system.
CHOOSING A DETECTOR DEVICE
A detectors operational characteristics and physical location influence the selection of the
detector type and its placement. Following are a few guidelines to consider when selecting
a detector:
uu Combustion products: Certain detectors are sensitive to specific combustibles and no
other products. The detector may only react if the smoke emanating from a material
falls within certain parameters. For example, ionization detectors may not detect large
smoke particles because they lack high mobility.
uu Fire development: The speed of fire development differs from oil fires to electrical fires
to other kinds of fires. Some detectors will not detect all types of fire development.
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Chapter 5: Fire Detection Systems 29

uu Ventilation: If a large ventilation air rate is normally needed for the area, then the
combustion products may be drawn out of the area before they reach the detectors.
This might be the case if the detector is mounted on the ceiling. The type of detector
selected should be installed close to the area protected or close to the air exhaust from
the room. The area surrounding the air supply might actually be kept free of smoke.
uu Room congestion: Certain detectors have to see the fire. A maze of pipes, ducts, vessels,
etc., may obstruct the hazard area.
uu Room geometry: A very high room renders heat, photoelectric, and ionization detectors
ineffective. The best choices for such an application are infrared or ultraviolet detectors.
uu Operational activities: Check whether the operational activities in the area may produce
signals that would involuntarily trigger detector operation. For example, ionization
detectors do not distinguish between combustion products from a fire and those from
a diesel generator in operation. In a diesel generator room, heat detectors are recom-
mended.
uu Cost: If a large number of detectors will be installed, the equipment cost plus installation
costs could become significant.
Selecting the right detector is not an easy task. Experience gained with practice coupled
with help from detector manufacturers and consultation with the AHJ can assist in finding
the correct solution.
Table 5-1 provides a summary of the different detector applications and recommended
uses.
Table 5-1 Detector Applications Summary
Type Where to Use Application Recommended Use Cost
Heat Detectors
Use limited to indoor
Responds when
Fixed Large open areas, to protect applications, low false
a predetermined Low
temperature heat-generating equipment alarm rate, a reliable
temperature is reached
device
The rate-of-rise response
Should be used indoors,
Rate of rise Large open areas to a specific temperature Low
low false alarm rate
rise per minute
The detector and its
Rate Large open areas, to protect enclosure must reach a Should be used indoors,
Low
compensated heat-generating equipment critical temperature. It low false alarm rate
compensates to spikes.
Smoke Detectors
Projected beam type used in
open areas, high rack storage,
Photoelectric Smoldering fires Must be used indoors Moderate
computer rooms, and aircraft
hangars
Offices, computer rooms,
Ionization Fast-flaming fires Should be indoors Moderate
combustible materials
Flame Detectors
Hazardous work, explosive
Rapid response to
and rocket propellant Indoor use, may be
Infrared infrared radiation High
manufacturing, aircraft affected by heat
generated by fire
hangars
Hazardous work, explosive Rapid response in
May be used indoors or
and rocket propellant milliseconds to ultraviolet
Ultraviolet outdoors, lenses need High
manufacturing, aircraft radiation generated
cleaning
hangars by fire
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30 Fire Protection Systems

DETECTOR LOCATION AND SPACING


The location and spacing of detectors must be consistent with the environment in which
they operate and the qualifications for which they were tested. For example:
uu Keep heat detectors away from normal heat sources such as space heaters. For spot heat
detectors, it is best to install them on the ceiling or side wall (not closer than 4 inches
from either). When the ceiling either does not have a smooth surface or is higher
than 16 feet, the spacing is based on specific NFPA recommendations as well as the
requirements of the AHJ.
uu Install smoke detectors close to the return air register. They should not be installed close
to the air supply into the area.
uu Install flame detectors where they can see the fire.
EVACUATION SIGNALING (NOTIFICATION APPLIANCE CIRCUITS)
Like fire detectors, signals do not fight fires directly. However, by alerting building occupants
of a fire situation, signals can save lives and/or property.
A fire detection system is normally connected to an alarm system. NFPA 13 requires
the installation of local water-flow alarms in areas that have more than 20 sprinkler heads.
This type of signal provides a warning sound and, required in most jurisdictions, a visual
signal as well that alerts personnel that water is flowing from one or more sprinkler heads.
The alarm signal may be initiated by an alarm check valve installed in the systems riser.
This check valve may be connected to a water flow switch or a mechanical device, which
activates a gong or bell and has a second circuit connected to the fire alarm system.
Evacuation signaling systems are not detailed in this chapter because specialized tech-
nicians in the electric/electronic field are responsible for the design and installation of
such systems. However, alarm systems are always installed in cooperation with the fire
protection engineer who establishes the criteria.

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31

Fire Suppression
Overview 6
In spite of fire prevention methods, controls, and alarms, fires occur and endanger lives
and property. For this reason, fire suppression systems are necessary. These systems are
comprised of various agents and methods and are effective at controlling and potentially
extinguishing fires, but whenever a fire starts, firefighters still must be called.
The general strategy when fighting a fire is to locate it, surround it, confine it, and ex-
tinguish it. However, when firefighters arrive at the scene of a fire, their first concern is
the safety of any occupants who could be trapped. When firefighters attack a fire in a low-
height building, one of their first actions is to punch a hole in the buildings roof so heat
and gases may escape. If confined, heat and gases could hamper the firefighters capabilities
and escalate the fires development.
EXTINGUISHING AGENTS
Fire suppression involves an extinguishing agent and a means, system, or procedure to apply
the extinguishing agent at the fires location. The selection
of an appropriate extinguishing agent should be based on
several factors, including the following:
uu The buildings construction materials and contents
uu The type of combustible materials known or assumed to
be involved in a fire in the protected area Heat Oxygen
uu The configuration of the area
uu Extinguisher expectations and performance
uu How the extinguisher affects one of the three elements
Fuel
involved in the fire triangle (see Figure 6-1)
Figure 6-1 The Fire Triangle
uu Cost
uu The cleanup required after the fire is extinguished
Table 6-1 shows the classifications of combustible materials that may be involved in a
fire and the type of suppression agent recommended.
Table 6-1 Classifications of Combustible Materials
Class Combustible Materials Suppression Systems and Agents
Ordinary combustibles such as wood, Water works best. Carbon dioxide and foam designated as Type
A
paper, or anything that leaves ash A can also be used.
Flammable or combustible liquids, Smothering effects, which deplete the oxygen supply, work
B
including oil, gasoline, and similar best (foam, water spray, carbon dioxide, and dry chemicals).
Always de-energize the circuit and then use a nonconductive
C Electrical equipment
extinguishing agent such as carbon dioxide or a clean agent.
Combustible metals, such as Dry powder agents work best by smothering and heat
D
magnesium and titanium absorption.
K Cooking oils, grease, or animal fats Dry powder extinguishing agents work best.
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32 Fire Protection Systems

One of the goals of a fire suppression system is to affect one of the three elements in-
volved in a fire (oxygen, fuel, and heat). When fighting a fire that is either exposed to the
atmosphere or involves an oxidizing agent, the goal is to lower the oxygen concentration
below the minimum level (at or below 15 percent for general materials and 8 percent or
lower for a smoldering, deep-seated fire in a cable tray) so combustion is not supported.
One way to prevent contact between a fire and the oxygen contained in the atmosphere
is to apply a layer of inert gas over the fires surface in an enclosed space. If an area is un-
occupied and can be leak-proofed, inerting the respective rooms atmosphere is another
possibility.
The temperature element of a fire may be controlled by cooling the combustion zone.
The temperature should be lowered below the ignition temperature of the fuel vapors.
The most efficient cooling agent utilized in fire suppression is water, which is an extremely
efficient heat absorber. Water is also inexpensive when compared to other extinguishing
agents and available in most buildings through an existing network of pipes. Water is not
dangerous or noxious to humans, and it can be cleaned easily.
Fires involving flammable liquids or gases are typically extinguished by cutting off the
fuel supply at the source (such as closing a valve, which may be activated by a fusible link).
Water
Fixed water systems include hydrants on streets, hose stations or standpipe stations in
buildings, and sprinklers in buildings. All of these systems require a reliable source of water
and a connecting network of distribution pipes. The supply of water may come from the
city water line or a natural body of water such as a river, lake, or well (freshwater only).
Note: In areas with freezing temperatures, man-made reservoirs must be protected and
checked daily.
A water source must be reliable. It must be available during droughts or freezing tem-
peratures and be able to supply the anticipated amount required as determined by engi-
neering calculations or available standards such as those by the National Fire Protection
Association (NFPA).
When the water supply source cannot provide enough water flow, storage tanks may be
installed to furnish the balance required during firefighting operations. NFPA 22: Standard
for Water Tanks for Private Fire Protection provides the standard installation and mainte-
nance details for water tanks in private fire protection systems.
The amount of water stored for fire protection purposes varies with the type of hazard.
Calculations take into consideration the standard amount of water stored as well as the
flow required and the expected duration of the suppression operation. These calculations
determine a base storage requirement.
From the reservoir, water may be supplied to the extinguishing system by gravity (if
the required head or pressure available is adequate) or with the assistance of pumps. The
gravity system may be employed when the water source is located at an elevation high
enough to provide the required working pressure at the sprinkler or hose station in the
most remote location. When this pressure is not available, pumps are installed to deliver
the flow capacity and pressure required for system operation.
If the supply system delivers a pressure that is lower than that required, booster pumps
are installed. This type of pump boosts the pressure for proper system operation.

10/03/17
Chapter 6: Fire Suppression Overview 33

Where dual water sources, chemicals, and/or pumps are needed, check with the water
authority for the proper backflow prevention required.
Alternative Suppression Systems
Other fire suppression agents are available in addition to water. These include the following:
uu Carbon dioxide (CO2)
uu Clean agents: HFC-227ea (FM-200), HFC-125 (ECARO-25, FE-25), and FK-5-1-12
(3M Novec 1230)
uu Inert gases: IG-55 (ProInert, Argonite) and IG-100, IG-541 (Inergen)
uu Dry and wet chemicals
uu Foam
These systems are detailed in later chapters in this manual and the appropriate NFPA
standards.

10/03/17
34 Fire Protection Systems

10/03/17
35

Fire Pumps 7
In a pressurized water-distribution system for fire protection, the first piece of equipment
is the pump, which supplies and distributes water (through a network of pipes in the case
of fire protection) from the source (reservoir
or city water pipe) to the point of application
(see Figure 7-1). For the purposes of this
book, a pump is defined as a mechanism that
is used to push a liquid with a specific force
to overcome friction losses and any existing
differences in elevation (static or head losses).
The pump produces this force with the help
of a motor or a driver and consumes energy
in the process.
Fire pumps are part of National Fire Pro-
tection Association (NFPA) history. They
were mentioned in the first standard issued
in 1896, and in 1899 an NFPA committee was
organized to study fire pumps.
All fire pumps must be listed with UL. The
various types of centrifugal pumps used for
fire protection include Figure 7-1 Fire Pump System
horizontal split case, in-
line, end suction, and vertical turbine (see Figure 7-2). Pump capacities
range from 25 to 5,000 gallons per minute (gpm), and pressures range
from 40 to more than 500 pounds per square inch (psi). Electric motors
and diesel drivers (both of which must be UL Listed) may occasionally
exceed 500 horsepower (hp). A special feature of a fire pump is the fact
that it must deliver 150 percent of the rated capacity at no less than
65 percent of the rated head (pressure). In other words, a 1,000-gpm
pump rated at 100 psi must be capable of delivering 1,500 gpm at a
minimum of 65 psi.
Another special feature is that the shutoff pressure of a fire pump
(i.e., at zero capacity) must not exceed 140 percent of the pressure at the
rated capacity. Many pumps on the market have a much lower shutoff
head than 140 percent. All fire pumps must be used with positive suc-
Figure 7-2 Vertical tion pressure, and they cannot be used for suction lift applications. If
Turbine Fire Pump suction lift is required, a vertical turbine pump must be used.
Source: Patterson Pump Co.
10/03/17
36 Fire Protection Systems

The capacity of a pump is the rate of fluid flow delivered, which is generally expressed in
gallons per minute. The head (pressure) furnished is the energy per unit weight of the liquid.
The total head developed by a pump is the discharge head minus the suction (inlet) head:
Equation 7-1
H = hd hs
where
H = Total head, ft
hd = Discharge head, ft
hs = Suction inlet head, ft
PUMP COMPONENTS
The pump housing is referred to as the casing, which en-
closes the impeller and collects the liquid being pumped. Figure 7-3 Impeller Rotation
The liquid enters at the center, or eye, of the impeller (or eyes of the impeller in the case of
a horizontal split-case pump). The impeller rotates, causing centrifugal force to push the
liquid out (see Figure 7-3). The velocity is the greatest at the impellers periphery, where
the liquid is discharged through a spiral-shaped passage called the volute. The shape is
designed to provide an equal liquid velocity at all circumference points.
The fire pump assembly consists of a pump and a driver. Common drivers for fire pumps
are electric motors and diesel engines. Steam turbines, while still in the code, are no longer
available on the market. The maximum speed of listed fire pumps is 3,600 revolutions per
minute (rpm).
Pumps with double drivers are no longer allowed per NFPA 20: Standard for the Installa-
tion of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection. The most common driver is the electric-motor
squirrel cage, induction type, three phase, in various voltages. Controllers are available for
combined manual and automatic operation.
Diesel drivers do not depend on outside sources of power (electricity). A diesel driver
is similar to a car engine, except that it is stationary and runs on diesel fuel oil (no. 2). A
storage tank for no. 2 fuel oil should contain enough fuel for eight hours of continuous
pump operation and have a capacity of at least 1 gallon per horsepower plus a 5 percent
volume for expansion and a 5 percent volume for sump. (Note: 1 hp equals 0.746 kW, or
3 kW equals approximately 4 hp.)
Diesel engine controllers must have an alarm system to indicate:
uu Low lubricating oil pressure
uu High coolant temperature in the engine jacket
uu Failure to start automatically
uu Shutdown on over-speed
uu Battery failure
uu Battery charger failure
uu Engine running
uu Controller main switch turned from automatic to manual or off
To ensure that the pump will start when required, it should have an optional timer that
will start the pump once a week and run it for a predetermined time (usually 30 minutes).
A few things to consider with a motor-driven fire pump follow:
uu The diesel fuel tank shall be mounted high enough to keep the engine primed.
10/03/17
Chapter 7: Fire Pumps 37

uu The main control switch shall be automatic.


uu The pump shall start automatically in case of a drop in system pressure.
uu The pump may be started manually or automatically (for test purposes).
Per NFPA 20, the component of the fire pump shall be sized as shown in Table 7-1.

Table 7-1 Centrifugal Fire Pump Component Sizing Data


Pump Relief Relief Valve Meter Number Size of Hose
Suction, Discharge,
Rating, Valve, Discharge, Device, of Hose Hose Header
in. in.
gpm in. in. in. Valves Valve, in. Supply, in.
250 3 3 2 2 3 1 2 3
300 4 4 2 3 3 1 2 3
400 4 4 3 5 4 2 2 4
450 5 5 3 5 4 2 2 4
500 5 5 3 5 5 2 2 4
750 6 6 4 6 5 3 2 6
1,000 8 6 4 8 6 4 2 6
1,250 8 8 6 8 6 6 2 8
1,500 8 8 6 8 8 6 2 8
2,000 10 10 6 10 8 6 2 8
Source: NFPA 20

BOOSTER PUMPS
When a fire protection installation is supplied from a low-pressure water source, the system
will require a booster pump. This type of pump raises the pressure in the water supply line.
For a relatively small installation, the pressure from the city water source is usually adequate.
The booster pump is selected based on the flow requirements and the pressure difference
required. If, for example, the required operating pressure for a fire protection system is 125
psi and the pressure available from the source at rated flow (such as city water) is 50 psi, a
booster pump is necessary. To calculate the booster pump size required, find the difference
between the required and available pressures, which in this case is 75 psi (125 psi 50 psi).
A safety factor of 10 percent should be added to the required pressure, so 125 psi + 12.5
psi (safety factor) 50 psi = 87.5, or a 90-psi pump head selection.
SPARE PUMPS
In a large installation, spare pumps may be installed for emergency situations. The number
of pumps to be installed depends on the situation. For example, if the total capacity required
is 1,500 gpm, two pumps could be installed, each with 1,500 gpm at 100 percent capacity,
with one pump being the spare. Alternatively, it would be possible to install three pumps,
each at 50 percent of capacity, or 750 gpm each. All pumps have the same design pressure.
The spare capacity is an added safety, which might be desired or requested by the author-
ity having jurisdiction (AHJ) or the insurance underwriter. Because there is no clear-cut
solution to the question of spare pumps, every system must be analyzed independently.
The final decision is usually made among the designer, owner, and AHJ. The designer
should present the owner with the available pump options, including the proposed pump
type, number of pumps, initial cost, maintenance requirements, and the installation space
required for each alternative. An educated decision can be made only after a detailed and
specific analysis has been performed.
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38 Fire Protection Systems

MAINTAINING PRESSURE
In addition to a fire pump, a fire protection installation includes a jockey pump or a hydro-
pneumatic tank to maintain a constant, predetermined pressure in the sprinkler system and/
or at the hose stations. A jockey pump may also compensate for minor leaks or a limited
test of water discharge from the system.
Jockey Pumps
The jockey pump is not a fire pump. It is a small pump with only 10 to 50 gpm capacity,
but it has a discharge pressure (head) that is 10 psi higher than the fire pump. It does not
have the same special requirements as a fire pump.
Each fire pump motor, jockey pump, or engine controller is equipped with a pressure
switch or pressure transducer. If the pressure in the system drops to a predetermined level,
the jockey pump starts first. If the pressure in the system continues to drop because the
flow cannot be satisfied, the fire pump starts.
The fire pump system, when started by a pressure drop, should be arranged as follows:
uu The jockey pumps stop point should be 5 psi lower than the maximum churn pressure of
the fire pump. Churn pressure is defined as the pressure produced by a pump at zero flow.
uu The jockey pumps start point should be at least 10 psi less than its stop point.
uu The fire pumps start point should be 10 psi less than the jockey pumps start point. Use
10-psi increments and time delays for each additional pump.
Where minimum run times are provided, the pump will continue to operate after attaining
these pressures. The final pressures should not exceed the pressure rating of the system.
(Note: Some authorities having jurisdiction and insurance underwriters have these times
disabled in the field.)
For example, a 1,000-gpm, 100-psi pump with a churn pressure of 115 psi is selected.
The suction supply is 50 psi from the city minimum residual and 60 psi from the city
maximum static. Thus,
uu Jockey pump stop = 115 + 60 5 = 170 psi
uu Jockey pump start = 170 10 = 160 psi
uu Fire pump stop = 5 psi higher than the start point
uu Fire pump start = 160 10 = 150 psi
uu Fire pump maximum pressure = 115 + 60 = 175 psi
Hydropneumatic Tanks
Another way to maintain the water pressure in a sprinkler system is to install a hydropneu-
matic tank, but this method is not used very often due to cost. A hydropneumatic tank is
pressurized and consists of a small water storage tank (100 to 200 gallons) with a cushion of
compressed air in its upper portion
(see Figure 7-4).
The volume of air and the tanks
pressure depend on whether the hy-
dropneumatic tank is located above
or below the sprinkler heads. If the
tank is located above the sprinkler
heads, the minimum pressure can
be calculated as follows: Figure 7-4 Hydropneumatic Tank

10/03/17
Chapter 7: Fire Pumps 39

Equation 7-2
30
P= 15
A
where
P = Air pressure, psi
A = Volume of air in the tank (usually 33, 50, or 60 percent)
For example, if A = 0.33 (33 percent), the result is as follows:
P = (30/0.33) 15 = 76 psi
If the tank is located below the sprinkler heads, the minimum pressure can be calculated
as follows:
Equation 7-3
30 0.434 + H
P= 15 +
A A
where
H = Height of the highest sprinkler head above the tank bottom, ft
The actual tank operating pressure is a function of the system pressure required. To
determine the pressure in the tank when the system pressure is known, use the following
calculation:
Equation 7-4
Pf + 15
Pi = 15
A
where
Pi = Tank pressure, psi
Pf = System pressure obtained from hydraulic calculations, psi
For example, if Pf = 75 psi and A = 0.5 (50 percent), the result is as follows:
75 + 15
Pi = 15 = 165 psi
0.5
A hydraulic calculation for a sprinkler system determines the amount of water and the
head or pressure the pump must deliver and maintain for proper sprinkler system operation.
The pump selection is made
based on flow and pressure.
PUMP CURVES
Figure 7-5 illustrates a pump
curve for a 1,000-gpm rated
capacity pump.
As mentioned, a fire pump
must deliver 150 percent of the
rated capacity at no less than
65 percent of the rated head
(pressure). The pump curves
indicate these conditions. For
example, in Figure 7-5, when Figure 7-5 Example Pump Curve, 1,000-gpm Rated
Pump
delivering 1,500 gpm, following Courtesy of Patterson Pump

10/03/17
40 Fire Protection Systems

the 8-inch impeller (105-psi) curve will generate a pressure of 190 feet of water, which
represents 80 percent. This pump performs better than the code, which requires 65 percent.
Each pump curve diagram also includes the following information:
uu Pump flow delivery capacity in gpm (horizontal line)
uu Pump head or pressure capability measured in feet of water and/or the corresponding
pressure in head in feet (vertical line)
uu Brake horsepower for electric motor (straight lines slanted up to the right)
uu Impeller rpm (written on the top)
uu Range of pressure (written in the top right box)
Pump selection should be made for maximum efficiency, as this will save power when
the pumps are running. Before making a final decision, discuss potential pump selections
with a manufacturer representative. This can be very helpful in selecting the proper pump.
Most manufacturers have selection charts that show gpm and the corresponding psi for
each selection they have approved. It is good practice to use these charts to select a fire
pump. In general, rpm should not be a consideration when selecting a fire pump because
these pumps see very limited use, and rpm is not a factor in length of life like it is in other
pumping applications.
In an installation, the fire pump must be one-hour fire rated if sprinklered and two-hour
rated if unsprinklered. The fire pump room should be kept at an ambient temperature
(many installations have a low pump room temperature alarm), and it should be located
on the ground floor. The fire department must be able to reach it quickly in case of a fire.
The room must also have a floor drain.
For more information on fire pumps, see NFPA 20.

10/03/17
41

Private Mains, Standpipes,


and Hose Systems 8
Private fire service mains are the pipe and its appurtenances on private property that are
between a source of water and the base of the system riser, between a source of water and
the inlets to foam-making systems, between a source of water and the base elbow of private
hydrants or monitor nozzles, used as fire pump suction and discharge piping, or beginning
at the inlet side of the check valve on a gravity or pressure tank. Private fire service mains
are used to supply fire sprinkler systems, water spray systems, foam systems, private fire
hydrants, standpipe systems, monitor nozzles, hose houses, and water for other uses.
Private fire service mains can be supplied by a reliable city water system or by fire pumps
that take suction from a tank, pond, public system, or other reservoirs. Where connections
are made to a public system, the requirements of the public health authority should be
followed to prevent possible contamination of the public system.
Mains that supply hydrants must be at least 6 inches in diameter. For mains that supply
hydraulically calculated systems but not hydrants, the pipe size can be smaller than 6 inches
if the calculations demonstrate that the main can meet the total demand at the required
pressure.
A fire department connection (FDC) should be provided. The FDC is used by the fire
department to provide supplemental water under pressure to the systems being served. The
authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) should be consulted to confirm the type and location
of the FDC. Signage may be required indicating what the FDC serves (e.g., type of system,
system demand, or which buildings or portions thereof).
Valves are required at each
source of water supply. The
valves are usually post in-
dicator valves (PIVs) (see
Figure 8-1), but underground
gate valves can be used where
acceptable to the AHJ. In ad-
dition, every connection from
a private fire service main to a
building should have a listed
PIV located not less than 40
feet from the building.
Sectional control valves
should be used to isolate sec-
tions of private fire service Figure 8-1 Post Indicator Valve

10/03/17
42 Fire Protection Systems

mains. For example, sectional valves can be used to isolate a limited number of risers so a
break in the underground loop would not impair an entire building.
Where hydrants are provided, a valve shall be installed in the hydrant connection. The
type of hydrant (number and size of outlets, type of hose thread) and the spacing of hy-
drants should be approved by the AHJ. Hydrants must be operable all the time; therefore,
they must be inspected regularly for vandalism and other damage. They must also be
lubricated on a yearly basis.
Hose houses are used by trained firefighters. The AHJ should be consulted regarding
the quantity and type of hoses and other equipment that should be furnished in each hose
house, as well as the number and location of hose houses.
Master streams are monitor nozzles or hydrant-mounted monitor nozzles that are used
to protect hazards such as combustible materials stored in yards.
Any underground pipe used for a private fire service main must be listed for that pur-
pose, and the pipe material can be ductile iron, steel, concrete, plastic, or copper. When
choosing the type of material, consideration should be given to the fire resistance of the
pipe, system working pressure, soil conditions, corrosion issues, and the susceptibility of
the pipe to physical damage (e.g., traffic loads).
During the commissioning of a private fire service main, the system should be tested
and flushed. The minimum test pressure is 200 pounds per square inch (psi), or 50 psi
in excess of the maximum working pressure, for a duration of two hours. Leakage from
the system is permitted (see National Fire Protection Association [NFPA] 24: Standard
for the Installation of Private Fire Service Mains and Their
Table 8-1 Flow Rate
Appurtenances for the quantity allowed). The amount of Required to Produce a
actual leakage is calculated by pumping from a calibrated Velocity of 10 fps in a Main
container at the specified test pressure. Pipe Size, in. Flow Rate, gpm
The mains should be flushed at not less than the hydrau- 4 390
lically calculated flow rate (including hose allowances), at 6 880
a rate that provides a velocity of 10 feet per second (fps) 8 1,560
(see Table 8-1) or at the maximum flow rate available to the 10 2,440
system under fire conditions. 12 3,520

STANDPIPE AND HOSE SYSTEMS


NFPA 14: Standard for the Installation of Standpipe and Hose Systems covers the minimum
requirements for the installation of these systems. The applicable edition of the installation
standard, the building code, and local amendments should be consulted for complete design
and installation requirements.
Standpipes provide a means of manual water application to a fire within a building.
They are connected to water supply mains or to fire pumps, tanks, and other equipment
necessary to provide an adequate supply of water.
According to NFPA, a standpipe system is an arrangement of piping, valves, hose con-
nections, and allied equipment installed in a building or structure with the hose connections
located in such a manner that water can be discharged in streams or spray patterns through
attached hoses and nozzles, for the purpose of extinguishing a fire and so protecting a
building or structure and its contents in addition to protecting the occupants.
When designing a standpipe system, the following questions should be considered:
uu Where is a standpipe required?
10/03/17
Chapter 8: Private Service Mains, Standpipes, and Hose Systems 43

uu Which class of standpipe is required?


uu What type of standpipe system is appropriate?
uu What are the flow and pressure requirements of the system?
uu Where should hose connections be located?
uu What materials should be specified?
uu What tests are required before the system is approved?
Standpipe Requirements
Standpipe requirements for buildings are based on the building code and local amend-
ments. For example, a common requirement based on the International Fire Code is for
standpipes to be installed in buildings where the floor level of the highest story is located
more than 30 feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access or where the
floor level of the lowest story is located more than 30 feet below the highest level of fire
department vehicle access.
In addition to the applicable building code, the requirements of the AHJ should be fol-
lowed regarding local amendments and firefighting methods that could affect the design
of the system.
Standpipe Classes
Standpipe systems are grouped into three classifications. The class of system required is
usually determined by the building code.
uu Class I: Intended for fire department use only, this type of system is equipped with a
2-inch valve for hose attachment.
uu Class II: This type of system is typically equipped with a 1-inch hose for use only by
trained industrial fire brigades. (Previous editions of NFPA 14 allowed Class II systems
to be used by building occupants.)
uu Class III: A combination of Class I and Class II, this type of system includes a 2-inch
hose connection for fire department use and a 1-inch hose rack assembly for indus-
trial fire brigade use.
Standpipe System Types
A standpipe system can be wet or dry and automatic, semiautomatic, or manual.
An automatic wet standpipe is full of water and under pressure at all times. When the
hose valve is opened in a wet system, water comes out through the hose and its nozzle.
An automatic dry standpipe contains air or nitrogen under pressure that, when released,
allows a dry pipe valve to open and water to flow into the piping system.
A manual dry system does not have water in the pipes or a permanent water supply and
relies on the fire department to supply the system demand through the fire department
connection.
A manual wet system contains water at all times but relies on the fire department to
supply the system demand through the fire department connection.
A semiautomatic dry system has a deluge valve that, when released, allows an automatic
water supply to provide water at hose connections.
A combined system supplies water to both hose connections and automatic sprinkler
systems.
Class I standpipes should be wet systems except where the piping is subject to freezing.
In high-rise buildings, Class I standpipes shall be automatic or semiautomatic. Class II
and III systems should10/03/17
be automatic wet systems unless they serve a facility with areas
44 Fire Protection Systems

subject to freezing and where the fire brigade is trained to operate the system without fire
department intervention.
Flow and Pressure Requirements
Pipe schedule systems are no longer allowed by NFPA 14. All systems must be hydraulically
calculated.
Flow Rates
For Class I and III standpipes, the minimum flow rate for the most hydraulically remote
standpipe is 500 gallons per minute (gpm) (250 gpm through each of two 2-inch hose
connections). Each additional standpipe requires an additional 250 gpm, up to a maximum
flow rate of 1,250 gpm for buildings that are not sprinklered throughout or 1,000 gpm for
buildings that are sprinklered throughout.
For Class II systems, the minimum flow rate is 100 gpm.
Pressure Requirements
For Class I and III systems, the minimum residual pressure required at the hydraulically
most remote hose connection is 100 psi. Where the static pressure exceeds 175 psi, a pres-
sure-regulating device must be installed to limit the static and residual pressures to 175 psi.
For Class II systems, the minimum residual pressure required at the hydraulically most
remote hose connection is 65 psi. Where the residual pressure exceeds 100 psi, a device
must be installed to limit the residual pressure at the flow required to 100 psi. Where the
static pressure exceeds 175 psi, a device must be installed to limit the static and residual
pressures to 100 psi.
For any system, the maximum pressure allowed anywhere in the system is 350 psi, ex-
cept that express mains supplying higher zones may exceed 350 psi where their material
listings and the AHJ allow.
Hose Connections
Hose connections should be unobstructed and located not less than 3 feet or more than
5 feet above the floor.
Class I hose connections should be located:
uu At the main floor landing in exit stairways
uu On each side of the wall adjacent to the exit openings of horizontal exits (as defined by
NFPA 101: Life Safety Code)
uu In covered mall buildings, at the entrance to each exit passageway and at the interior
side of the public entrance from the exterior to the mall
uu At the highest landing in stairways with access to a roof where the slope is less than
four in 12
Additional hose connections for Class I systems should be provided where the most
remote portion of a non-sprinklered floor is more than 150 feet of travel distance from a
hose connection (200 feet for a sprinklered building).
In Class II systems, a hose station should be located so all portions of each floor are
within 130 feet of a hose connection provided with a 1-inch hose or within 120 feet of a
hose connection provided with a hose smaller than 1 inches.
Class III systems should be provided with hose connections as required for both Class
I and Class II systems. The 130-foot travel distance does not apply to Class III systems. In
a fully sprinklered building, the AHJ may allow the omission of the Class II hose stations
10/03/17
Chapter 8: Private Service Mains, Standpipes, and Hose Systems 45

provided that each Class I connection is equipped with a 2- by 1-inch reducer with a
cap and chain.
Material Selection
All devices and materials that affect the performance of the standpipe system should be
listed.
Pipe should meet or exceed the standards listed in NFPA 14, which allows the use of the
following types of pipe:
uu Steel
uu Ferrous (ductile iron)
uu Copper tube
uu Other pipe and tube types listed for this service
Fittings can include:
uu Cast iron, malleable iron, or ductile iron (threaded, grooved, or flanged)
uu Steel fittings (welded, flanged, or threaded)
uu Other fittings listed for this service
System Acceptance Tests
The following tests are required for acceptance of a standpipe system:
uu Flushing of pipe: Underground pipe should be flushed in accordance with NFPA 24:
Standard for the Installation of Private Fire Service Mains and Their Appurtenances.
Piping between the fire department connection and the check valve in the inlet pipe
shall be flushed with a sufficient volume of water to remove any construction debris.
uu Hose threads: All hose connections and fire department connections should be tested
to verify their compatibility with the threads used by the local fire department.
uu Hydrostatic tests: All systems should be tested at a minimum of 200 psi (or 50 psi in
excess of the maximum pressure where the maximum pressure exceeds 150 psi) for two
hours. This includes the pipe between the fire department connection and the check
valve. An air pressure leakage test at 40 psi shall be conducted for 24 hours.
uu Flow tests: To verify system demand, water should be flowed simultaneously from the
outlets indicated in the approved hydraulic calculations of each standpipe.
uu Pressure-regulating devices: Each pressure-regulating device should be tested under
flow and no-flow conditions to verify that the pressure setting is correct and that each
device is installed in the correct location.
uu Main drain: The main drain valve should be opened and remain open until the system
pressure stabilizes, at which time the static and residual pressures should be recorded.
uu Automatic dry and semiautomatic systems: These systems should be tested by initiating
flow from the most remote hose connection.

10/03/17
46 Fire Protection Systems

10/03/17
47

Automatic
Sprinkler Systems 9
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 13: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler
Systems provides the minimum requirements for the design and installation of automatic fire
sprinkler systems, but it also allows for alternate design approaches and system components.
When designing such systems, it is important to follow all of the requirements in NFPA 13,
so verify with the local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) which edition should be used.
HISTORY OF FIRE SPRINKLERS
The first sprinkler system in the United States was installed in 1852 and consisted of per-
forated pipe. The first automatic sprinkler was invented 12 years later to control, confine,
and extinguish fires to prevent the loss of life and minimize the loss of property. By 1895,
sprinkler system development was increasing significantly, and the Boston area alone had
nine different systems. Boston experienced the most growth in this discipline because of
the number of hazardous textile mills in the area.
Before 1950, sprinkler heads simultaneously discharged water upward and downward.
The downward discharge quenched the fire, while the upward discharge kept the structure
cool. These inefficient heads were subsequently replaced by upright and pendent heads.
NFPA 13
NFPA 13 was first written in 1896. It was prepared in conjunction with fire service personnel,
fire insurance representatives, laboratories that tested fire protection items, representatives
from fire protection equipment manufacturers, contractors who installed such systems, and
consulting engineers who specified and designed these systems. Since then, the standard
has evolved significantly, especially in 1997 when it was expanded to include design and
installation information from more than 40 other NFPA standards. The current edition of
NFPA 13 includes design criteria for underground pipe, rack storage, high-piled storage,
and other unique hazards.
With the unprecedented development of sprinkler system devices, installation practices,
and design techniques for automatic sprinkler systems, increased diligence is required
when designing and installing these systems, as the requirements have become both more
complex and less uniform. As with any other code or standard, NFPA 13 gives only the
minimum requirements to provide a reasonable degree of protection. Based on the owners
preference, additional protection may be installed for a higher degree of safety.
FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEM DESIGN
When designing a fire sprinkler system, the following items should be considered:
uu Basis of the design
uu Type of system to be selected
uu Occupancy classification
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48 Fire Protection Systems

uu Materials to be specified
uu Basic installation requirements
uu Hanging and restraint requirements
uu Design approaches
uu System acceptance
It is essential to design a sprinkler system to fit the particular hazard of a building or
structure. NFPA 13 includes requirements for general storage, high-piled and rack storage,
plastic and rubber commodities storage, and other special occupancies. (Note: Require-
ments for storage occupancies and certain special sprinklers are not included in the scope
of this chapter.)
Basis of Design
The first step in designing a fire sprinkler system is to ask the owner to complete an own-
ers information certificate, which can be found in NFPA 13. This certificate informs the
designer and installer of the owners intended occupancy of the building, including what
materials will be used and how they will be stored, preliminary construction plans of the
building, and any environmental concerns, such as the possibility of microbiologically
influenced corrosion (MIC).
Once the designer understands the construction and intended use of the building, de-
sign documents consisting of drawings, calculations, and specifications can be prepared.
These documents must be approved and kept readily available for further inspection and
modifications if necessary.
Sprinkler System Types
The factors to consider in selecting the type of sprinkler system or the type of suppression
system are:
uu Types of building construction and contents needing protection
uu The potential of a fast-growing fire developing
uu Valuable items in the area being protected that would be damaged by water
uu The freezing potential of the area being protected
Knowing this information will help determine the type of suppression system to be
designed and installed. The various types of fixed sprinkler systems are clearly defined in
NFPA 13 and summarized below.
Wet Pipe Systems
A wet pipe system (see Figure 9-1) employs automatic sprinklers attached to a piping net-
work containing water under pressure at all times. The system is connected to a water supply
so water discharges immediately from the sprinklers when they open. Approximately 75
percent of the sprinkler systems in use are wet pipe systems. This type of sprinkler system
is easy to maintain and is considered the most reliable. It is installed where freezing or
other special requirements are not a concern.
Dry Pipe Systems
The dry pipe system employs automatic sprinklers attached to a piping system containing
air or nitrogen under pressure, the release of which (as from a sprinkler opening) allows
the water pressure to open a valve known as a dry pipe valve (see Figure 9-2). The water
then flows into the piping system and out the opened sprinklers. A dry pipe system re-
quires more time to get water to a fire than a wet pipe system; however, the time between
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Chapter 9: Automatic Sprinkler Systems 49

Figure 9-1 Wet Pipe Sprinkler System

the sprinkler opening and the water


flowing can be shortened by using
quick-opening devices.
This system is used where sprin-
klers are subject to freezing. The
dry pipe system uses compressed
air from a plant supply or a local
air compressor. The air supply will
typically have a restrictive orifice to
limit the rate at which compressed Figure 9-2 Dry Pipe Valve
(Left) Air pressure maintains clapper closed.
air is introduced into the system. (Right) Venting of air allows clapper to open and water to flow.
The sprinkler head orifice is much
larger than the air supply pipe
opening, so the opening of a sprin-
kler head will allow the system air
pressure to drop and the dry valve
to open.
Preaction Systems
A preaction system employs auto-
matic sprinklers that are attached to
a piping system containing air that
may or may not be under pressure,
with a supplemental detection
system installed in the same areas
Figure 9-3 Preaction Valve Riser
as the sprinklers (see Figure 9-3).
Actuation of the detection system and sprinklers in the case of a double-interlocked sys-
tem opens a valve, which allows water to flow into the sprinkler piping system and to be
discharged from any sprinklers that may be open. This system is often used where valuables
10/03/17
50 Fire Protection Systems

are stored and accidental water discharge may


cause damage.
Deluge Systems
A deluge system employs open heads attached
to a piping system and is connected to a water
supply through a deluge valve, which is opened
by the operation of a detection system installed
in the same area as the sprinklers (see Figure
9-4). When this valve opens, water flows into
the piping system and discharges from all
attached heads. This system is used in very
high-hazard areas where rapid application of
large volumes of water is required to quickly
gain control of a fire. Figure 9-4 Deluge Valve Riser
Combined Dry Pipe and Preaction Sprinkler Systems
Combined systems employ automatic sprinklers attached to a piping system containing
air under pressure, with a supplemental detection system installed in the same area as the
sprinklers. Operation of the detection system actuates tripping devices, which open dry
pipe valves simultaneously and without the loss of air pressure in the system. Operation
of the detection system also opens approved air exhaust valves at the end of the feed main,
which usually precedes the sprinklers opening. The detection system also serves as an
automatic fire alarm system.
Antifreeze Systems Filing cup
An antifreeze system (see Figure Water supply
9-5) is a wet pipe system employing Water
automatic sprinklers attached to a
12 inches
piping system that contains an an-
Wall

tifreeze solution and is connected Drop, Approved A


Nonfreezing

to a water supply. The antifreeze 5 feet indicating


solution

solution fills the pipes first, fol- minimum valve Unheated area
lowed by water, which discharges Heated area
immediately from sprinklers that
B
are opened by the heat from a fire.
Check valve
The antifreeze system is no differ- (1/32-inch hole Pitch to drain
ent than a wet system except that in clapper) Drain valve
the initial charge of water is mixed 1. Check valve shall be permitted to be omitted where sprinklers are below
the level of valve A.
with antifreeze, so the system may 2. The 1/32-inch hole in the check valve clapper is needed to allow for
be installed in unheated areas. Ad- expansion of the solution during a temperature rise, thus preventing
ditional devices may be required to damage to sprinklers.
Figure 9-5 Antifreeze System
prevent air pocket formation.
Due to the possible combustibility of some antifreeze solutions, NFPA has been research-
ing the use of antifreeze in wet pipe systems and updating standards as needed. Thus, it
is critical to consult the latest version of the applicable standard regarding the maximum
concentration of antifreeze solution allowed.
10/03/17
Chapter 9: Automatic Sprinkler Systems 51

OCCUPANCY CLASSIFICATIONS
Light Hazard
Light hazard occupancies are those where the quantity and/or combustibility of contents
is low and fires with relatively low rates of heat release are expected. Examples include:
uu Churches
uu Clubs
uu Eaves and overhangs of combustible construction with no combustibles beneath
uu Educational facilities
uu Libraries, except for large stack rooms
uu Museums
uu Nursing or convalescent homes
uu Offices, including data processing areas
uu Restaurant seating areas
uu Theaters and auditoriums, excluding stages and prosceniums
uu Unused attics
Ordinary Hazard Group 1
Ordinary Hazard Group 1 occupancies are those where combustibility is low, the quantity
of combustibles is moderate, stockpiles of combustibles do not exceed 8 feet, and fires with
moderate rates of heat release are expected. Examples include:
uu Automobile parking lots and showrooms
uu Bakeries
uu Beverage manufacturing
uu Canneries
uu Dairy product manufacturing and processing
uu Electronic plants
uu Glass and glass product manufacturing
uu Laundries
uu Restaurant service areas
Ordinary Hazard Group 2
Ordinary Hazard Group 2 occupancies are defined as occupancies where the quantity and/
or combustibility of contents is moderate to high, stockpiles of contents with moderate
rates of heat release do not exceed 12 feet, and stockpiles of contents with high rates of heat
release do not exceed 8 feet. Examples include:
uu Cereal mills
uu Chemical plants (ordinary)
uu Distilleries
uu Dry cleaners
uu Feed mills
uu Horse stables
uu Leather goods manufacturing
uu Libraries with large stack rooms
uu Machine shops
uu Metal working
uu Paper and pulp mills
uu Piers and wharves 10/03/17
52 Fire Protection Systems

uu Post offices
uu Repair garages
uu Stages
uu Tire manufacturing
Extra Hazard Group 1
Extra Hazard Group 1 occupancies are those where the quantity and combustibility of
contents are very high and dust or other materials are present, introducing the probability
of rapidly developing fires with high rates of heat release, but with little or no combustible
or flammable liquids. Examples include:
uu Aircraft hangars
uu Combustible hydraulic fluid use areas
uu Die casting
uu Metal extruding
uu Plywood and particle board manufacturing
uu Printing (using inks having flash points below 100F)
uu Rubber reclaiming, compounding, drying, milling, and vulcanizing
uu Saw mills
uu Textile picking, opening, blending, garnetting, carding, and the combining of cotton,
synthetics, wool shoddy, or burlap
uu Upholstering with plastic foams
Extra Hazard Group 2
Extra Hazard Group 2 occupancies have moderate to substantial amounts of flammable or
combustible liquids or extensive shielding of combustibles. Examples include:
uu Asphalt saturating
uu Flammable liquid spraying
uu Flow coating
uu Mobile home or modular building assemblies (where a finished enclosure is present
and has combustible interiors)
uu Open oil quenching
uu Plastic processing
uu Solvent cleaning
uu Varnish and paint dipping
COMPONENTS AND MATERIALS
In general, all components used in a sprinkler system should be listed (i.e., approved by a
third-party testing agency) and used in accordance with their listing. Certain components
that do not affect system performance are not required to be listed (e.g., drain valves and
signs).
Sprinklers
The automatic sprinkler head is a thermosensitive device that is automatically activated
when the area in which it is installed reaches a predetermined temperature. Once this
temperature is met, the sprinkler head releases a stream of water and distributes it in a
specific pattern and quantity over a designated area. Water reaches the sprinklers through
a network of overhead pipes, and the sprinklers are placed along the pipes at regular,
geometric intervals.
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Chapter 9: Automatic Sprinkler Systems 53

Sprinkler heads shall never be stored where temperatures may exceed 100F. Sprinkler
heads shall never be painted, coated, or modified in any way after leaving the manufacturing
premises. Care should be exercised to prevent damage to sprinkler heads during handling.
The sprinkler should be selected based on the following criteria:
uu Temperature rat-
Table 9-1 Sprinkler Temperature Ratings and Temperature
ings are based on Classification Color Codes
the expected am- Maximum Color Code
Temperature Temperature Glass Bulb
bient ceiling tem- Ceiling
Rating Classification
(with Fusible
Color
perature around the Temperature Link)
Uncolored or Orange (135F)
sprinkler (see Ta- 100F 135170F Ordinary
Black or Red (155F)
ble 9-1). Where the Yellow (175F)
maximum expected 150F 175225F Intermediate White or Green
temperature is less (200F)
than 100F, ordi- 225F 250300F High Blue Blue
300F 325375F Extra High Red Purple
nary temperature
375F 400475F Very Extra High Green Black
sprinklers should be
475F 500575F Ultra High Orange Black
selected. Sprinklers
625F 650F Ultra High Orange Black
located in areas ex- Source: NFPA 13
posed to heat-pro-
ducing devices (space heaters, steam mains, skylights, etc.) should have higher tem-
perature ratings to prevent accidental operation.
uu Orifice sizes are based on the available pressure and the required water flow rate. Larger
K factors mean that less pressure is required to reach a given flow rate.
uu Thermal sensitivity refers to how quickly a sprinkler will respond to a change in the
ambient temperature. Quick-response sprinklers increase the protection of life and
property and are generally required in all new light hazard occupancies. They also are
often used in ordinary hazard occupancies because their faster response to a fire allows
reductions in the design area, thereby resulting in smaller pipe sizes.
Sprinkler Types
Standard sprinkler heads are made for installation in an upright or pendent position and
must be installed in the position for which they were constructed. Architects sometimes
require special sprinkler types to be used for certain applications. The many types of com-
mercially available sprinklers include the following:
uu Upright: Normally installed above the supply pipe
uu Pendent: Installed below the pipe
uu Sidewall (horizontal and vertical): Similar to standard sprinkler heads except for a special
deflector, which allows the discharge of water toward one side only in a pattern resem-
bling one-quarter of a sphere. The forward horizontal range of about 15 feet is greater
than that of a standard sprinkler. For special applications, a sidewall vertical type is used.
uu Extended coverage: Covers more than 225 square feet per head or greater distances
than standard sprinklers
uu Open sprinklers
uu Corrosion resistant: Mostly regular pendent or upright type heads used in areas where
corrosive substances are present (e.g., chlorine storage rooms and salt-water reservoirs)
that are coated with wax or Teflon by the manufacturer to protect against corrosives
10/03/17
54 Fire Protection Systems

uu Nozzles
uu Dry pendent and dry upright: Used where a limited enclosure is subject to freezing; may
be connected to a wet pipe system through a special dry pipe connector
uu Quick response (QR)
uu Quick response, extended coverage (QREC)
uu Quick response, early suppression (QRES)
uu Early suppression, fast response (ESFR)
uu Ornamental
uu Recessed: Most of the body is mounted within a recessed housing and operation is
similar to a standard pendent sprinkler
uu Flush: The working parts of the sprinkler head extend below the ceiling into the area
in which it is installed without affecting the heat sensitivity or the pattern of water
distribution
uu Concealed: The entire body, including Table 9-2 Approved Materials for Sprinkler
the operating mechanism, is above a System Pipe
cover plate, which drops when a fire Material Standard
occurs, exposing the thermosensitive Ferrous piping (welded and ASTM A795
seamless)
assembly. The deflector may be fixed,
or it may drop below the ceiling level Welded and seamless steel pipe ASTM A53
Wrought steel pipe ASME B36.10M
when water flows.
Electric-resistance welded steel
uu Residential: Designed to respond to a ASTM A135
pipe
fire much faster than standard com- Copper tube (drawn, seamless) ASTM B42; ASTM B75
mercial and industrial sprinklers Seamless copper water tube ASTM B88
uu On/off sprinkler heads Wrought seamless copper and
ASTM B251
copper alloy tube
Piping Fluxes for soldering applications
ASTM B813
NFPA allows the use of steel pipe, copper of copper and copper alloy tube
tube, and other specially listed pipes (see Brazing filler metal
AWS A5.8
(classification BCuP-3 or BCuP-4)
Table 9-2). The pipe selected should be
Solder metal ASTM B32
based on the maximum system pressure,
Alloy materials ASTM B446
ambient conditions, aesthetics, and possi-
Plastic pipe (CPVC, PEX) ASTM F442; ASTM F876
ble exposure of the pipe to fire conditions. Source: NFPA 13
Note: Always verify approved materials with the AHJ.
Alarms
Three basic types of alarms can be part of a sprinkler system:
uu Vane-type water flow: This alarm comes equipped with a small paddle that is inserted
directly into the riser pipe (see Figure 9-6). The paddle responds
to water flow as low as 10 gallons per minute (gpm), which then
triggers an alarm. This type may be equipped with a delayed
system (adjustable from 0 to 120 seconds) to prevent false
alarms caused by normal water pressure fluctuations.
uu Mechanical water flow (water motor gong): This alarm involves
a check valve that lifts from its seat when water flows (see Figure
9-7). The check valve may vary as follows. The differential type
has a seat ring with a concentric groove connected by a pipe to
the alarm device. When the clapper of the alarm valve rises to Figure 9-6 Vane-Type
allow water to flow to the sprinklers, water enters the groove Water Flow Indicator
10/03/17
Chapter 9: Automatic Sprinkler Systems 55

and flows to the alarm-giving device. Anoth-


er type has an extension arm connected to a
small auxiliary pilot valve, which, in turn, is
connected to the alarm system.
uu Pressure-activated alarm switch: This is used
in conjunction with dry pipe valves, alarm
check valves, and other types of water con-
trol valves. It has contact elements arranged
to open or close an electric circuit when sub-
jected to increased or reduced pressure. In
most cases, the motion to activate a switch is
given from a diaphragm exposed to pressure
on one side and supported by an adjustable
spring on the other side. Figure 9-7 Alarm Check Valve Riser
The alarm for a dry pipe sprinkler system
is arranged with a connection from the intermediate chamber of the dry pipe valve to a
pressure-operated alarm device. When the dry pipe valve trips, the intermediate chamber,
typically containing air at atmospheric pressure, fills with water at the supply pressure,
which operates the alarm devices. Sometimes both an outdoor water motor gong and a
pressure-operated electric switch are provided. The alarm devices for deluge and preaction
systems are the same as those used for dry pipe systems.
Codes require water supply control valves to indicate conditions that could prevent the
unwanted or unnecessary operation of the sprinkler system. This can be achieved by using
electric switches, also called temper switches, which can be selected for open or closed
contact. The signal that indicates valve operation is given when the valve wheel is given
two turns from the wide-open position. The restoration signal sounds when the valve is
restored to its fully open position. This simply cancels the temper switch alarm.
Other Components
Sprinkler system components are typically designed for a minimum pressure of 175 pounds
per square inch (psi). If the pressure required in the system is higher than 175 psi, then all
system components must be rated for the higher pressure. It is not unusual for systems to
be designed with maximum pressures of 250 to 300 psi.
BASIC INSTALLATION REQUIREMENTS
Area Limitations
The maximum floor area that may be protected by sprinklers supplied on each system riser
on any one floor is as follows:
uu Light hazard: 52,000 square feet
uu Ordinary hazard: 52,000 square feet
uu High-piled storage: 40,000 square feet
uu Extra hazard, pipe schedule: 25,000 square feet
uu Extra hazard, hydraulically calculated: 40,000 square feet
Spacing per Sprinkler Head and Between Sprinkler Heads
The maximum spacing for standard pendent and upright sprinklers is shown in Table 9-3.
Other sprinklers, such as sidewalls, extended coverage, control mode specific application
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56 Fire Protection Systems

Table 9-3 Spacing for Standard Pendent and Upright Sprinklers


Protection Maximum
Construction Type System Type
Area, sf Spacing, ft
Light Hazard
Noncombustible Pipe schedule 200 15
Combustible unobstructed, exposed members 3
Pipe schedule 200 15
feet or more on center
Noncombustible Hydraulically calculated 225 15
Combustible unobstructed, exposed members 3
Hydraulically calculated 225 15
feet or more on center
Combustible obstructed, exposed members 3 feet
All 168 15
or more on center
Combustible obstructed or unobstructed,
All 130 15
exposed members less than 3 feet on center
Ordinary Hazard
All All 130 15
Extra Hazard
All Pipe schedule 90 12
Hydraulically calculated with
All density more than or equal 100 12
to 0.25
Hydraulically calculated with
All 130 15
density less than 0.25

(CMSA), ESFR, and residential sprinklers have different rules, and NFPA 13 and the specific
listings of each sprinkler should be consulted for proper design and installation methods.
Deflector Positions
Under unobstructed construction, the sprinkler deflector should be a minimum of 1 inch
and a maximum of 12 inches below the ceiling. Under obstructed construction, the sprin-
kler deflector should be located in a horizontal plane between 1 inch and 6 inches below
the structural members and a maximum distance of 22 inches below the ceiling/roof deck.
Obstructions to Sprinkler Discharge
NFPA 13 contains numerous figures and tables to clarify where obstructions are considered
too significant and could cause sprinklers to provide inadequate coverage. These rules
apply to obstructions such as beams, soffits, privacy partitions, joists, ducts, lights, etc. In
general, sprinklers should be located to minimize obstructions to discharge, or additional
sprinklers should be provided to ensure adequate coverage.
The rule commonly known as the three times rule states that a sprinkler located within
24 inches of an obstruction should be located a distance at least three times the maximum
dimension of the obstruction. For example, a sprinkler located near a 4-inch wide by 4-inch
deep obstruction should be located at least 12 inches from the obstruction.
In general, sprinkler deflectors should be located 18 inches above storage or other ob-
structions that could interrupt the discharge pattern of the sprinkler.
Additional sprinklers should be installed under fixed obstructions that are more than 4
feet in width (e.g., ducts, overhead doors).

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Chapter 9: Automatic Sprinkler Systems 57

System Drains
All sprinkler systems must be installed so the system may be drained if necessary. If repairs
or alterations are required, a main drain valve will allow the system to be emptied. Wet pipe
systems may be installed level, while dry pipe and preaction systems must be pitched for
drainage. The required pitch is inch per 10 feet Table 9-4 Drain Sizes for Sprinkler
for branch lines and inch per 10 feet for mains. Systems
Mains must be pitched at least inch per 10 feet Riser Pipe, in. Drain Pipe, in.
in refrigerated areas. 2 and smaller or larger
The required drain pipe size as a function of the 2 to 3 1 or larger
riser size is shown in Table 9-4. 4 and larger 2

Hanging and Restraint Requirements


In general, all components of hanger assemblies that directly attach to the pipe or the
building structure must be listed. NFPA 13 does allow a licensed Professional Engineer to
certify other hangers if they meet these requirements:
uu They can support five times the weight of the water-filled pipe plus 250 pounds at each
point of piping support.
uu These points of support shall be adequate to support the system.
uu The spacing between hangers does not exceed that allowed by NFPA 13.
uu All hanger components are ferrous.
uu Detailed calculations shall be submitted showing the stresses and safety factors allowed.
Sprinkler piping and hangers should not be used to support non-system components.
Hanger rods shall be sized as shown in Table 9-5, and the maximum distance between
hangers is shown in Table 9-6.
Table 9-5 Hanger Rod Table 9-6 Maximum Distance Between Hangers, ft
Sizing Pipe Size, in.
Type of Pipe
Rod Diameter, 1 1 1 2 2 3 4 6 8
Pipe Size, in.
in.
Steel (except
Up to and 12 12 15 15 15 15 15 15 15
3/8 threaded lightwall)
including 4 Threaded lightwall 12 12 12 12 NA NA NA NA NA
5 to 8 Copper tube 8 10 10 12 12 12 15 15 15
10 to 12 5/8 CPVC 6 6 7 8 9 10 NA NA NA

Except when sprinklers are less than 6 feet apart, a hanger is required on each section
of pipe. Sprigs 14 feet or longer need to be restrained against lateral movement. Where
sprinkler systems are subject to damage by earthquakes, bracing, restraint, and the use of
flexible joints or clearances must be provided.
DESIGN APPROACHES
Pipe Schedule Systems
Whereas all systems were once designed on a pipe schedule basis, NFPA 13 no longer allows
pipe schedules to be used except for modifications or extensions to existing systems or for
new systems less than 5,000 square feet. To determine the water supply requirements for
a pipe schedule, consult NFPA 13, which gives flow rates and operational durations for
light and ordinary hazards.

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58 Fire Protection Systems

Hydraulically Calculated Systems


Three methods to determine the required water supply u sing hydraulic calculations follow:
uu The design/area method uses design/area curves (see Figure 9-8). For example, a light
hazard system can be designed to provide a density of 0.1 gpm over a remote area of
1,500 square feet. Any point along the curve can be selected. Where quick-response
sprinklers are used, the area of sprinkler operation can be reduced by up to 40 percent,
depending on the elevation of the ceiling.

Figure 9-8 Design Area Curve Example

uu The room design method can be used when all rooms are enclosed with walls having
a fire-resistive rating equal to the required water supply duration. This method allows
the water supply requirement to be based on the sprinklers in the room that creates the
greatest demand. Where a room communicates through an unprotected opening with
other rooms, up to two additional sprinklers must be included for each additional room.
uu Special design areas: Where a building service chute (trash or linen) is protected with
sprinklers, the three most remote sprinklers shall be calculated with a minimum dis-
charge of 15 gpm each. In spaces where residential sprinklers can be used within the
scope of NFPA 13, the design area shall include the four adjacent sprinklers that produce
the greatest hydraulic demand.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS
When developing a sprinkler system design, code requires certain data to be included on
the working design drawings. NFPA 13 lists all of the information required, which includes
the following:
uu Name, location, and address of the property in which the system will be installed
uu Owner and occupant
uu Point of compass (north direction)
uu Type of construction
uu Distance from hydrant
uu Special hazard requirements, etc.

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Chapter 9: Automatic Sprinkler Systems 59

SYSTEM ACCEPTANCE
Hydrostatic Tests
When the sprinkler systems operating pressure is 150 psi or less, the test pressure must
be 200 psi, and the length of the test must be two hours. For any other operating pressure,
the test must be the maximum working pressure plus 50 psi. If the test takes place during
the winter, air may be temporarily substituted for water.
Pneumatic Tests
In addition to hydrostatic tests, dry pipe and double-interlocked preaction systems require
an air pressure leakage test. These systems must be tested at 40 psi for a 24-hour period
and must not lose more than 1.5 psi during this period.
Flushing
After installation, underground mains, lead-in connec- Table 9-7 Underground Main
tions, and risers must be flushed. This operation is very Flushing Flow Rates
important, because factory-supplied pipes may contain Pipe Size, in. Flow Rate, gpm
dust, rust, etc., in addition to impurities and debris col- 4 390
lected during installation. If not eliminated, these foreign 6 880
materials may block a sprinklers orifice and render it 8 1,560
inoperable. The flushing rates prescribed by NFPA 13 for 10 2,440

underground mains are shown in Table 9-7. 12 3,520

Operational Tests
All water flow devices should be tested. NFPA 13 allows up to five minutes after flow begins
before an audible alarm sounds on the premises.
Dry pipe systems must have a full-flow trip test. The test should be started by opening
the inspectors test connection and measuring the time required to trip the valve and the
time for water to discharge from the inspectors test connection.
Deluge and preaction systems should be trip-tested through both manual and automatic
means.
All control valves should be operated under system pressure to ensure proper operation.
A main drain test should be conducted and recorded for comparison during future tests.
Each pressure-reducing valve must be tested at both the maximum and normal inlet
pressures.

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60 Fire Protection Systems

10/03/17
61

Basic Hydraulics for


Sprinkler Systems 10
Hydraulics is a subdivision of fluid mechanics that specifically studies the behavior of
liquids. When predicting the motion of a liquid, specifically water in pipes, many of the
equations used can be simplified to reflect that some variables will remain constant. This
chapter describes the basic principles that govern the motion of water through pipes in fire
protection systems and the assumptions that can be made in this context.
ASSUMPTIONS AND SIMPLIFICATIONS
Compressibility
In nearly all applications, water can be considered to be incompressible. This means that
for any given volume of water, regardless of how much external force is applied, the vol-
ume will stay the same. No matter how much pressure is applied, a gallon of water will not
fit into a pint. This seems obvious, but it is a key assumption that simplifies many of the
equations that predict water flow.
Density and Temperature
The density of water in a fire protection system is relatively constant. This means that a
given volume of water will always have approximately the same weight, and since the water
cannot be compressed, the same amount of water by weight will always fill the same volume.
The density of many materials and fluids varies with temperature, and water is no different.
The variation, however, is small. A fire protection system installed in any space that can
be occupied will be within a predictable range. In addition, the properties of water in the
temperature ranges normally observed do not change significantly. Table 10-1 shows the
density of water at three different temperatures as an example. As can be seen in Table 10-1,
the difference in density for the temperatures Table 10-1 Density of Water at Varying
likely to be observed varies less than 1 percent Temperatures
from one extreme to the other. This small Temperature, F Density, slugs/ft3 Density, lb/ft3
variation can be ignored in calculations for 40 1.94 62.43
most fire protection systems. 70 1.936 62.3
100 1.927 62
Viscosity
Viscosity is what many would describe as the thickness of a liquid. Its the resistance a
fluid has to being deformed. Fluids with a high viscosity, like honey, require more force to
deform than fluids with a lower viscosity.
Viscosity is an important property when describing flow though pipes. To visualize the
effect of viscosity, consider drinking water through a straw. Water flows with little effort
through the straw. Pulling a more viscous liquid like maple syrup through the same straw
takes considerably more effort. The higher viscosity of the maple syrup resists the changes
in physical shape that 10/03/17
are required for it to flow through the straw easily.
62 Fire Protection Systems

The viscosity of water is another property that can be considered constant across the
conditions in which a fire protection system will be installed. The one significant excep-
tion to this is antifreeze systems. In some cases when a fire protection system is installed
in an area where the temperature may drop below 40F, the system may be filled with an
antifreeze solution rather than water. In this circumstance, the calculations to predict sys-
tem performance will have to account for a slightly higher viscosity. (Check with the local
authority and relative standards for the approved use of antifreeze solutions.)
One-Dimensional Flow
Fire protection systems consist of a network of pipes. Flow within a pipe can be considered
to be one-dimensional because it is axisymmetric and relatively uniform. This essentially
means that the flow within the pipe stays almost the
same throughout the cross-section of the pipe. The
variations that do occur within the flow vary with Pipe centerline
distance from the pipe wall. Flow tends to be faster in
the center of the pipe and slower near the wall. Figure
10-1 shows the concept of axisymmetric flow.
Though the velocity varies from the center of the Flow velocity
pipe to the wall, the variation is small. For most cal- profile
culations the flow is assumed to be the same regard-
less of position in the pipe cross-section. Once this Figure 10-1 Axisymmetric Flow
assumption is made, only one dimension is left: the distance along the length of the pipe.
The practical meaning of this is that there are no differences in sprinklers on the bottom
of a pipe vs. the top or the pressure along the outer radius of a fitting vs. the inner radius.
Only the distance through the pipe is considered.
Results of Assumptions and Simplifications
After all of these assumptions, the basic formulas for flow in a pipe can be reduced to:
Equation 10-1
Q = AV; V = Q/A; A = Q/V
where
Q = Flow rate, gallons per minute (gpm)
A = Cross-sectional area of the pipe, in2
V = Velocity of flowing water, feet per second (fps)
Since the velocity of water is considered to be consistent across the cross-section of the
pipe, a single number for velocity or an average velocity is all that is required. With an
average velocity and an area, the volume of water over a given time or flow rate can easily
be determined.
Example 10-1
Consider a 4-inch Schedule 40 (inside diameter of 4.026 inches) fire main flowing 500 gpm.
What is the average velocity of water flow in the pipe in feet per second?
First, find the area of the pipe cross-section:
A = x 2.012 = 12.7 in2 = 0.0881 ft2
Then convert gallons per minute to cubic feet per second (cfs). If 500 gpm equal 8.33
gallons per second and 1 gallon equals 0.134 cubic feet, then 8.33 gallons equal 1.11 cfs.
10/03/17
Chapter 10: Basic Hydraulics for Sprinkler Systems 63

Using Equation 10-1:


500 gpm = 0.881 ft2 x V, or
1.11 cfs
V= = 12.6 fps
0.881 ft2
PRESSURE LOSSES IN PIPES
Energy Loss
The first law of thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It simply
changes from one form to another. The two forms of energy of interest when describing
flow though pipes are heat and pressure. James Prescott Joule, a 19th century English phys-
icist, discovered the relationship between the friction of a moving fluid and heat. He was
determined to relate a measured amount of energy in heat (or increase in temperature of
a fluid) to the mechanical work done on that fluid. In his experiment, he placed a paddle
inside a container of fluid and stirred the fluid with a given amount of mechanical force for
a given time. He showed that stirring the fluid increased its temperature the same amount
as the mechanical energy put into the paddle.
To relate this experimental example to water flow in pipes, think of the paddle as the
surface of the pipe. As water flows through the pipe, the portion of the water along the
pipe wall is disturbed, and the water is heated a very small amount. This heating is so small
that the rise in temperature is ignored, but the first law of thermodynamics states that this
energy has to come from somewhere. The small amount of heat created is energy lost in
the form of pressure.
An equivalent way to express energy is a change in pressure within a given volume. For
flow in a pipe, the pressure of the water along the length of the pipe decreases as the energy
is lost due to the friction of the water against the pipes walls.
Water Pressure
Water pressure is the amount of force that the water exerts on its container. It is expressed
in a force per unit area. The common unit for pressure measurement in fire protection and
plumbing systems in the United States is pounds per square inch (psi).
Absolute Pressure vs. Gauge Pressure
When measuring pressure, it is important to remember the environment in which the
pressure measurement is taken. Pressure in a fire protection system, or pressure read from a
typical pressure gauge, is referred to as gauge pressure, which is the difference between the
pressure inside the pipe and the pressure outside the pipe. The open atmosphere has an air
pressure of between 14 and 15 psi. The gauge is measuring how much higher the pressure
inside the pipe is compared to the atmospheric pressure. The absolute pressure inside the
pipe would be the difference between the pressure in the pipe and a perfect vacuum. For
example, if the atmospheric pressure is 14 psi and the gauge reads 100 psi, then the gauge
pressure is 100 psi, and the absolute pressure is 114 psi.
Pressure Due to Elevation
In any volume of water, the pressure changes with elevation. This is true of all fluids under
the influence of gravity or any other acceleration. The pressure varies according to the
density of the fluid, not the size or shape of the container in which its flowing. For example,
the pressure change from the top to the bottom of a 12-inch-long drinking straw stood on
end will be the same as10/03/17
the pressure change from the top to the bottom of a 12-inch-deep
64 Fire Protection Systems

aquarium. Even though more water is in the aquarium, the pressure change is the same
since pressure is measured as force per unit area.
To determine how much the pressure changes due to elevation, consider a column of
water 1 square inch in area and 12 inches high. From Table 10-1, the weight of water per
cubic foot is 62.3 pounds. If a square foot is 144 square inches, a column of water 1 foot
high will occupy 1/144 of a cubic foot. This means that the column of water will weigh
1/144 of 62.3 pounds, or 0.433 pound.
With this information, the amount of water pressure created by elevation can be de-
termined in any situation. In a non-flowing fire protection system, the pressure at any
elevation relative to the pressure at another elevation will differ by 0.433 psi per foot of
elevation. For example, if the pressure at the top of a 100-foot riser is 100 psi, the pressure
at the bottom will be 143 psi. Another way to say this is that a 100-foot vertical pipe has
a pressure loss of 43 psi.
Example 10-2
Consider a water pump on ground level with a discharge pressure of 300 psi. Will this pump
be capable of delivering water to the top of a 500-foot-tall high-rise?
500 feet x 0.433 psi/ft = 216.5 psi
Yes, it will be capable. If the pump is producing 300 psi and 216.5 psi is required, then
the pressure at the top will be 83.5 psi.
Example 10-3
On the 10th floor of a building, a fire department standpipe requires 65 psi. If the valve on
the 10th floor is 124 feet above ground level, what pressure will be required at ground level?
65 psi + 124 feet x 0.433 psi/ft = 119 psi required

The Hazen-Williams Equation


To make this information applicable to fire protection systems, an equation that will pre-
dict how much pressure is lost for a given pipe and given water flow rate is required. The
Hazen-Williams equation is the most commonly used way to determine pressure losses
in fire protection systems. This equation was derived empirically, which means it is based
on observed results rather than theory. It predicts the pressure loss per foot of pipe as:
Equation 10-2
4.52 Q1.85
p=
C1.85 d4.87
where
p = Pressure loss per linear foot of pipe, psi
Q = Flow, gpm
C = Roughness coefficient (Table 10-2) Table 10-2 Pipe Roughness Coefficients
d = Internal diameter of the pipe, in. Pipe Material C
The variable not easily understood Black steel pipe in a dry sprinkler system 100
here is C, the roughness coefficient. This Steel pipe in a wet sprinkler system 120
variable takes into account the condition Galvanized pipe in a dry sprinkler system 120
of the pipe through which the water is Cement-lined underground pipe 140
flowing. If the pipe walls are very rough, Plastic (CPVC) 150
the amount of energy lost is higher than Copper pipe 150
10/03/17
Chapter 10: Basic Hydraulics for Sprinkler Systems 65

if the pipe walls are very smooth. Values for C can be as low as 70 for rough, old iron pipe
or as high as 150 for perfectly smooth, new plastic pipe.
Example 10-4
How much pressure is lost in a 100-foot-long, 2-inch Schedule 40 (inside diameter of
2.47 inches) pipe flowing 250 gpm if the roughness coefficient is 120?
4.52(2501.85)
p= x 100 ft = 21.5 psi
1201.85(2.474.87)
Water Flow Tables
The hydraulic pipe schedule is a table of standard sprinkler system pipe sizes with associ-
ated flows that will produce the average friction loss per foot allowed in the system under
consideration. (See the tables at the end of this chapter for hydraulic values in sprinkler
pipe sizes up to 4 inches.)
Friction Losses for Fittings and Valves
The common method for expressing friction losses for fittings and valves in fire protection
is to express the loss as an equivalent length of pipe. When water flows through a fitting
or valve, more energy is lost than if it were flowing through a straight section of pipe. The
additional lost energy can be accounted for by replacing the fitting or valve in the calcu-
lation by an equivalent length of straight pipe. With this simplification, losses for fittings
and valves can be added into the Hazen-Williams friction loss formula.
Example 10-5
How much pressure is lost in the pipe from Example 10-4 if there are four grooved 90-de-
gree elbows in the pipe? (The equivalent length of a grooved 90-degree elbow is 3.9 feet.)
Total length = 100 ft + (4 x 3.9 ft) = 116 ft
Since other variables remain the same, the friction loss per foot remains the same:
4.52(2501.85)
p= = 0.215 psi/ft x 116 ft = 24.9 psi
1201.85(2.474.87)
Equivalent lengths for fittings and valves are typically provided by manufacturers, though
some common fitting equivalent lengths are prescribed in codes and standards (see Table
10-3). These lengths are always provided with an assumed roughness coefficient (C factor)
of 120. If the piping does not have a roughness coefficient of 120, the equivalent length
must be adjusted according to Table 10-4.
Table 10-3 Equivalent Pipe Lengths for Fittings, ft Table 10-4
Fitting and Valve Size, in. Equivalent Length
Fittings and Valves Multipliers for C
0.5 0.75 1 1.25 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
Factors Other than
45 elbow x 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 3 4 C = 120
90 standard elbow 1 2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 Value Multiplying
90 long-turn elbow 0.5 1 2 2 2 3 4 5 5 6 of C Factor
Tee or cross 3 4 5 6 8 10 12 15 17 20 100 0.713
Butterfly valve x x x x x 6 7 10 x 12 120 1
Gate valve x x x x x 1 1 1 1 2 140 1.33
Swing check* x x 5 7 9 11 14 16 19 22 150 1.51
*Due to the variation in design of swing check valves, the pipe equivalents indicated in this table
are considered average.

10/03/17
66 Fire Protection Systems

WATER EXITING THE PIPE


At some point, for the purpose of a fire protection system to be realized, the water must
exit the pipe. In water-based fire protection systems, this occurs through an orifice with
fixed properties. The simplest and most common way of expressing the properties of an
orifice is with a number referred to as the K factor. An orifices K factor includes the effects
of both the orifices size and the shape of the sprinkler or nozzle immediately before the
opening that affects the amount of flow through the opening. The expression that relates
the K factor to pressure and flow is:
Equation 10-3
Q = Kp
where
Q = Flow, gpm
K = K factor
p = Pressure, psi
Example 10-6
If a fire sprinkler has a K factor of 5.6 and the water pressure inside the pipe is 10 psi, how
much water is flowing out of the sprinkler?
Using Equation 10-3:
Q = 5.610 = 17.7 gpm
Table 10-5A Water Flow Table, 1-inch Schedule 40 Steel Pipe
ID=1.049 inches
Pf, psi/ft Velocity, Pf, psi/ft Velocity,
Q, gpm Q, gpm
C=100 C=120 fps C=100 C=120 fps
10 0.051 0.036 3.71 33 0.460 0.329 12.25
11 0.060 0.043 4.08 34 0.487 0.347 12.62
12 0.071 0.051 4.46 35 0.513 0.366 12.99
13 0.082 0.059 4.83 36 0.541 0.386 13.37
14 0.094 0.067 5.20 37 0.569 0.406 13.74
15 0.107 0.076 5.57 38 0.598 0.427 14.11
16 0.121 0.086 5.94 39 0.627 0.448 14.48
17 0.135 0.096 6.31 40 0.657 0.469 14.85
18 0.150 0.107 6.68 41 0.688 0.491 15.22
19 0.166 0.182 7.05 42 0.719 0.513 15.59
20 1.820 0.130 7.43 43 0.751 0.536 15.96
21 0.200 0.142 7.80 44 0.784 0.56 16.34
22 0.217 0.155 8.17 45 0.817 0.583 16.71
23 0.236 0.169 8.54 46 0.851 0.608 17.08
24 0.255 0.182 8.91 47 0.886 0.632 17.45
25 0.276 0.197 9.28 48 0.921 0.657 17.82
26 0.296 0.211 9.65 49 9.57 0.683 18.19
27 0.318 0.227 10.02 50 0.993 0.709 18.56
28 0.340 0.243 10.40 51 1.03 0.735 18.93
29 0.363 0.259 10.77 52 1.068 0.762 19.31
30 0.386 0.276 11.14 53 1.106 0.79 19.68
31 0.410 0.293 11.51 54 1.145 0.817 20.05
32 0.435 0.310 11.88
10/03/17
Chapter 10: Basic Hydraulics for Sprinkler Systems 67

Table 10-5B Water Flow Table, 1-inch Schedule 40 Steel Pipe


ID=1.049 inches
Pf, psi/ft Velocity, Pf, psi/ft Velocity,
Q, gpm Q, gpm
C=100 C=120 fps C=100 C=120 fps
10 0.013 0.009 2.14 53 0.291 0.208 11.36
11 0.016 0.011 2.36 54 0.301 0.215 11.57
12 0.019 0.013 2.57 55 0.312 0.222 12.00
13 0.022 0.015 2.79 56 0.322 0.230 12.21
14 0.025 0.018 3.00 57 0.333 0.238 12.43
15 0.028 0.020 3.21 58 0.344 0.245 12.64
16 0.032 0.023 3.43 59 0.355 0.253 12.86
17 0.036 0.025 3.64 60 0.366 0.261 13.07
18 0.039 0.028 3.86 61 0.377 2.690 13.07
19 0.044 0.031 4.07 62 0.389 0.278 13.29
20 0.048 0.034 4.29 63 0.401 0.286 13.50
21 0.052 0.037 4.50 64 0.412 0.294 13.71
22 0.057 0.041 4.71 65 0.424 0.303 13.93
23 0.062 0.044 4.93 66 0.437 0.312 14.14
24 0.067 0.048 5.14 67 0.449 0.320 14.36
25 0.072 0.052 5.36 68 0.461 0.329 14.57
26 0.078 0.056 5.57 69 0.474 0.338 14.79
27 0.084 0.060 5.79 70 0.487 0.347 15.00
28 0.089 0.064 6.00 71 0.500 0.357 15.21
29 0.095 0.068 6.21 72 0.513 0.366 15.43
30 0.102 0.072 6.43 73 0.526 0.375 15.64
31 0.108 0.077 6.64 74 0.540 0.385 15.86
32 0.114 0.082 6.86 75 0.553 0.395 16.07
33 0.121 0.086 7.07 76 0.567 0.405 16.29
34 0.128 0.091 7.29 77 0.581 0.414 16.50
35 1.135 0.096 7.50 78 0.595 0.424 16.71
36 0.142 0.102 7.71 79 0.609 0.435 16.93
37 0.150 0.107 7.93 80 0.623 0.445 17.14
38 0.157 0.112 8.14 81 0.638 0.455 17.36
39 0.165 0.118 8.36 82 0.652 0.466 17.57
40 0.173 0.123 8.57 83 0.667 0.476 17.79
41 0.181 0.129 8.79 84 0.682 0.487 18.00
42 0.189 0.135 9.00 85 0.697 0.498 18.21
43 0.198 0.141 9.21 86 0.712 0.508 18.43
44 0.206 0.147 9.43 87 0.728 0.519 18.64
45 0.022 0.153 9.64 88 0.743 0.531 18.86
46 0.224 0.160 9.86 89 0.759 0.542 19.07
47 0.233 0.166 10.07 90 0.775 0.553 19.29
48 0.242 0.173 10.29 91 0.791 0.565 19.50
49 0.252 0.180 10.50 92 0.807 0.576 19.71
50 0.261 0.186 10.71 93 0.823 0.588 19.93
51 0.271 0.193 10.93 94 0.840 0.599 20.14
52 0.281 0.200 11.14

10/03/17
68 Fire Protection Systems

Table 10-5C Water Flow Table, 1-inch Schedule 40 Steel Pipe


ID=1.61 inches
Pf, psi/ft Velocity, Pf, psi/ft Velocity,
Q, gpm Q, gpm
C=100 C=120 fps C=100 C=120 fps
10 0.006 0.004 1.57 70 0.23 0.164 11.02
12 0.009 0.006 1.89 72 0.242 0.173 11.34
14 0.012 0.008 2.20 74 0.255 0.182 11.65
16 0.015 0.011 2.52 76 0.359 0.191 11.97
18 0.019 0.013 2.83 78 0.281 0.200 12.28
20 0.023 0.016 3.15 80 0.294 0.210 12.59
22 0.027 0.019 3.46 82 0.308 0.220 12.91
24 0.032 0.023 3.78 84 0.322 0.230 13.22
26 0.037 0.026 4.09 86 0.336 0.240 13.54
28 0.042 0.030 4.41 88 0.351 0.250 13.85
30 0.048 0.034 4.75 90 0.366 0.261 14.17
32 0.054 0.039 5.04 92 0.381 0.272 14.48
34 0.060 0.043 5.35 94 0.396 0.283 14.80
36 0.067 0.048 5.67 96 0.412 0.294 15.11
38 0.074 0.053 6.98 98 0.428 0.306 15.43
40 0.082 0.058 6.30 100 0.445 0.317 15.74
42 0.089 0.064 6.61 102 0.461 0.329 16.06
44 0.097 0.069 6.93 104 0.478 0.341 16.37
46 0.106 0.075 7.24 106 0.495 0.353 16.69
48 0.114 0.082 7.56 108 0.513 0.366 17.00
50 0.123 0.088 7.87 110 0.530 0.378 17.32
52 0.133 0.095 8.19 112 0.548 0.391 17.63
54 0.142 0.101 8.50 114 0.566 0.404 17.95
56 0.152 0.109 8.82 116 0.585 0.418 18.26
58 0.162 0.116 9.13 118 0.604 0.431 18.58
60 0.173 0.123 9.45 120 0.623 0.445 18.89
62 0.184 0.131 9.76 122 0.642 0.458 19.21
64 0.195 0.139 10.08 124 0.662 0.472 19.52
66 0.206 0.147 10.39 126 0.682 0.487 19.84
68 0.218 0.155 10.71 128 0.702 0.501 20.15

10/03/17
Chapter 10: Basic Hydraulics for Sprinkler Systems 69

Table 10-5D Water Flow Table, 2-inch Schedule 40 Steel Pipe


ID=2.067 inches
Pf, psi/ft Velocity, Pf, psi/ft Velocity,
Q, gpm Q, gpm
C=100 C=120 fps C=100 C=120 fps
30 0.014 0.010 2.87 129 0.211 0.150 12.33
35 0.019 0.010 3.35 132 0.220 0.157 12.62
40 0.024 0.017 3.82 135 0.229 0.164 12.91
45 0.030 0.021 4.30 138 0.239 0.170 13.20
50 0.037 0.026 4.78 141 0.249 0.177 13.48
55 0.044 0.031 5.26 144 0.258 0.184 13.77
60 0.051 0.037 5.74 147 0.269 0.192 14.06
63 0.056 0.040 6.02 150 0.279 0.199 14.34
66 0.061 0.044 6.31 152 0.288 0.206 14.60
69 0.066 0.047 6.60 154 0.295 0.211 14.80
72 0.072 0.051 6.88 156 0.304 0.217 15.00
75 0.077 0.055 7.17 158 0.311 0.222 15.20
78 0.083 0.059 7.46 160 0.318 0.227 15.30
81 0.089 0.064 7.75 162 0.325 0.232 15.50
84 0.095 0.068 8.03 164 0.333 0.238 15.70
87 0.102 0.073 8.32 166 0.340 0.243 15.90
90 0.108 0.077 8.61 168 0.349 0.249 16.10
93 0.115 0.082 8.89 170 0.355 0.254 16.30
96 0.122 0.087 9.18 172 0.364 0.260 16.50
99 0.129 0.092 9.47 174 0.371 0.265 16.70
102 0.137 0.097 9.78 176 0.378 0.270 16.90
105 0.144 0.103 10.04 178 0.386 0.276 17.00
108 0.152 0.108 10.33 180 0.395 0.282 17.20
111 0.160 0.144 10.61 185 0.416 0.297 17.70
114 0.168 0.120 10.90 190 0.437 0.312 18.20
117 0.176 0.126 11.19 195 0.458 0.327 18.70
120 0.184 0.132 11.47 200 0.480 0.343 19.10
123 0.193 0.138 11.76 205 0.502 0.359 19.60
126 0.202 0.144 12.05 210 0.526 0.376 20.10

10/03/17
70 Fire Protection Systems

Table 10-5E Water Flow Table, 2-inch Schedule 40 Steel Pipe


ID=2.469 inches
Pf, psi/ft Velocity, Pf, psi/ft Velocity,
Q, gpm Q , gpm
C=100 C=120 fps C=100 C=120 fps
40 0.010 0.007 2.68 180 0.166 0.118 12.10
45 0.013 0.009 3.02 182 0.169 0.120 12.20
50 0.015 0.011 3.35 184 0.172 0.123 12.30
55 0.018 0.013 3.69 186 0.176 0.125 12.40
60 0.022 0.015 4.02 188 0.179 0.128 12.60
65 0.025 0.018 4.36 190 0.183 0.131 12.70
70 0.029 0.020 4.69 192 0.187 0.133 12.90
75 0.033 0.023 5.03 194 0.190 0.136 13.00
80 0.037 0.026 5.36 196 0.194 0.138 13.20
85 0.041 0.029 5.70 198 0.197 0.141 13.30
90 0.046 0.033 6.03 200 0.201 0.144 13.40
95 0.050 0.036 6.37 202 0.205 0.146 13.50
100 0.055 0.040 6.70 204 0.209 0.149 13.60
103 0.059 0.042 6.90 206 0.213 0.152 13.70
106 0.062 0.044 7.10 208 0.216 0.154 13.80
109 0.065 0.046 7.30 210 0.200 0.157 13.90
112 0.068 0.049 7.51 212 0.224 0.160 14.10
115 0.072 0.051 7.71 214 0.228 0.163 14.20
118 0.075 0.054 7.91 216 0.232 0.166 14.40
121 0.079 0.056 8.11 218 0.236 0.168 14.60
124 0.082 0.059 8.31 220 0.240 0.171 14.70
127 0.086 0.066 8.51 222 0.244 0.174 14.90
130 0.090 0.064 8.71 224 0.248 0.177 15.10
133 0.094 0.067 8.91 226 0.252 0.180 15.30
136 0.098 0.070 9.11 228 0.257 0.183 15.60
139 0.102 0.073 9.32 230 0.261 0.186 15.80
142 0.106 0.076 9.52 235 0.271 0.194 16.00
145 0.110 0.079 9.72 240 0.282 0.201 16.10
148 0.114 0.082 9.92 245 0.293 0.209 16.40
151 0.119 0.085 10.12 250 0.304 0.217 16.90
154 0.123 0.088 10.32 255 0.316 0.225 17.10
157 0.128 0.091 10.52 260 0.327 0.234 17.40
160 0.132 0.094 10.72 265 0.339 0.242 17.70
163 0.137 0.098 10.92 270 0.351 0.250 18.10
166 0.142 0.101 11.12 275 0.363 0.259 18.50
169 0.146 0.104 11.33 280 0.375 0.268 18.80
172 0.151 0.108 11.53 285 0.388 0.227 19.00
175 0.156 0.111 11.73 290 0.401 0.286 19.40
178 0.161 0.115 11.93 295 0.414 0.296 19.80
179 0.164 0.117 12.00 300 0.427 0.305 20.10

10/03/17
Chapter 10: Basic Hydraulics for Sprinkler Systems 71

Table 10-5F Water Flow Table, 3-inch Schedule 40 Steel Pipe


ID=3.068 inches
Pf, psi/ft Velocity, Pf, psi/ft Velocity,
Q, gpm Q, gpm
C=100 C=120 fps C=100 C=120 fps
30 0.002 0.001 1.30 280 0.129 0.092 12.15
40 0.004 0.003 1.74 285 0.134 0.095 12.37
50 0.005 0.004 2.17 290 0.138 0.098 12.59
60 0.007 0.005 2.60 295 0.142 0.102 12.80
70 0.010 0.007 3.04 300 0.147 0.105 13.02
80 0.013 0.009 3.47 305 0.151 0.108 13.24
90 0.016 0.011 3.91 310 0.156 0.111 13.45
100 0.019 0.014 4.34 315 0.161 0.115 13.67
110 0.023 0.016 4.77 320 0.165 0.118 13.89
120 0.027 0.019 5.21 325 0.170 0.122 14.11
130 0.031 0.022 5.64 330 0.175 0.125 14.32
140 0.036 0.026 6.08 335 0.180 0.129 14.54
150 0.041 0.029 6.51 340 0.185 0.132 14.76
155 0.043 0.031 6.73 345 0.190 0.136 14.97
160 0.046 0.033 6.94 350 0.195 0.139 15.19
165 0.049 0.035 7.16 355 0.200 0.143 15.41
170 0.051 0.037 7.38 360 0.206 0.147 15.62
175 0.054 0.039 7.60 365 0.211 0.151 15.84
180 0.057 0.041 7.81 370 0.216 0.154 16.06
185 0.060 0.043 8.03 375 0.222 0.158 16.28
190 0.063 0.045 8.25 380 0.227 0.162 16.49
195 0.066 0.047 8.46 385 0.233 0.166 16.71
200 0.069 0.049 8.68 390 0.239 0.170 16.93
205 0.073 0.052 8.90 395 0.244 0.174 17.14
210 0.076 0.054 9.11 400 0.250 0.178 17.36
215 0.079 0.057 9.33 405 0.256 0.183 17.58
220 0.083 0.059 9.55 410 0.262 0.187 17.79
225 0.086 0.062 9.77 415 0.268 0.191 18.01
230 0.090 0.064 9.98 420 0.274 0.195 18.23
235 0.093 0.067 10.20 425 0.280 0.200 18.45
240 0.097 0.069 10.42 430 0.286 0.204 18.66
245 0.101 0.072 10.63 435 0.292 0.208 18.88
250 0.011 0.075 10.85 440 0.298 0.213 19.10
255 0.109 0.078 11.07 445 0.305 0.217 19.31
260 0.113 0.080 11.28 450 0.311 0.222 19.53
265 0.117 0.083 11.50 455 0.317 0.226 19.75
270 0.121 0.086 11.72 460 0.324 0.231 19.96
275 0.125 0.089 11.94 465 0.330 0.236 20.18

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72 Fire Protection Systems

Table 10-5G Water Flow Table, 4-inch Schedule 40 Steel Pipe


ID=4.026 inches
Pf, psi/ft Velocity, Pf, psi/ft Velocity,
Q, gpm Q, gpm
C=100 C=120 fps C=100 C=120 fps
100 0.005 0.004 2.52 570 0.128 0.091 14.37
125 0.008 0.006 3.15 580 0.132 0.094 14.62
150 0.011 0.008 3.78 590 0.137 0.097 14.87
175 0.014 0.010 4.41 600 0.141 0.101 15.12
200 0.018 0.013 5.04 610 0.145 0.104 15.37
225 0.023 0.016 5.67 620 0.150 0.107 15.63
250 0.028 0.020 6.30 630 0.154 0.110 15.88
275 0.033 0.024 6.93 640 0.159 0.113 16.13
300 0.039 0.028 7.56 650 0.163 0.117 16.38
325 0.045 0.032 8.19 660 0.168 0.120 16.63
350 0.052 0.037 8.82 670 0.173 0.123 16.89
375 0.059 0.042 9.45 680 0.178 0.127 17.14
400 0.067 0.048 10.08 690 0.183 0.130 17.39
425 0.074 0.053 10.71 700 0.187 0.134 17.64
450 0.083 0.059 11.34 710 0.192 0.137 17.89
475 0.091 0.065 11.97 720 0.197 0.141 18.15
500 0.101 0.072 12.60 730 0.203 0.145 18.40
510 0.104 0.074 12.85 740 0.208 0.148 18.65
520 0.108 0.077 13.11 750 0.213 0.152 18.90
530 0.112 0.080 13.36 760 0.218 0.156 19.16
540 0.116 0.083 13.61 770 0.224 0.160 19.41
550 0.120 0.086 13.86 780 0.229 0.163 19.60
560 0.124 0.089 14.11 790 0.234 0.167 19.91

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73

Hydraulic
Calculations 11
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 13: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler
Systems defines the method of calculating the predicted performance of water-based fire
protection systems. Most building codes reference this document as their source for hy-
draulic calculation procedures.
DENSITY/AREA METHOD
In commercial and residential occupancies, sprinkler systems are typically required to
be capable of providing a specific density of water flow over a given area. For example, a
sprinkler system protecting office space is most commonly required to provide 0.1 gallon
per minute (gpm) per square foot over 1,500 square feet. This means that the water flow-
ing out of each sprinkler must average 0.1 gpm for every square foot of floor space that
particular sprinkler is protecting. NFPA 13 provides requirements regarding the density
and area required for a given occupancy or hazard, but ultimately it is the responsibility
of the engineer of record and the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) to make the final
determination of what density and area will be required.
Consider the plan view of a sprinkler system as shown in Figure 11-1. The rectangular
area is protected by sprinklers spaced at 14 feet by 14 feet. Assume that this space must be
protected with a density of 0.1 gpm per square foot over 1,500 square feet. To prove that

Figure 11-1 Plan View of Sprinkler System


10/03/17
74 Fire Protection Systems

the system is able to provide the required water flow rate over any 1,500 square feet within
the protected area, the hydraulically most remote 1,500 square feet must be found. NFPA
13 prescribes the method of determining the hydraulically most remote area.
To find the number of sprinklers flowing, divide 1,500 by the area of coverage per sprin-
kler (196 square feet). This results in 7.65 sprinklers. NFPA 13 does not permit a partial
sprinkler; therefore, the number of sprinklers must be rounded up to eight. The shape of
the remote area is also prescribed by NFPA 13. It must be at least 1.2 times the square root
of the area in length along the direction of the branch lines, as shown below:
1.21,500 = 46.5 ft
The hydraulically most remote area is shown in Figure 11-2.

Figure 11-2 Hydraulically Most Remote Area

Beginning the Calculation


Now that the flowing sprinklers have been determined, the calculation can begin. Assume
that all of the sprinklers in this example have a K factor of 5.6. Each sprinkler is protecting
196 square feet at a density of 0.1 gpm per square foot. This means that each sprinkler must
flow 19.6 gpm. To determine what pressure is required for a K = 5.6 sprinkler to flow 19.6
gpm, use Equation 10-3 (Q = Kp):
19.6 gpm = 5.6p
p = (Q/K)2 = (19.6/5.6)2 = 12.25 pounds per square inch (psi)
Thus, each sprinkler in the remote area must be fed with a pressure of 12.25 psi or higher.
The calculation begins at the single most remote sprinkler and works back toward the wa-
ter source. Figure 11-3 assigns hydraulic node points to all of the relevant locations in the
system. Sprinkler S1 is the farthest from the water source, so the calculation begins at S1.
Since the minimum pressure at any sprinkler must be 12.25 psi, the calculation will increase
from 12.25 psi. To determine the pressure at sprinkler S2, the friction loss created by water
10/03/17
Chapter 11: Hydraulic Calculations 75

Figure 11-3 Hydraulic Node Points


flowing from S2 to S1 must be found. Friction loss is predicted using the Hazen-Williams
equation (Equation 10-2). In this case, the flow in the pipe between S1 and S2 is 19.6 gpm.
For this example, assume the system is wet and has a C factor of 120. The inside diameter
of the pipe can be found in Table 11-1. (Assume all piping in this example is Schedule 40).

Table 11-1 Inside Diameters for Schedule 10 and Schedule 40 Steel Pipe, in.
Pipe 1 in. 1 in. 1 in. 2 in. 2 in. 3 in. 4 in. 6 in.
S10 1.097 1.442 1.682 2.157 2.635 3.260 4.260 6.357
S40 1.049 1.380 1.610 2.067 2.469 3.068 4.026 6.065

From Equation 10-2:


4.52 Q1.85 4.52(19.61.85)
p= = = 0.125 psi/ft
C1.85 d4.87 1201.85(1.0494.87)
Since there are 14 feet of pipe and no fittings between S1 and S2, the pressure loss
between these two nodes is 1.76 psi. Given that the pressure at node S1 is 12.25 psi, the
pressure at S2 must be 12.25 + 1.76, or 14 psi. At node S2 is a sprinkler also with a K factor
of 5.6. Since the pressure at node S2 is now known, the flow out of this sprinkler can be
determined as follows:
Q = Kp = 5.614 = 21 gpm
With sprinkler S1 flowing 19.6 gpm and sprinkler S2 flowing 21 gpm, the amount of
water flowing in the pipe feeding these two sprinklers (S3 to S2) must be 40.6 gpm. Using
the same procedure, the pressure at node S3 can be found. The pressure loss per foot be-
tween S3 and S2 will be:
4.52 Q1.85 4.52(40.61.85)
p= 1.85 4.87 = = 0.482 psi/ft
C d 1201.85(1.0494.87)
10/03/17
76 Fire Protection Systems

Adding the pressure from S2 (14 psi) to the pressure loss from the pipe to the next node,
the pressure at node S3 is found to be 20.7 psi. The procedure is again repeated for the
next sprinkler and section of pipe, this time with more flow and a larger diameter (for the
1-inch pipe between S4 and S3).
Q = Kp = 5.620.7 = 25.5 gpm
25.5 gpm + 40.6 gpm = 66.1 gpm
4.52 Q1.85 4.52(66.11.85)
p= = = 0.312 psi/ft
C1.85 d4.87 1201.85(1.384.87)
Adding the pressure from S3 (20.7 psi) to the pressure loss from the pipe to node S4,
the pressure at node S4 is found to be 25.1 psi. The procedure is repeated for the next
sprinkler and section of pipe, again with more flow and a larger diameter (for the 1-inch
pipe between S4 and M1).
Q = Kp = 5.625.1 = 28.1 gpm
28.1 gpm + 66.1 gpm = 94.2 gpm
4.52 Q1.85 4.52(94.21.85)
p= = = 0.284 psi/ft
C1.85 d4.87 1201.85(1.614.87)
The piping between S4 and M1 contains the first fitting in this example (fittings where
the sprinkler itself is attached are not counted). When the loss for a reducing tee or elbow
is calculated, its equivalent length must be included as the smaller pipe size. Node M1 is
a tee with sizes of 3 inches and 1 inches, so the equivalent length must be included as
1-inch pipe. Common equivalent lengths are listed in Table 11-2.

Table 11-2 Equivalent Lengths of Common Fittings (for Schedule 40 Pipe), ft


Fitting 1 in. 1 in. 1 in. 2 in. 2 in. 3 in. 4 in. 6 in.
45 elbow 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 7
90 elbow 2 3 4 5 6 7 10 14
Tee or cross 5 6 8 10 12 15 20 30
Butterfly valve 6 7 10 12 10
Gate valve 1 1 1 2 3
Check valve 5 7 9 11 14 16 22 32

Using this information, the pressure at node M1 can be found. The distance from node
S4 to M1 is 7 feet, and the equivalent length of the 3-inch by 1-inch tee is 8 feet of 1-
inch pipe. The distance between the two in the calculation is therefore 15 feet. The pressure
at M1 is then:
15 ft x 0.284 psi/ft = 4.26 psi
4.25 psi + 25.1 psi = 29.4 psi
The calculation up to this point is illustrated in Figure 11-4. From here, the loss between
nodes M1 and M2 can be calculated. Since the flow from M1 to S4 is 94.2 gpm and there
is no sprinkler at node M1, the flow from M1 to M2 must also be 94.2 gpm.
The loss between nodes M1 and M2 can be calculated as:
4.52 Q1.85 4.52(94.21.85)
p = 1.85 4.87 = = 0.0123 psi/ft
C d 1201.85(3.0684.87)
10/03/17
Chapter 11: Hydraulic Calculations 77

Figure 11-4 Illustration of Density/Area Method Calculation


The required pressure at node M2 can then be calculated as 29.6 psi.
At node M2, the flow splits into two directions. Some water goes to node M1, and some
goes to node S8. It has already been determined how much is flowing to M1, so the flow
to S8 must be found.
Equivalent K Factors
All of the branch lines in this example are exactly the same. Most importantly, both branch
lines included in the remote area are exactly the same. Since they are identical, an equiv-
alent K factor can be used to find the amount of water flowing into another branch line
at a different pressure. Remember from Chapter 10 that a K factor is not only a function
of orifice size, but also of shape or configuration. This can include an entire branch line.
Using the information known at this point, a K factor for the typical branch line in this
example can be found. The pressure at the feed end of the branch line is 29.4 psi, and the
flow is 94.2 gpm. Using Equation 10-3:
Q = Kp = 94.2 gpm = K29.4 psi
Q/p = K = 94.2 gpm/29.4 psi = 17.4
With a K factor of 17.4 for the entire branch line, the flow of the branch line at a different
pressure (the pressure at node M2) can be easily found. Again, use Equation 10-3:
Q = Kp = 17.429.6 = 94.7 gpm
This yields an expected result; at a slightly higher pressure, the branch flows slightly
more water. The total flow for the calculation is now known. The flow from M2 to M1 is
94.2 gpm, and the flow from M2 to S8 is 94.7 gpmadding to a total flow from the riser
(node RSR) of 189 gpm.
Result
For the final required pressure at the riser, the loss between nodes M2 and RSR must be
found. Between nodes M2 and RSR are 99 feet of pipe. In addition, there is a 3-inch 90-de-
gree elbow for a total of 106 feet. Using Equation 10-2:
4.52 Q1.85 4.52(1891.85)
p= = = 0.0446 psi/ft
C1.85 d4.87 1201.85(3.0684.87)
Multiplying this value by the length of 106 feet yields a loss of 4.73 psi. Adding to the
required pressure at node M2 gives 34.3 psi as a final pressure. This means the system as
shown will require a flow and pressure of 189 gpm at 34.3 psi at node RSR to satisfy the
area and density prescribed.
ELEVATION CHANGES
The example calculated above does not include any elevation changes. In practice, all
systems have elevation changes (i.e., systems are not installed on the floor). Assume that
10/03/17
78 Fire Protection Systems

all of the piping in the example is at an elevation of 10 feet above the floor. What would
the required pressure be in the riser at floor level if the riser is a 3-inch pipe? To find the
answer, add an additional 10 feet for the vertical pipe and 7 feet for a 90-degree elbow at
the top of the riser:
(10 ft + 7 ft)(0.0446 psi/ft) + 34.3 psi = 35.1 psi
Add the loss due to the increase in elevation:
10 ft x 0.433 psi/ft = 4.33 psi
Adding the elevation loss to the required pressure at the top of the riser results in a
pressure of 39.4 psi.
Most systems will include elevation changes at various points in the network of piping
as well. These changes must be accounted for as the calculation progresses so the correct
pressure is used for each flowing sprinkler.
HYDRAULIC CALCULATION FORMS
NFPA 13 details how calculation work must be shown. Regardless of how the calculation
is performed (either by hand or by software), this format is still used to show the numbers
throughout the calculation. As an example, Table 11-3 shows the start of the example
calculation from earlier in this chapter.

Table 11-3 Step 1 of the Example Calculation in NFPA 13 Format


Flow Nominal
Node K Fittings: Pipe, ft
Elevation Added in Pipe C Factor Total
1 Factor Quantity
This Step Diameter
and Notes
Actual Fittings, Pressure
Node Total Equiv. Elevation
Elevation Pipe ft Loss per
2 Flow Length
Diameter Total, ft Foot Friction

S1 10 ft 5.6 19.6 gpm 1 in. 14 120 12.25


0.125 0
S2 10 ft 19.6 gpm 1.049 in. 14 psi/ft 1.76

Each block like the one in Table 11-3 represents a single pipe. When the calculation is
finished, each pipe or equivalent K factor should have a block showing what was calculated.
Table 11-4 shows the first two pipes in the example calculation.

Table 11-4 Steps 1 and 2 of the Example Calculation in NFPA 13 Format


Flow Nominal
Node K Fittings: Pipe, ft
Elevation Added in Pipe C Factor Total
1 Factor Quantity
This Step Diameter
and Notes
Actual Fittings, Pressure
Node Total Equiv. Elevation
Elevation Pipe ft Loss per
2 Flow Length
Diameter Total, ft Foot Friction
S1 10 ft 5.6 19.6 gpm 1 in. 14 120 12.25
0.125 0
S2 10 ft 19.6 gpm 1.049 in. 14 psi/ft 1.76
S2 10 ft 5.6 21 gpm 1 in. 14 120 14
0.482 0
S3 10 ft 40.6 gpm 1.049 in. 14 psi/ft 6.75

10/03/17
Chapter 11: Hydraulic Calculations 79

Two numbers carry over from one pipe to the next. In the flow column, the total flow is
cumulative. For each sprinkler, the flow of that individual sprinkler is added in the upper
box, and the total flow up to that point (including that sprinkler) is in the lower box. If the
node is simply a pipe size change where there is no flow, the upper box would be zero. In
the pressure column, the total pressure loss as the calculation progresses is in the top box
labeled Total. That top box is the sum of the three boxes from the pipe above it; meaning
that the top box is the cumulative pressure, and the bottom two boxes are the pressure losses
from friction and elevation (or gain from elevation if the elevation change is negative) in
that pipe. Table 11-5 shows the first two steps and the final step of the example calculation.

Table 11-5 Steps 1 and 2 and XX of the Example Calculation in NFPA 13 Format
Flow Nominal
Node K Fittings: Pipe, ft
Elevation Added in Pipe C Factor Total
1 Factor Quantity
This Step Diameter
and Notes
Actual Fittings, Pressure
Node Total Equiv. Elevation
Elevation Pipe ft Loss per
2 Flow Length
Diameter Total, ft Foot Friction

S1 10 ft 5.6 19.6 gpm 1 in. 14 120 12.25


0.125 0
S2 10 ft 19.6 gpm 1.049 in. 14 psi/ft 1.76
S2 10 ft 5.6 21.0 gpm 1 in. 14 120 14.0
0.482 0
S3 10 ft 40.6 gpm 1.049 in. 14 psi/ft 6.75
...
M2 10 ft 17.4 94.2 gpm 3 in. 2 elbows 109 120 29.6 Final
pressure
7 ft each 14 4.33 and flow:
0.0446
RSR 0 ft 189 gpm 3.068 in. psi/ft 39.4 psi,
123 5.49 189 gpm

AREA MODIFICATIONS
The design density and area prescribed by either the engineer of record or NFPA 13 may or
may not be the final area calculated. In a number of situations the area is either increased
or decreased. Some examples of area modifications are listed in Table 11-6.

Table 11-6 Common Area Modifications


For wet pipe systems using quick-response sprinklers, the design area can be
Quick-response sprinklers reduced by as much as 40%. The amount of reduction is based on the ceiling
height. See NFPA 13 for the area reduction formula and restrictions on its use.
For dry systems and double-interlock preaction systems, the design area must
Dry systems or double- be increased by 30%. Since these systems are filled with air, the air must be
interlock preaction systems exhausted before the water will flow. The increase in area is required due to
the increased amount of time it will take for water to arrive at the sprinkler.
For most systems, the design area must be increased by 30% if the system is
Sloped ceilings
installed under a ceiling that is sloped more than 2 in 12.

Example 11-1
Using the example system in the earlier part of the chapter, how would the remote area
change if the system were dry rather than wet?
10/03/17
80 Fire Protection Systems

For dry systems, the design area must be increased by 30 percent, which results in a
design area of 1,950 square feet. To find the number of sprinklers along a branch line:
1.21,950 = 53 ft
This length still results in four sprinklers per branch line. The difference is that now the
remote area must include 10 sprinklers to add up to 1,950 square feet. Figure 11-5 shows
the new remote area.

Figure 11-5 Example 11-1 Plan View

The two additional sprinklers are added closer to the main, not at the end of the branch
line. This is important to note since it is a common mistake to include the two sprinklers
at the end of the third branch line rather than the two at the root of the branch line. The
reason the two sprinklers closest to the main must be included is due to differences in water
flow. The two sprinklers closest to the main will flow more water and, therefore, increase
the friction loss in the main as it flows from the riser.
LOOPED AND GRIDDED PIPING
In many cases, the water may flow along more than one path. Looped and gridded systems
can be challenging to calculate by hand. In most cases, these systems are designed using
software that can easily solve much more complex systems of equations. Even so, it is
helpful to understand what the software is doing and be able to make estimates without it.
As a simple example, consider a standpipe system with two standpipes. For a standpipe
system, 500 gpm at 100 psi is required at the top of the most remote standpipe, with 250
gpm flowing from other standpipes. The system is shown in Figure 11-6. In this example,
the flow and loss in each of the single paths can be easily determined. The problem is the
looped piping. No simple formula can be used to determine how much water is flowing
through each pipe in the loop.
To work through this problem, start with all of the known quantities and find the losses
in the single paths (the vertical pipes). Since the 250-gpm standpipe is closer and less de-
10/03/17
Chapter 11: Hydraulic Calculations 81

Figure 11-6 Standpipe System with Figure 11-7 Water Flow Paths in Loops
Looped Piping
manding, the 500-gpm standpipe will start the calculation. There is 75 feet of 4-inch piping
with an internal diameter of 4.026 inches, a tee at the base with an equivalent length of 20
feet, and a starting pressure of 100 psi at the top. Assume the piping is all Schedule 40 and
the C factor is 120. The required pressure at the base of the riser is then:
4.52(Q1.85)
100 psi + (75 ft)(0.433 psi/ft) + (75 + 20)( ) = 139 psi
1201.85(4.0264.87)
The next step is to determine how much water is flowing through each leg of the loop
so pressure losses can be calculated. Figure 11-7 designates the three paths in the loop at
the base of the risers. Based on the figures, the following flow relationships are known:
QB + QC = 500 gpm, or QC = 500 QB
QA QB = 250 gpm, or QA = QB + 250
QA + QC = 750
It should be noted at this point that not all of these flows will always be positive. This
example is simple enough that the direction of flow can be easily seen. In many cases,
however, it may not be clear which direction the water is flowing in all sections of piping.
The important thing to remember is that simply because a flow is negative, it does not
necessarily mean that an equation or the answer is wrong. It just means that water may be
flowing in the opposite direction from what was expected.
From here, the expressions for friction losses through each path must be incorporated.
To simplify the process, the variables that will remain the same for each section can be
consolidated. Since each pipe in the loop has the same C factor and diameter, this portion of
the Hazen-Williams equation can be calculated, and a new constant (T) can be substituted:
4.52
T= = 9.91 x 10-8
1201.85(6.0654.87)
A useful detail in calculating looped piping is the fact that the pressure at any given node
point must be the same regardless of from which direction it comes. In this example, it is
known that the pressure at the base of the 500-gpm riser is 139 psi; therefore, the calculation
of pressure losses in each leg of the loop must start at 139 psi. Since the loop also comes
back to a common node point at the beginning and the pressure at this beginning node
must be the same coming from both sides of the loop, the pressure losses through each
leg of the loop must be equal. The effect this fact has on this calculation is that the sum of
the pressure losses in paths A and B must equal the pressure loss in path C. When these
10/03/17
82 Fire Protection Systems

pressure losses match, the pressure of the water arriving at the base of the riser will be the
same regardless of from which leg it comes.
To match up the pressure losses, the flow through each path will vary. To express this as
an equation, add the lengths of each path and the equivalent lengths of the fittings in that
path to the Hazen-Williams equation, substituting T for the constant values. Path A is 25
feet long, path B is 150 feet long with two 90-degree elbows at 14 feet each for a total of
178 feet, and path C is 125 feet long with a 90-degree elbow at 14 feet and a tee at 30 feet
for a total of 169 feet. The resulting equation is then:
25TQA1.85 + 178TQB1.85 = 169TQC1.85
Substituting the flow relations from earlier:
25T(QB + 250)1.85 + 178TQB1.85 = 169T(500 QB)1.85
The equation is now down to a single variable and can be solved. A non-linear equa-
tion of this type, however, cannot easily be solved algebraically. With access to software,
a calculator, or a spreadsheet, a solution can be found quickly, but without those tools,
trial and error substituting guesses and adjusting is most likely the fastest method. In this
example, a little reasoning can yield a good first guess. Looking at the loop, no fittings and
very little pipe are between the water source and the first standpipe, or path C. Also, the
equivalent lengths after fittings are included for each of the other two paths are similar.
With this information, it seems likely that the amount of flow through paths B and C will
also be similar.
After several iterations, the flow that satisfies the equations above is found to be QB = 216
gpm. With a known quantity for QB, QC can be found; therefore, the pressure loss along
path QC can be found:
QC = 500 QB = 500 216 = 284
Then substitute the flow in path C in the reduced Hazen-Williams equation to find the
friction loss:
169TQC1.85 = 0.579 psi
Since the pressure losses around both sides of the loop are the same, this pressure loss is
added to the 139 psi required at the base of the standpipe. The required pressure at the start
of the loop is then 139.579 psi, or rounded to 140 psi. To complete the calculation, the loss
from the final 50 feet of pipe between the start of the loop and the water supply is added:
4.52(7501.85)
140 psi + (50 x ) = 141 psi
1201.85(6.0654.87)
The final required flow and pressure at the water source are 750 gpm and 141 psi.

10/03/17
83

Firefighting
Foam 12
Firefighting foam is a substance made of water, foam concentrate, and air that is used to
suppress fires by coating the fuel source, thus preventing the fires contact with oxygen. The
mixture forms a stable blanket that has a lower density than oil, gasoline, and water. Foam is
the primary extinguishing agent used for flammable liquid (Class B) fires. High-expansion
foams are also acceptable for Class A fires.
The following National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards shall be consulted
for specific design requirements as applicable:
uu NFPA 11: Standard for Low-, Medium-, and High-Expansion Foam
uu NFPA 16: Standard for the Installation of Foam-Water Sprinkler and Foam-Water Spray
Systems
uu NFPA 30: Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code
uu NFPA 403: Standard for Aircraft Rescue and Fire-Fighting Services at Airports
uu NFPA 409: Standard on Aircraft Hangars
uu NFPA 1150: Standard on Foam Chemicals for Fires in Class A Fuels
HOW FOAMS EXTINGUISH FIRE
Firefighting foam works to extinguish fires in the following ways:
uu Smothering the fuel source
uu Separating the fire from the fuel source
uu Cooling the fuel and surrounding surfaces
uu Suppressing the release of flammable vapors
Criteria for Foam to Be Effective
For foam to be fully effective in suppressing a fire, the following criteria must be met:
uu The liquid (fuel) must be below its boiling point at the ambient conditions of tempera-
ture and pressure.
uu Care must be taken in the application of the foam to liquids with a bulk temperature
higher than 212F. At this temperature and above, foam forms an emulsion of steam,
air, and fuel, which may produce a four-fold increase in volume when applied to a tank
fire, with dangerous frothing or overflow of the burning liquid.
uu The liquid must not be unduly destructive to the foam used, or the foam must not be
highly soluble in the liquid (fuel).
uu The liquid must not be water-reactive.
uu The fire must be a horizontal surface fire. Three-dimensional (falling fuel) or pressurized
fires cannot be extinguished by foam unless the hazard has a relatively high flashpoint
and can be cooled to extinguishment by the water in the foam.

10/03/17
84 Fire Protection Systems

FOAM CHARACTERISTICS
Drainage Rate
The discharge rate measures how long it takes for the discharged foam to drain from the
expanded foam mass, with the rate based on how long it takes 25 percent of the solution
to drain from the foam. Fast, or short, drain times reflect a more fluid foam. Slow, or long,
drain times indicate a less fluid foam, but these foams cover the surface more slowly, which
means more contact time with the fuel source.
Expansion Rate
The expansion rate is the volume of finished foam divided by the volume of foam solution.
Foams are divided into three expansion rateslow, medium, and highbased on their
ability to fill a space:
uu The expansion rate of low-expansion foams is less than 20 times. These foams are low
viscosity, mobile, and able to quickly cover large areas.
uu The expansion rate of medium-expansion foams is between 20 and 200. They are used
to fill large volumes, flood surfaces, and fill cavities.
uu The expansion rate of high-expansion foams is more than 200. They are suitable for
enclosed spaces such as hangars, where quick filling is needed, but they also can be
used to fill large volumes, flood surfaces, and fill cavities.
TYPES OF FOAMS
Foams are selected for specific applications according to their properties and performance
(see Table 12-1). Some foams are thick, viscous, and form tough heat-resistant blankets
over burning liquid surfaces; other foams are thinner and spread more rapidly.
Aqueous Film-Forming Foam
Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) is the most widely used type of firefighting foam based
on its fast fire control and knockdown. It is appropriate for use on hydrocarbon fuels and
is widely used in aircraft hangars and military installations.
AFFF is water-based and frequently contains a hydrocarbon-based surfactant, which
allows it to spread over the surface of hydrocarbon-based liquids. When discharged, it forms
an aqueous film on the surface of the flammable liquid, providing superior extinguishing
capabilities compared to protein or fluoroprotein foams. AFFF is also very fluid, so it can
quickly flow around obstacles.
Table 12-1 Foam Characteristics
Efficiency2 Foam Expansion3
Foam Type1
Hydrocarbons Polar Liquids Low Medium High
AFFF 3 0 Y Y N
AR-AFFF 3 3 Y Y N
P 1 0 Y N N
FP 2 0 Y Y N
FFFP 3 0 Y Y N
AR-FP 2 3 Y Y N
AR-FFFP 3 3 Y Y N
1
AFFF: Aqueous film-forming foam, AR: Alcohol-resistant, P: Protein, FP: Fluoroprotein, FFFP: Film-forming fluoroprotein
2
0: No efficiency, 1: Low efficiency, 2: Good efficiency, 3: Excellent efficiency
3
Low: Expansion ratio between 2 to 1 and 20 to 1, Medium: Expansion ratio between 20 to 1 and 200 to 1, High: Expansion ratio
more than 200 to 1.
Source: Chemguard
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Chapter 12: Firefighting Foam 85

Alcohol-Resistant Aqueous Film-Forming Foam


Polar solvent/alcohol liquids have the ability to destroy a firefighting foam blanket, so
alcohol-resistant AFFF was developed. When discharged, a protective film separates the
foam from the fuel and prevents the destruction of the foam blanket; thus, AR-AFFF is
very effective on hydrocarbon and water-miscible fires.
Protein Foam
Protein is a very stable foam made of naturally occurring sources of protein such as hoof,
horn, and feather meal. It is intended for use on hydrocarbon fuels only. Because of its
stability, it is slow moving compared to synthetic foams, but it has good heat resistance
and burnback. Protein foam has slow knockdown characteristics, but it provides post-fire
security at an economical cost.
Fluoroprotein Foam
Fluoroprotein (FP) foam offers the same benefits as regular protein foams, but due to the
addition of fluorochemical surfactants, it offers faster mobility, has improved resistance
to fuel contamination/pickup, and is compatible with dry chemicals. FP foam is intended
for use on hydrocarbon fuels and some oxygenated fuel additives. FP foam can be applied
directly on the fuels surface.
Alcohol-Resistant Fluoroprotein Foam
Alcohol-resistant FP foam offers the same benefits as FP foam, but it is also effective on
water-soluble fuels such as methyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol, and acetone by forming a pro-
tective membrane between the foam and the fuel source.
Film-Forming Fluoroprotein
Film-forming fluoroprotein (FFFP) is a protein-based foam concentrate with the addition of
a fluorochemical surfactant, which releases an aqueous film on the surface of a hydrocarbon
fuel for improved mobility and faster extinguishment. FFFP combines the fuel tolerance
and burnback resistance of an FP foam with increased knockdown.
Alcohol-Resistant Film-Forming Fluoroprotein
Alcohol-resistant FFFP offers the same benefits as FFFP and also is resistant to water-sol-
uble fuels.
Class A Foam Concentrate
Class A foam concentrate is used in addition to water to help extinguish Class A fires. When
mixed with water, it allows the water to blanket the fuel source rather than running off it;
thus, less water is necessary with the use of Class A concentrates. According to the National
Institute of Standards and Technology, water treated with Class A foam concentrate can
wet a Class A fuel up to 20 times more rapidly and is three to five times more efficient at
fire extinguishment than untreated water.
Class A foam concentrates can also be used as a fire barrier to increase the moisture
content in Class A combustibles to prevent them from igniting.
PROPORTIONING
Foam concentrate is mixed with water in a process called proportioning. The correct ratio
of foam concentrate to water is essential for optimum performance.

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86 Fire Protection Systems

Percentages
Different foams are proportioned at different percentages (ratios), which are listed on the
foam container. For example, 3 percent concentrates are mixed with water at a ratio of 97
parts water to 3 parts foam. Lower proportioning percentage foams are preferred when
possible because more foam concentrate can be transported and stored than higher pro-
portioning percentage foams.
Proportioning Methods
Proportioning can be accomplished in the following ways.
Pre-Mix/Dump-In
This is the simplest method, requiring nothing more than mixing pre-measured portions
of water and foam concentrate. It is not practical for fixed (piped) industrial applications.
Balanced-Pressure Proportioning Systems
This method comprises a pressure-rated vessel with an internal, reinforced elastomeric
bladder containing the foam concentrate. The systems water pressure squeezes the blad-
der, forcing the foam concentrate into a proportioner with a metering device. The foam is
stored in an atmospheric foam storage tank with an electric positive-displacement pump,
and an automatic pressure-balancing valve regulates the foam to match the water pressure.
Line Proportioner
In this method, pressurized water flows through a line proportioner (eductor), creating
a negative pressure area where suction draws the foam concentrate from an atmospheric
foam storage tank.
Around the Pump
A fire pump is used in this method. A portion of the fire pump discharge is diverted through
a line proportioner, which is piped to the suction side of the pump to form a loop around
the pump. The line proportioner produces a foam solution with the incoming water in the
loop piping in a ratio such that when proportioned with fire pump intake water, the desired
percentage of foam solution is produced.
Water-Driven Foam Proportioner
The water-driven foam proportioner assembly is installed in the main water line (riser).
The systems water flow rate determines the amount of foam concentrate that is injected
into the water supply, delivering the correct percentage of foam solution to the discharge
devices regardless of varying flow rates and pressures.
Water Pressure
Proportioner pressures should not exceed 200 pounds per square inch (psi), as foam quality
deteriorates at higher pressures.
DISCHARGE DEVICES
Once the foam concentration is correctly mixed (proportioned) with water, air must be
added to produce the expanded foam. This is accomplished using an aspirated or non-as-
pirated discharge device.
With an aspirated device, the foam solution passes through an orifice, past air inlets,
into a mixing area, and through a discharge device. With a non-aspirated device, the foam
solution passes through an orifice and a stream deflector to produce droplets of solution
that combine with air between the device outlet and the fuel surface.
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Chapter 12: Firefighting Foam 87

NFPA and UL classify discharge devices by the way they apply foam to the liquids
surface as follows:
uu NFPA classifications: Type 1 delivers the foam gently onto the liquids surface without
the foam being submerged or the surface being agitated. Type 2 does not deliver foam
gently onto the surface, but it is designed to lessen submergence of the foam and agi-
tation of the surface.
uu UL classifications: Type 1 delivers foam without submergence. Type 2 delivers foam with
partial submergence. Type 3 delivers in a manner that causes the foam to fall directly
onto the surface and in a manner that causes general agitation.
Many types of discharge devices are used with foam. They include but are not limited
to the following:
uu Nozzles
uu Monitors
uu Sprinkler heads
uu Foam chambers
uu Foam makers
uu Foam generators
GUIDELINES FOR FIRE PROTECTION WITH FOAMS
The following general rules apply to the application and use of ordinary foams:
uu Applying the foam more gently requires a lower total amount of foam and produces
more rapid extinguishment.
uu Successful use of foam depends on the rate at which it is applied. Application rates are
described as volume of foam per fuel surface area per minute (i.e., gallons per minute
per square foot). Increasing the application rate reduces the time required to extinguish
the fire. Increasing the rate more than three times the minimum rate does not provide
much more improvement in extinguishment time.
uu In general, foams will be more stable when they are generated with clean water at an
ambient temperature between 35F and 80F. Water containing known impurities may
adversely affect the foams quality.
uu Foams are also adversely affected by air containing combustion products. It is best to lo-
cate foam makers to the side of the hazard being protected, rather than directly overhead.
uu Recommended pressure ranges should be observed for all foam-making devices. The
foams quality will deteriorate if these limits (either high or low) are exceeded.
STORAGE
A foam storage tank and its contents must be inspected and tested at least yearly or as re-
quired by NFPA 25: Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based
Fire Protection Systems. Storage conditions (temperature variations, sunlight, and type of
concentrate) affect the shelf life of foam concentrates. Storing different types and brands
of foam in the same container is typically not acceptable. For specific recommendations,
contact the foam manufacturer.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF FOAM
Contemporary UL-Listed or military specification-approved foam concentrates are specifi-
cally formulated to provide maximum firefighting capabilities with minimal environmental
impacts and human exposure hazards. All concentrates are biodegradable in both the
natural environment and sewage treatment facilities. However, foam solutions generally
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88 Fire Protection Systems

have a high biological oxygen demand (BOD)that is, they extract high levels of oxygen to
break down. This is an issue in the natural environment and where the foam is discharged
to wastewater treatment plants. By federal and state laws, all attempts should be made to
prevent discharge to waterways, even under emergency conditions. Prior to discharge to
water treatment plants, the facility operator should be contacted to discuss the volume,
rate, and expected time to discharge to their system.

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89

Water Mist
Systems 13
Water mist systems were developed to provide a fixed fire protection system using water
as the key extinguishing media, similar to an automatic sprinkler system or water spray
(deluge) system. The key difference of water mist systems is the droplet size and the
impact the droplet size has relating to the efficiency of the water in controlling and/or
extinguishing a fire.
Water mist systems are defined by NFPA 750: Standard on Water Mist Fire Protection
Systems as a water spray for which the Dv0.99, for the flow-weighted cumulative volumetric
distribution of water droplets, is less than 1,000 microns at the minimum design operating
pressure of the water mist nozzle. Dv0.99 refers to the amount of water discharged from
the nozzlesi.e., 99 percent of the water volume must have droplets smaller than 1,000
microns in size. (In comparison, a typical sprinkler water droplet is 1,500+ microns in size.)
The minimum pressure of the water mist nozzle is the basis for the measurement of droplet
size. As a comparison, most current water mist systems require minimum pressures as high
as 1,000 pounds per square inch (psi), depending on the technology selected, whereby a
typical sprinkler may operate at as low as 7 psi.
HISTORY OF WATER MIST
The motivation to develop technology to create smaller droplets and use less water was
associated with two key fire protection issues. First, due to previous fires and loss of life on
merchant ships at sea, regulations known as SOLAS (safety of life at sea) were adopted. All
ships with more than 20 passengers were required to install fire sprinklers. The technical
challenges to installing a regular sprinkler system (i.e., water supplies, balancing the ship
during water discharge, bulkhead penetrations, and pipe sizes) were addressed by the
development and use of water mist systems. Due to their smaller pipe sizes, smaller water
supplies, etc., ships could accommodate water mist systems more easily than sprinkler
systems.
The second market development was the technical challenges associated with the
installation of automatic sprinkler, deluge water spray, or clean agent systems in many
land-based applications. For example, water supplies were sometimes limited, water runoff
was an environmental issue, and new pipe installation was severely restricted in existing
structures. For these reasons, water mist systems were found to be an alternative to more
conventional fire protection systems.
PERFORMANCE PRINCIPLES OF WATER MIST
Water mist controls and extinguishes a fire by impacting two sides of the fire triangle: heat
and oxygen. Water mist affects these two properties through three primary methods: heat
extraction, oxygen displacement, and radiant heat blocking.
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The first way that water mist controls and extinguishes a fire is through heat extraction.
Water mist does not cool fires in the same method as typical wet pipe sprinkler systems,
which are able to wet and cool the fuel itself due to the size and velocity of the comparatively
large water droplets created by an ordinary sprinklers deflector. Water mist systems, with a
substantially smaller droplet size, quickly extract heat from the hot gases and flames. This
is due to the surface area of the particlethe rate of heat absorption is a function of the
surface area of the water droplet, not the volume of the water droplets. As the water mist
droplets are much smaller than other water-based systems, the surface area per gallon of
water is dramatically increased.
When a water mist system discharges, the droplets are rapidly heated and converted into
steam, which in turn consumes the energy of the fire. When sufficient energy is removed
from the fire, the temperature of the flame drops below the minimum level required to
maintain combustion, and the fire extinguishes.
The steam also plays a role in oxygen displacement. Water droplets expand during evap-
oration (up to 1,600 times), causing the water vapor to displace the air surrounding the
droplet. The application of water mist into a hot compartment causes rapid steam creation,
displacing the combustion-fueling air within the space. This process is particularly effective
with an extremely large or hot fire, as such conditions cause rapid vaporization of the water.
Lastly, the steam blocks radiant heat. A combination of the large amounts of steam
generated during the extinguishment process and the water droplets themselves creates
an effective thermal barrier, attenuating the heat transfer between the flames and the fuel
while also reducing the radiation of the flames to unburned surfaces, thus slowing the
spread of the fire.
Conditions
For a water mist system to control and extinguish a fire, the following key conditions must
be present:
uu Open flames (deluge applications)
uu Light hazard (or limited ordinary hazards) for closed-head systems
uu Limited volumes of the risk being protected
uu Limited heights
uu Limitations on ventilation
uu Limited fuel types and quantities of combustibles
Based on these conditions, a water mist system will perform well as a deluge application
in a limited-volume, enclosed space if the fuel type is limited, if an open flame is antici-
pated in a fire scenario, and if the ventilation is controlled to some degree. In a sprinkler
alternative application, water mist will perform well within a light hazard occupancy (with
limited ordinary hazard spaces).
STANDARDS AND APPROVALS
The key standards for water mist systems utilized in North America are:
uu FM Approval Standard for Water Mist Systems (Class Number 5560)
uu NFPA 750
uu UL 2167: Standard for Water Mist Nozzles for Fire Protection Service
The earliest approvals were associated with the International Maritime Organization
(IMO), with sprinkler alternatives for passenger ships and local application systems (used
to protect engine equipment in lieu of carbon dioxide) being the predominant approvals.
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Chapter 13: Water Mist Systems 91

FM Global approves both deluge and sprinkler alternative systems (light and ordinary
hazard). The Class 5560 test protocols are the basis for all land-based system approvals, and
each approval is based on a volume limitation (deluge) or square footage and ceiling height
(sprinkler alternative). These approvals are typically system approvals, not component ap-
provals such as those seen with conventional sprinkler systems. Water mist systems are sold
inclusive of nozzles, pressure units, strainers, valving, and some level of technical support.
Some of FM Globals approvals for specialty water mist systems are:
uu Protection of Machinery in Enclosures with Volumes Not Exceeding 9,175 ft3
uu Protection of Combustion Turbines in Enclosures with Volumes Not Exceeding 9,175 ft3
uu Protection of Non-Storage Occupancies, Hazard Category 1
uu Protection of Wet Benches and Other Similar Processing Equipment
uu Protection of Industrial Oil Cookers
uu Protection of Computer Room Raised Floors
It is important to note that generalized listings should not be broadly relied on with-
out verifying that the performance stated by the listing meets the needs of the particular
protection scenario. The listings have two shortcomings: a simplified test protocol and
specific performance objectives. The simplified test protocols may not capture the details
of all possible real-world conditions. For example, the FM approval for the Protection of
Combustion Turbines in Enclosures with Volumes Not Exceeding 9,175 ft3 only contains
a mock-up of a combustion turbine enclosure; the mist is tested against exposed and
shielded spray fires with sheet metal used for shielding, but the mock-up does not include
the turbine body and associated components and tubing. Careful consideration must be
employed to accurately determine what components were tested for the listing and how
that applies to the desired protection scenario.
In addition, with many of the approving organizations, water mist is tested against ex-
tremely specific settings using precise criteria. For example, IMO tests for accommodations
and public spaces only require the fire be controlled (not extinguished) for 10 minutes, in
the philosophy that firefighting crews will arrive on the scene to manually extinguish the
fire within that timeframe. However, the machinery room tests require full extinguishment.
It is important to accurately assess the desired protection scheme and compare it to the
specific listing to determine if the approval tests meet the real-world application.
WATER MIST SYSTEM TYPES
The two types of water mist systems are single and twin fluid.
Single Fluid
The single-fluid system employs either a pump unit or cylinder supplies of gas to increase
the water pressure to the design requirements. The water supply for the system may be a
potable water supply, if available, or a stored water tank or cylinder. The quantity of water
depends on the anticipated system demand and the discharge duration. FM allows for a
limited discharge duration of 10 minutes for certain deluge applications, while NFPA 750
requires enough gas and water for two 30-minute discharges. These types of systems may
use a stored cylinder arrangement for both water and gas.
The network of pipes from the pressure device (pump or cylinders) to the nozzles is
required to be capable of withstanding the pressures anticipated in the system and must
not contribute scale, rust, etc., that may clog the nozzles. Since water mist nozzle orifices
are extremely small compared to sprinklers, all water mist systems require an integral
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92 Fire Protection Systems

strainer on the incoming nozzle orifice and in the water supply to prevent deposits from
clogging the nozzles.
Single-fluid systems are offered with open (deluge) nozzles and closed, fusible bulb
(sprinkler alternative) options. Each manufacturer has different listings, designs, and spac-
ing requirements for their nozzles and system components. Droplet sizes for single-fluid
system range from 50 to 200 microns; however, this measurement depends on the location
of the water droplet sample and the sophistication of the measuring equipment.
Nozzles are further divided into impingement and pressure jet models. Impingement
nozzles rely on a solid jet of water impacting a deflector and subsequently atomizing into
small drops. The velocity of the water and the shape of the impingement surface determine
the angle of discharge, the drop size, and the spray momentum. Impingement-type nozzles
are generally employed with low- and medium-pressure systems and create relatively large
water droplets. Pressure jet nozzles rely on specialized system components to drive water
through a tiny orifice at very high velocities, causing a breakup of the water stream into
mist as it exits the nozzles. Pressure jet nozzles typically require higher operating pressures
than impingement nozzles, but they can create a much finer and more uniform water mist.
NFPA 750 further defines single-fluid systems based on the system pressure:
uu Low pressure: 175 psi or less
uu Intermediate pressure: 175 to 500 psi
uu High pressure: More than 500 psi
As the system pressure has a direct correlation to system component requirements, pipe
types, installation complexity, pumps, tanks, and life-cycle costs, these technical issues
associated with pressure should be considered in the pre-design stage.
Twin Fluid
In lieu of developing all of the required nozzle pressure at the starting point (via a pump
or cylinders) and transmitting the water under pressure through the pipe network, NFPA
750 provides for the option of a twin-fluid system. This type of water mist system utilizes
a propellant gas (steam, air, or nitrogen) and water, with the two media routed through
separate pipe networks to the discharge device. (Note: FM considers a twin-fluid water
mist system using nitrogen as the propellant to be a hybrid system.) At the discharge de-
vice (nozzle, emitter, or atomizer), the two fluids are combined to produce the water mist.
The advantages of a twin-fluid system are efficiency and small water droplets. The
separate propellant network of pipes to the discharge device allows for a lower pressure
within the system, yet enables the technology to create smaller water droplets and less
water consumption than a single-fluid system. Many twin-fluid systems operate at less
than 120 psi, with some operating with pressures as low as 25 psi. Testing with twin-fluid
discharge devices has demonstrated that a substantial number of water droplets is below
the 10-micron size, creating more droplets per gallon of water and thus more surface area
to absorb heat, causing a higher rate of steam conversion per gallon of water discharged.
Twin-fluid nozzles create mist by using the gas and nozzle geometry to shear the water
as it exits the system, creating a uniform mist discharge. Twin-fluid nozzles can control
the angle of the discharge pattern, discharge rate, and drop size distribution.
SYSTEM DESIGN
The design of a water mist system should start with a review of the hazard and the perfor-
mance characteristics of the system. If the risk being protected exceeds the volume and/or
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Chapter 13: Water Mist Systems 93

height restrictions of the approval agencies, if the fuel load is different or of a larger quantity
compared to the testing, or if oxygen levels below 16 percent will not be acceptable (deluge
applications), then water mist may not be the appropriate system choice.
The reliability of a water mist system must also be considered. Water mist systems typically
incorporate equipment and concepts that are generally avoided in customary sprinkler
systems. Higher water pressures increase the chances of piping or fitting failures, while a
small discharge orifice size increases the chances of nozzle plugging. The control systems
generally require local detection to trigger an electrically released solenoid, adding logic
controls and increasing the chances of individual equipment (and therefore system) failure.
Another key design consideration is the customers budget. As all water mist systems
require higher pressures and more sophisticated components to develop and deliver smaller
droplet sizes, these systems are likely more expensive than other fire protection technologies
such as automatic sprinklers, water spray, and clean agents.
Thus, prior to the selection and design of any water mist system, it is recommended that
the hazard, system design parameters, and motivation for using water mist be confirmed
with both the building owner and the water mist manufacturer.
The design information required for any water mist technology includes the following:
uu Risk to be protected (area and volume)
uu Type of risk (e.g., turbine enclosure, machinery space, light hazard sprinkler alternative)
uu Type of fuel anticipated (class A, class B flammable liquids, etc.)
uu Maximum ceiling height for any space protected
uu Ventilation into risk (options to shut down ventilation)
uu Water supply flow and pressure (existing, extension from domestic supply, self-con-
tained, etc.)
uu Duration of water mist discharge
uu Insurance underwriter or approving agency
uu Other motivations for use (water use, environmental safety, contamination, etc.)
uu Why other system types were eliminated from consideration
uu Commercial limitations
With this information, a design approach may be selected. As different water mist sys-
tems have unique design limitations, the designer may elect to review the design param-
eters directly with the manufacturers to determine the best system option for the design
requirements.
The system designer is recommended to solicit the above technical information as re-
quired to establish the scope of supply for the contractor to develop a quote. As the water
mist system may be a small portion of the overall fire protection scope of supply (and price),
it is recommended that the water mist projects value be clearly established at the time of
bidding to ensure that the designer may utilize the option to compare system alternatives.
The designer also will need to consider the requirements for a system of electrical detec-
tion to activate the water mist system if a deluge or local application is specified. Electrical
detectors, manual pull stations, alarms, and control panels may be required.
If a pump unit is used to pressurize the water mist system, consideration should be given
to the need for a standby power supply and/or electrical transfer switch if an electric water
mist pump is employed. Auxiliary devices for the system, such as flow-measuring devices,
onsite testing, etc., are identified in NFPA 750 and NFPA 20: Standard for the Installation
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94 Fire Protection Systems

In the design of a twin-fluid system, additional consideration should be given to the dual
network of piping required for each discharge device. This requirement may restrict the
use of a twin-fluid system in an occupancy with limited space allocated for fire protection.
Further, nitrogen storage and refill capabilities need to be considered.
COMPARISONS TO OTHER FIRE PROTECTION TECHNOLOGIES
The use of water mist is a viable option assuming the technical and commercial issues have
been vetted. Following is an overview of the technical advantages and issues to review when
considering water mist in lieu of other fire protection technologies.
Water Mist vs. Sprinklers
uu Reduced water demand (less than 20 percent for nonresidential systems)
uu Improved cooling and radiation attenuation
uu Reduced footprint of equipment and pipe network
uu Reduced water discharge from head damage or inadvertent operation
uu Effective against class A and class B fuels
uu Decreased water damage to the building and surrounding environment
Water Mist vs. Water Spray
uu Oxygen displacement (local and global)
uu Combustion chemistry interference
uu Fuel cooling
uu Radiation attenuation
uu Reduced firefighting runoff containment and disposal costs
Water Mist vs. Clean Agents
uu Improved maintenance, reliability, and life-cycle
uu Fully approved for occupied spaces (nontoxic)
uu No discharge delay; attacks fire in the earliest stages
uu Less restrictive enclosure integrity
uu Extended/unlimited agent supply
uu No/low agent costs to all parties
uu No potential for decommissioning of the system
Technical Issues to Consider
uu High pressure required compared to sprinklers and water spray
uu Pipe network must be corrosion resistant and able to withstand higher pressures
uu Limits on system volumes (deluge)
uu Limits on nozzle elevations (deluge and sprinkler alternative)
uu Limited installer experience (notably high-pressure systems)
uu Component complexity and availability
uu Life-cycle costs

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95

Carbon Dioxide
Systems 14
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is naturally present in the atmosphere in very small amounts (0.03
percent) and is a normal product of human and animal metabolism. However, an increase
in its concentration in the air (to more than 6 or 7 percent) is dangerous for humans. At
room temperature, carbon dioxide is a gas that is colorless, odorless, inert, electrically
nonconductive, and noncorrosive.
CO2 is liquefied by compression and cooling and converted to a solid state by cooling
and expansion. An unusual property of carbon dioxide is that it cannot exist as a liquid at
pressures below 60 pounds per square inch gauge (psig) (75 psi absolute). This pressure
is known as the triple-point pressure at which carbon dioxide may be present as a solid,
liquid, or vapor. Below this pressure, it must be either a solid or a gas, depending on the
temperature.
If the pressure in a CO2 storage container is reduced by bleeding off vapor, some of the
liquid will vaporize, and the remaining liquid will get colder. At 60 psig, the remaining
liquid will be converted to dry ice at a temperature of -69F (-56C). Further reduction in
the pressure will convert all of the material to dry ice, which has a temperature of -110F
(-79C).
The same process takes place when liquid carbon dioxide is discharged into the at-
mospherea large portion of the liquid flashes to vapor with a considerable increase in
volume. The rest is converted into finely divided particles of dry ice at -110F. This dry ice,
or snow, gives the discharge its typically cloudy, white appearance. The low temperature
also causes water to condense from the air, so ordinary water fog tends to persist for a while
after the dry ice has evaporated.
When carbon dioxide is discharged into an enclosed area, a cloud or fog develops, which
is due to the condensation that results from the dry ice forming. The dry ice disappears
shortly, which is why extinguishing by cooling is minimal.
When CO2 is discharged into an enclosed area at 34 percent concentration by volume, the
temperature in the area drops nearly 80F very quickly, but it immediately begins to rise. In
two minutes, the temperature rises 35F, and in six minutes it rises 50F. The temperature
then will slowly continue to rise to that of surrounding area.
CARBON DIOXIDE AS A FIRE SUPPRESSION AGENT
As a fire suppression agent, carbon dioxide is beneficial because it leaves no residue to clean
up after discharge and does not contribute harmful chemicals to the drainage system. It
is approximately 50 percent heavier than air and moves slowly downward, so discharge
nozzles must be located at the upper portion of the protected area. Its extinguishing effect
occurs because the oxygen content in the surrounding air is reduced below the 15 percent
threshold needed for combustion
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96 Fire Protection Systems

When CO2 is discharged on electrical equipment, it does not produce an electrical shock.
It also does not spread the fire to surrounding areas, which may happen when a fire hose
with a solid stream is used. However, if a stream of CO2 directly hits an operating piece of
hot equipment, thermal shock and damage could result.
Carbon dioxide may be used in the following applications:
uu Flammable liquids and gases
uu Electrical hazards (computer rooms, transformers, generators, and switch-gear rooms)
uu Ovens, broilers, ranges, and kitchen stove exhaust ducts
uu Combustibles with unique value (e.g., legal documents, films, books)
CO2 should not be used in the following areas:
uu When oxidizing materials (chemicals containing their own oxygen supply) are present
uu Where personnel cannot be quickly evacuated
uu When reactive metals are present (e.g., sodium, potassium, magnesium, titanium)
Carbon dioxide is stored in either high- or
low-pressure containers. High-pressure containers
store CO2 at 850 psi and 70F, and each cylinder may
weigh 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 35, 50, 75, 100, or 125 pounds.
The CO2 content per cylinder is 60 to 68 percent, and
the balance within the cylinder is an inert propellant
gas. Figure 14-1 shows the typical arrangement of
high-pressure containers.
Low-pressure containers store CO2 in refrigerated
tanks at 300 psi and 0F.
The conventional breakpoint between high- and
low-pressure systems is based on the amount of CO2
required for protection and the space occupied by the
cylinders. Typically this is 2,000 pounds of carbon Figure 14-1 High-Pressure Carbon
dioxide. Due to energy conservation, high-pressure Dioxide Cylinder Arrangement
systems that do not require refrigeration are used in larger systems. The space occupied
by the cylinders is the limiting criteria.
A CO2 system may be controlled by either an automatic pneumatic or heat-actuated
detector (HAD). Detectors may be either electrical or mechanical. For manual operation,
a pull cable is used in a mechanical system, a push button is used in an electrical system,
and plant or bottled air is used in a pneumatic system. Manual emergency actuation is
used if the automatic operation fails.
When installing a carbon dioxide system, the following points should be considered:
uu High-pressure cylinders must be stored at temperatures of no more than 120F and no
less than 32F.
uu The distribution piping must be steel. For high-pressure systems of inch and less,
use Schedule 40; for 1 inch and larger, use Schedule 80 with malleable and forged-steel
fittings. For low-pressure piping, check the required pipe schedule with National Fire
Protection Association (NFPA) standards.
uu Valves and nozzles must be furnished by the vendor and be UL Listed.
System Applications
Types of carbon dioxide system applications include the following:
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Chapter 14: Carbon Dioxide Systems 97

uu Total flooding in enclosed spaces, such as within electrical equipment, electrical closets,
or specially designed enclosures that surround a hazard: In such cases, the CO2 system
includes a fixed supply, piping, and nozzles.
uu Local application where the hazard can be isolated and CO2 is applied directly on the
burning material: Such a system includes a fixed supply, piping, and nozzles. System
design is based on the area to be protected, nozzle design, optimum flow rates, and
discharge time. The total quantity can be calculated as follows:
Total quantity = Nozzle discharge rate x Number of nozzles x Discharge time
Note: High-pressure cylinders use a discharge time of +30 seconds. For storage capacity,
consult the vendor.
uu Standpipe and handheld hoses to be directed on burning surfaces: The supply is dis-
charged through hoses located on reels or racks, preferably laid out so two hoses can
reach the same spot simultaneously (estimate two minutes at 500 pounds per minute, or
1,000 pounds of CO2). Note: A 200-foot limitation on the supply line may be extended
with a bleeder, which simultaneously opens and closes a valve provided with a timer.
uu Mobile systems, usually in which twin cylinders are manifolded together and installed
on a dolly: Such a system is wheeled to an area where a fire is burning. The usual ap-
plication is in parking garages.
uu Portable fire extinguishers filled with carbon dioxide
Examples of CO2 concentrations for deep-seated fires are:
uu For cable insulation: 50 percent
uu For dust-filled areas: 75 percent
Figure 14-2 summarizes carbon dioxide applications.
Advantages and Disadvantages
The advantages of carbon dioxide as an extinguisher are as follows:
uu Provides some cooling (minor)
uu Smothers fires
uu Leaves no residue after discharge
uu Is a gas and has the capability to penetrate and spread
The disadvantages of carbon dioxide as an extinguisher are as follows:
uu Hazardous to personnel in the area protected
uu Needs enclosure for best results
uu Finite supply (vs. water)
uu Fire may reflash (to suppress and/or prevent reflash, provide a double-shot reserve)
CO2 Applications

Total flooding Local application

Surface fires (one- Deep-seated fires Rate of Rate of application


minute discharge, (seven-minute application determined by
no holding period maximum discharge,* determined by volume
20-minute holding area
period
*30 percent concentration within two minutes
Figure 14-2 Summary of Carbon Dioxide Applications
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98 Fire Protection Systems

ALARMS AND EVACUATION


Oxygen deficiency and decreased visibility are both concerns when carbon dioxide is used.
For these reasons, it is important to establish an alarm system and evacuation procedure
for a CO2 extinguishing system.
The three alarm steps in CO2 operation are initial, evacuation, and discharge. Each alarm
has a distinctive tone; for an effective evacuation, alarm drills are required so the occupants
become familiar with the distinctive signals as well as evacuation procedures.
When CO2 is released, auxiliary switches operated by either cylinder pressure or an
electronic panel may simultaneously cut off fuel (close a gas-supply valve), close dampers,
or shut off fans to cut the supply of fresh oxygen, as well as set off alarms, close fire doors,
and/or shut down operating equipment.
An area protected by CO2 must have warning signs, such as one of the following:
uu Warning: Carbon dioxide gas is discharged when alarm operates. Vacate immediately.
uu Warning: Carbon dioxide gas is discharged when alarm operates. Do not enter until
ventilated.
uu Warning: Carbon dioxide discharged into a nearby space may collect here. When alarm
operates, vacate immediately.
uu Warning: Actuation of this device will cause carbon dioxide to discharge. Before acti-
vating, be sure personnel are clear of the area.
In addition to signs, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations
require CO2 discharge delays, breathing apparatus available to personnel entering the room
(after the fire is out), and accessible, well-marked exits.
SPECIFICATIONS
The engineer should write a specification with the idea that specialized, engineered equip-
ment will be purchased from a vendor. Specifications must include:
uu Description of the risk (hazard)
uu Type of system desired (low or high pressure)
uu Type of activation desired (manual and/or automatic)
uu Opening closures to be released or activated (door fans, etc.)
The engineer also must show the desired route of piping, but not include sizes. Vendor
drawings, together with calculations, shall be submitted for approval to the authority having
jurisdiction (AHJ) and the owners fire insurance underwriter.
For final approval after installation, a puff test is usually used; however, the puff CO2
discharge might not be permitted for environmental reasons. In this case, a harmless (inert)
gas is used to test the system.
CYLINDERS AND SCALES
In a carbon dioxide system, high-pressure cylinders are sometimes located on a scale,
which is normally inoperable unless lifted into position. Cylinders may last up to 12 years
before being recharged.
Two banks of CO2 are kept in storage for a double shot. One of the two banks of cylinders
is a reserve. A cylinders weight must be checked every six months. If during this interval
a cylinder loses 10 percent of its weight, it must be replaced with a new one.
Whatever the arrangement, routine maintenance should include storage area cleanliness.
Another part of routine maintenance is to ensure that all equipment is ready for proper
operation when needed.
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Chapter 14: Carbon Dioxide Systems 99

PIPE SIZING CALCULATIONS


When carbon dioxide gas is discharged, the pressure drops, a vapor is formed, and CO2
volume increases, as does friction in pipes and fittings. Software is available that takes all of
these factors into consideration and can be used when performing pipe sizing calculations.
Pipe sizing shall be done by the CO2 manufacturer. The designer shall calculate the amount
needed and select the system type (high or low pressure).
Example 14-1
Perform calculations for a total-flooding system. The area in which this system will be
installed contains flammable materials. Other specifications are as follows:
uu Space volume: 2,000 cubic feet
uu Type of combustible: Gasoline
uu Ventilation openings: 20 square feet
From Table 14-1, the design concentration of CO2 can be found. For this installation, it
is 34 percent.
From Table 14-2 it is possible to determine the volume factor. For this particular installa-
tion, the room has a volume of 2,000 cubic feet. Table 14-2 shows that between 1,601 cubic
feet and 4,500 cubic feet, the requirement is 18 cubic feet per pound of CO2. Therefore:
2,000 ft3/18 ft3 = 111 lbs CO2 required
Table 14-1 Minimum Carbon Dioxide Concentrations for Extinguishment
Theoretical Minimum Theoretical Minimum
Minimum CO2 Design CO2 Minimum CO2 Design CO2
Material Material
Concentration, Concentration, Concentration, Concentration,
% % % %
Acetylene 55 66 Gasoline 28 34
Acetone 27 34 Hexane 29 35
Aviation gas, grades Higher paraffin
30 36 28 34
115/145 hydrocarbons
Benzol, Benzene 31 37 Hydrogen 62 75
Hydrogen
Butadiene 34 41 30 36
sulfide
Butane 28 34 Isobutane 30 36
Butane I 31 37 Isobutylene 26 34
Isobutylene
Carbon disulfide 60 72 26 34
formate
Carbon monoxide 53 64 JP-4 30 36
Coal or natural gas 31 37 Kerosene 28 34
Cyclopropane 31 37 Methane 25 34
Diethyl ether 33 40 Methyl acetate 29 35
Dimethyl other 33 40 Methyl alcohol 33 40
Methyl butane
Dow therm 38 46 30 36
I
Methyl ethyl
Ethane 33 40 33 40
ketone
Ethyl alcohol 36 43 Methyl formate 32 39
Ethyl ether 38 46 Pentane 29 35
Ethylene 41 49 Propane 30 36
Ethylene dichloride 21 34 Propylene 30 36
Quench, lube
Ethylene oxide 44 53 28 34
oils
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100 Fire Protection Systems

It is necessary to account for leaks Table 14-2 Flooding Factors


that may occur through openings. Volume of Space, Volume Factor Calculated Quantity,
For the purposes of this example, ft3 incl. ft3/lb CO2 lb CO2/ft3 lb, no less than
use a quantity of 1 pound of CO2 Up to 140 14 0.072
per square foot to determine the 141 to 500 15 0.067 10
required additional amount of CO2 501 to 1,600 16 0.063 35
needed to compensate for leaks 1,601 to 4,500 18 0.056 100
through openings. Therefore, for a 4,501 to 50,000 20 0.050 250
More than 50,000 22 0.046 2,500
20-square-foot opening:
20 ft2 x 1 lb/ft2 = 20 lbs
The amount depends on whether the opening remains open, has a large amount of
leakage, etc. For openings that are not to be closed, a calculated additional amount of CO2
must be provided.
For this example, the total amount of CO2 required is 131 pounds (111 + 20). Two shots
are recommended, so use 300 pounds of CO2 (131 x 2 = 262 pounds and round up), or
four cylinders at 75 pounds each. This will include two cylinders for the first shot and two
for the reserve shot.
Pressure-Relief Venting Formula
Now that the total amount of CO2 has been determined, it is necessary to calculate the
size requirement for the overpressure vent openings. For very tight spaces, overpressure
openings must be calculated based on a pressure-relief venting formula, which is as follows:
Equation 15-1
Q
X=
1.3p
where
X = Free area, in.2
Q = Calculated carbon dioxide flow rate, lb/min
p = Allowable strength of enclosure, lb/ft2
Again, this should be calculated with the manufacturer representatives help.
Since the design requirement for this example is not more than 34 percent concentration,
no correction factor is required for the basic quantity. If the concentration is more than 34
percent, the quantity of CO2 required is increased by a factor of 1 to 4 (see Figure 14-3).
The pressure-relief venting factor
applies to openings and is also called
the correction factor. The amount of
CO2 discharged must be increased when
the normal temperature of the protected
space is above 200F.
Example 14-2
Size a carbon dioxide system for an
electrical equipment system with two
adjacent electrical switch-gear rooms of
50,400 cubic feet and 58,800 cubic feet Figure 14-3 CO2 Concentration Conversion
and 50-square-foot openings. Factors
10/03/17
Chapter 14: Carbon Dioxide Systems 101

To find the preliminary esti- Table 14-3 Flooding Factors for Specific Hazards
mate of CO2 required, use the Design
ft3/lb
largest risk of 58,800 cubic feet Concentration, lb CO2/ft3 Specific Hazard
CO2
%
and divide by the appropriate
Dry electrical hazards in general
flooding factor, which can be 50 10 0.100
(spaces 0 to 2,000 ft3)
found in Table 14-3. In this 0.083, 200- Dry electrical hazards in spaces
50 12
case, since the space is more lb min. greater than 2,000 ft3
than 2,000 cubic feet, the fac- 65 8 0.125
Record (bulk paper) storage,
tor is 12 cubic feet per pound ducts, covered trenches
Fur storage vaults, dust
of CO2. Therefore: 75 6 0.166
collectors
58,800 ft2/(12 ft3/lb CO2) = Source: NFPA 12
4,900 lbs of CO2 required
Use a factor of 2 pounds of CO2 per square foot for openings:
2 lb CO2/ft2 x 50 ft2 = 100 lbs of additional CO2 required
The final amount of CO2 required is 5,000 pounds (4,900 + 100). A single shot would
require 5,000 pounds, and a double shot would require 10,000 pounds. For a double-shot
system (remember that 2,000 pounds = 1 ton), use a 5-ton, low-pressure, refrigerated
tank. Using the number of cylinders required for a high-pressure system would not be a
practical solution.
For gas discharge, the practical maximum distance between the storage point and the
discharge point is 300 feet (for a low-pressure system), and the absolute maximum distance
is 400 feet. At distances beyond these points, separate systems must be installed, with each
system closer to the hazard protected.
For rotating electrical equipment, the air volume of the interior equipment to be protected
must be obtained from the equipment manufacturer.

10/03/17
102 Fire Protection Systems

10/03/17
103

Dry and Wet


Chemicals 15
Dry and wet chemical extinguishing systems are primarily used on flammable liquid
(Class B) fires, and dry chemicals also can be used for fires involving energized electrical
equipment (Class C). Dry chemical systems are typically found in industrial, marine, and
aircraft applications. Wet chemical systems commonly provide fire protection for commer-
cial kitchen hoods, ducts, and appliances. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
standards mandate the provision of a Class K portable fire extinguisher in locations with
either a dry or wet chemical system in case the fire spreads outside the protected area.
DRY CHEMICAL EXTINGUISHING SYSTEMS
Dry chemicals are most effective and most often used on surface fires, especially on flam-
mable and combustible liquids, and they can be applied using various methods, including
portable extinguishers, hand hose-line systems, or fixed (local or total-flooding) systems.
Dry chemicals are particularly suited for outdoor environments where concerns about
freezing prevent the installation of water-based systems.
The minimum requirements for the design, installation, maintenance, and testing of
dry chemical extinguishing systems can be found in NFPA 17: Standard for Dry Chemical
Extinguishing Systems and UL 1254: Standard for Pre-Engineered Dry Chemical Extinguish-
ing System Units. Another applicable standard is NFPA 33: Standard for Spray Application
Using Flammable or Combustible Materials.
Dry Chemical Agents
A dry chemical system utilizes a dry powder mixture as the fire-extinguishing agent. The
five basic varieties of dry chemical extinguishing agents are borax and sodium bicarbonate,
sodium bicarbonate, urea-potassium bicarbonate, monoammonium phosphate base, and
potassium bicarbonate (commonly referred to as Purple K).
Dry chemicals are effective in extinguishing fires involving flammable and combustible
liquids and gases, combustible solids, energized electrical hazards, and flash surface fires.
Dry chemicals can be used to extinguish ordinary combustibles (Class A), but they are
not the most efficient or effective means of suppression for this hazard. Dry chemicals are
not effective in extinguishing deep-seated fires due to the nature of the chemical and its
inability to penetrate the objects surface.
Twin-agent units using dry chemicals for early flame knockdown, followed by a foam
application to prevent re-flash, are becoming a popular means of fire suppression in the
petroleum, petrochemical, marine, natural gas, and aviation industries.

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104 Fire Protection Systems

How Dry Chemicals Extinguish Fire


Dry chemicals work by breaking the chain reaction of combustion. When introduced
directly into the fire area, dry chemicals cause almost immediate extinguishment by sup-
pressing the fire via saponification, a method in which a thin foam barrier forms between
the fuel and the oxygen source, depriving the fire of oxygen and shielding the fuel from
hot gas layer radiation.
While dry chemicals provide rapid flame-suppressing capabilities, the subsequent cleanup
is a disadvantage. Cleanup may entail a multi-pronged approach, including dry powder
vacuuming, surface washdown, and scrubbing with neutralizing elements. When wet or
left in a high-humidity environment, dry chemicals may be corrosive to surfaces sensitive
to mildly acidic or alkaline materials.
System Types
Local Application
Dry chemicals can be discharged by handheld extinguishers or wheeled portable equipment
in local applications where the hazard is not enclosed or where the enclosure does not
form an effective fire boundary. This includes such areas as temporary/open spray booths,
chemical mixing areas, and small oil-filled transformers. The hazardous area includes all
locations that are or may become coated by the flammable liquid, including those areas
subject to spillage, leakage, dripping, or splashing.
Chemical application may be from the side, overhead, or a combination of both. The
amount of extinguishing agent depends on the hazardous area or the volume of the haz-
ardous object.
Handheld Hose Lines
A handheld hose-line system consists of a hose and a nozzle connected to a dry chemical
supply by direct connection to the storage container or by fixed piping. One or more hose
reels can be supplied by the same chemical supply. The capacity of the unit must be capable
of maintaining flow through the hose line for a minimum of 30 seconds.
Total Flooding
Dry chemical systems also may be total flooding. The total-flooding system consists of a
predetermined supply of dry chemical permanently connected to a fixed discharge piping
system (typically utilizing galvanized pipe), with fixed nozzles discharging into an enclosed
space or an enclosure around a hazard. Upon activation of the system by a heat detector or
manual actuation, expellant gas is discharged into the storage container, and dry chemical
is propelled through the systems nozzles.
A fixed system providing total flooding must be capable of providing the design con-
centration in all parts of the hazardous area within 30 seconds. Openings such as doors
and room ventilation systems must be coordinated to automatically close upon system
discharge. Openings not capable of being closed must be limited to less than 15 percent of
the total enclosure area; if these non-closing openings exceed 15 percent, a local application
system is more effective.
A total-flooding system may be either of the following:
uu Engineered: These systems are designed based on known factors of chemical flow,
pressure, friction losses, and pressure drops. Detection and activation are by automatic
operation using electric, electronic, or mechanical detection and discharge. Many au-
10/03/17
Chapter 15: Dry and Wet Chemicals 105

thorities require a full discharge test after installation for verification of the effectiveness
of such a system or require a room air pressure test.
uu Pre-engineered: These systems have been fire-tested for a listing with a recognized
laboratory. The installation must be in compliance with the limitations imposed by the
manufacturers instructions regarding installation for specific hazard types and sizes,
pipe sizes, pipe lengths, number and types of fittings, number and types of nozzles,
and types and quantities of chemicals to be used. Most pre-engineered systems are
designed for automatic operation, using electric, electronic, or mechanical detection
and discharge. A manual pull station is required to be installed at an exit.
Storage and Maintenance
Dry chemical powders are typically stored in pressurized cylinders, with an accompanying
cylinder of carbon dioxide or nitrogen for use as an expellant gas. Dry chemical cylinders
must be located in close proximity to the protected area due to the large amount of friction
loss experienced by the dry chemicals flow through the discharge piping.
Dry powders should be stored in an environment between -40F and 120F, and they
are stable up to approximately 130F. Operating temperatures are primarily limited by the
expellant gas.
The container in which the dry chemical is stored should be tightly closed and kept in a
dry location to prevent the absorption of moisture. If any caking occurs due to moisture,
the dry chemical must be discarded. Dry chemicals of different compositions shall not be
stored in the same container.
In general, all dry chemical powder systems should be inspected annually. Hand hose-
line systems may be inspected more frequently depending on the location and climate.
WET CHEMICAL EXTINGUISHING SYSTEMS
Wet chemical agents are the only agents listed to suppress fires in commercial cooking
appliances and equipment, such as deep-fat fryers, griddles, range tops, broilers, kitchen
hoods, plenums, exhaust ducts, and grease filters. According to the National Association
of Fire Equipment Distributors, pre-engineered wet chemical fire suppression systems are
95 percent successful in suppressing kitchen cooking hazard fires.
The minimum requirements for the design, installation, maintenance, and testing of wet
chemical extinguishing systems can be found in NFPA 17A: Standard for Wet Chemical
Extinguishing Systems and NFPA 96: Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection
of Commercial Cooking Operations. Wet chemical systems are performance tested under
the guidelines of UL 300: Fire Testing of Fire Extinguishing Systems for Protection of Com-
mercial Cooking Equipment.
Wet Chemical Agents
Wet chemical fire-extinguishing agents consist of a potassium carbonate, potassium acetate,
or potassium citrate-based solution of organic or inorganic salts mixed with water to form
a liquid alkaline solution that is typically discharged as fine droplets though a piping and
nozzle system using expellant gas.
Wet chemicals will react with any water-reactive metals (typically Class D fires), energized
electrical equipment, and any other water-sensitive materials. Wet chemicals are typically
nontoxic and non-carcinogenic in nature, although slight skin and respiratory irritation
may occur with prolonged exposure.
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106 Fire Protection Systems

How Wet Chemicals Extinguish Fires


When the wet chemical extinguishing agent is sprayed on a grease fire, it interacts imme-
diately with the grease (saponification) to form a blanket of foam over the fuels surface,
preventing further contact with oxygen (smothering) and to cool the fuel source below its
combustion temperature. The fine droplets also cool the surrounding air via vaporization
and prevent splashing.
For kitchen cooking hazard fires, wet chemical fire suppression systems are preferred
over dry chemical systems because they provide faster flame knockdown, and the fine spray
helps prevent re-ignition after the discharge is complete. Cleanup is another benefit: the
wet chemical can be easily removed from surfaces using a cloth.
System Description
Wet chemicals are typically applied via a pre-engineered local application system consisting
of an activation gas tank, agent tank, distribution piping, discharge nozzles, a releasing
device, fuse link or heat detector, manual pull station, and gas/electric shutoff device, with
predetermined flow rates, nozzle pressures, and quantities of agent required.
Wet chemicals are usually stored in cylinders adjacent to the hazard and are activated
by either manual (pull station) or automatic (fuse link or heat detector) means. When the
system is actuated, the seal on the gas tank opens, and the gas flows to the agent tank to
force the wet chemical through the distribution piping and nozzles. A typical wet chemical
system discharges 3 to 4 gallons of agent in approximately 30 seconds.

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107

Clean Agents 16
Halon compounds are composed of hydrocarbon molecules in which one or more of the
hydrogen atoms have been replaced with bromine, fluorine, or chlorine. Originally discov-
ered and developed in the 1960s, halons were utilized as a gaseous fire suppression agent
that could be effectively employed in areas that could not withstand the discharge of water,
such as computer rooms, telecommunications rooms, flammable liquid storage areas, and
switchgear rooms. Halons possess extremely low toxicity levels, are electrically inert, and do
not empty the room of oxygen, allowing them to be deployed in a space where personnel
could still be present (unlike carbon dioxide, where a suffocation potential exists). After
discharge, the altered hydrogen compound could no longer ignite and left little to no residue.
The one major disadvantage of halons is their environmental impact: they are severely
damaging to the ozone layer and can reside in the atmosphere for a significant period.
The Montreal Protocol (1987) restricted the creation of new chlorofluorocarbons, and in
1994 new production of halons was stopped, practically eliminating the use of halons in
fire suppression systems in 197 countries including Canada and the United States. A small
secondary market has arisen to reclaim discharged halons and maintain existing systems
using stockpiles of halon gases, but overall, most halon systems have been decommissioned,
are slated for decommissioning, or have been retrofitted with a clean agent equivalent.
DEVELOPMENT OF CLEAN AGENTS
Clean agents were developed to replicate the effectiveness of halons but without the negative
environmental impacts. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 2001: Standard on
Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems defines a clean agent as an electrically nonconduct-
ing, volatile, or gaseous fire extinguishant that does not leave a residue upon evaporation.
Clean agents must be liquefied gas or quickly convert to gas upon discharge. Most, if not
all, clean agents can be stored and discharged from typical total-flooding halon system hard-
ware. Generally, clean agents are less efficient per pound than halon systems, requiring more
stored agent (and subsequent storage area) to produce the same extinguishment results.
The types, requirements, and approvals for clean agents are outlined in:
uu NFPA 2001
uu UL 2127: Standard for Inert Gas Clean Agent Extinguishing System Units
uu UL 2166: Standard for Halocarbon Clean Agent Extinguishing System Units
According to NFPA 2001, clean agents should not be used on the following materials:
uu Chemicals capable of rapid oxidation in the absence of air (such as gunpowder)
uu Reactive metals including lithium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and uranium
uu Metal hydrides
uu Chemicals capable of undergoing auto-thermal decomposition, like organic peroxides
and hydrazine 10/03/17
108 Fire Protection Systems

TYPES OF CLEAN AGENTS


Two types of products fall under the clean agent definition: halocarbon compound replace-
ments and inert gas agents. Both types have advantages and disadvantages.
Halocarbon replacements consist of halogenated agents incorporating such compounds
as carbon, hydrogen, fluorine, chlorine, and iodine. Halocarbon replacements extinguish
fires through a variety of methods, each specific to the chemicals used within the agent,
but predominately though chemical suppression. Halocarbon agents are engineered and
man-made products (unlike inert gases) that are stored as a liquid.
Inert gases consist of an electrically nonconductive gaseous mixture composed of argon,
nitrogen, or other gases that do not support a flame reaction. These gases extinguish a fire
by cooling the surrounding flame. They do not break down in the fire to produce harmful
gases or other dangerous decomposition products. Unlike carbon dioxide, they can be
discharged into a space without causing occupant suffocation (although occupant evacua-
tion is still required). Inert gases require a large quantity of gas to be effective, mandating a
very large (comparatively) storage area. The protected space must also have pressure-relief
venting engineered and installed to prevent overpressurization and damage to the room.
EXTINGUISHING METHODS
Table 16-1 outlines the well-known agents by trade name and the primary extinguishing
mechanism of each agent.
Table 16-1 Clean Agent Information
Chemical Extinguishing
Trade Name Agent Type
Agent Mechanism
HFC-227ea FM-200 Halocarbon replacement Chemical suppression
HFC-125 FE-25, ECARO Halocarbon replacement Chemical suppression
HFC-23 FE-13 Halocarbon replacement Chemical suppression
FK-5-1-12 NOVEC 1230/SAPPHIRE Halocarbon replacement Evaporative cooling
IG-541 Inergen Inert gas Flame cooling
IG-55 Argonite Inert gas Flame cooling
IG-100 Nitrogen Inert gas Flame cooling

Chemical Suppression
This is the principal extinguishment method of halons, and the original clean agent re-
placement gases strove to mirror this mechanism. Most of these agents use fluorinated
compounds (versus the brominated compounds in halons) that bind with flame radicals,
thereby interrupting the chemical chain reaction of the fire. These compounds work in
a similar manner as halons but are less efficient because, unlike bromine, fluorine atoms
cannot be continually recycled in the combustion process; thus, more agent needs to be
discharged in the space to reach the same extinguishment effectiveness.
Evaporative Cooling at the Flames Reaction Zone
This method of extinguishment is a more recent development in clean agents. It mirrors the
primary principle of sprinkler systems without the use of water. The clean agent reduces the
flames temperature below the minimum temperature required to maintain reaction rates
due to the high heat capacity of the chemicals during decomposition. That is, the chemicals
use heat from the space to decompose, thereby cooling the surrounding environment.

10/03/17
Chapter 16: Clean Agents 109

Flame Cooling
This is the primary extinguishing method for inert gases. These agents suppress fires by
cooling the flames temperature below the combustion threshold. Cooling of the flame
is a two-pronged attack: the oxygen content in the room is reduced to the limits of com-
bustion (without affecting overall life safety) while the heat capacity of the surrounding
atmosphere is raised.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
The three main factors to consider when evaluating the environmental impact of various
agents are ozone depletion potential (ODP), global warming potential (GWP), and atmo-
spheric lifetime. When designing a clean agent system, consideration should be given to
the chemicals impact on the environment and green building certification goals.
The first consideration is how the chosen chemical impacts the ozone layer. Ozone is a
product created when ultraviolet (UV) light breaks down oxygen (O2) into two separate
oxygen molecules, which combine with existing oxygen to create ozone (O3). The process
occurs naturally in the stratosphere and provides a shield against harmful UVB light from
the sun. Halons and other halocarbons containing chlorine or bromine have been demon-
strated to destroy ozone in the stratosphere. The valuation of this destruction potential is
not a measure of the exact amount of ozone destroyed by the chemical, but rather it is the
amount of ozone destroyed as compared to an arbitrary standardin this case, the chosen
chemical is CFC-11, which is assigned an ozone depletion potential of 1. Halon 1301 has an
ODP of 12, meaning it will destroy 12 times as much ozone as CFC-11 on a mass-per-mass
basis. FM-200 has an ODP of 0, meaning it will not destroy any ozone in the stratosphere.
The second factor is the global warming potential of the agent. The atmosphere is pri-
marily composed of nitrogen and oxygen, but trace elements of carbon dioxide, water
vapor, and other gases lead to the capture of radiant heat from the sun, causing elevated
temperatures through the greenhouse effect. Certain elements in the atmosphere are
more effective at retaining heat and therefore cause the air to stay warmer. To quantify
the greenhouse effect, the concept of radiative forcing was developed. Radiative forcing
is anything that will cause the troposphere to change, causing the radiation into and out
of the atmosphere to unbalance. Any condition that results in a positive radiative forcing
value will cause a rise in the average temperature, whereas a negative radiative forcing value
will cause a drop in atmospheric temperature.
A scale was developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to quantify
the global warming change, called the global warming potential, which is the cumulative
effect of radiative forcing between the present and a future time caused by a unit mass of
a compound as compared to the same unit mass release of carbon dioxide. The common
reference periods are typically 20 years, 100 years, and 500 years. For example, a 100-year
GWP of FM-200 is 3,500, meaning that 1 pound of FM-200 will cause as much global
warming as 3,500 pounds of released carbon dioxide.
The final consideration in selecting a clean agent is the atmospheric lifetime of the chem-
ical. The atmospheric lifetime of a chemical is simply the time in which the chemical will
reside in the stratosphere and have an effect on GWP and ODP. The values are measured in
years. For example, Halon 1301 has an atmospheric lifetime of 65 years, meaning that it will
stay in the atmosphere (at an appreciable quantity) for 65 years, causing ozone depletion
and global warming (cumulative effect).
10/03/17
110 Fire Protection Systems

Table 16-2 compares the en- Table 16-2 Chemical Impacts on the Environment
vironmental effects of several Property Halon 1301 FM-200 FE-25 NOVEC 1230
common compounds. Ozone depletion
12 0 0 0
potential
SAFETY Global warming
The two levels that are particu- 6,900 3,500 3,400 1
potential, 100 years
larly important when designing Atmospheric lifetime,
65 33 29 0.014
clean agent systems are the years
NOAEL and LOAEL. NOAEL,
or no-observed-adverse-effect level, is the highest concentration at which no harmful tox-
icological or physiological effects have been observed from exposure to the agent. LOAEL,
or lowest-observed-adverse-effect level, is the lowest concentration at which an adverse
effect (toxicological or physiological) has been observed from exposure to an agent. All
clean agent systems should be engineered to discharge enough agent to meet the minimum
design criteria for the hazard being suppressed, yet remain below the NOAEL limit of the
particular chemical to retain a chemically safe environment within the enclosure. While
they are safer than carbon dioxide, unnecessary exposure to any halocarbon should be
avoided, with pre-discharge alarms and time delays implemented to warn occupants of
discharge and give them a chance to escape the area.
Inert gas agents are not toxic and therefore do not have a NOAEL design limit. However,
they do reduce the oxygen concentration during discharge to a point that could create an
asphyxiation hazard. Inert gas systems typically decrease the oxygen concentration in the
enclosure to 11 to 13 percent to suffocate combustion within the room. Human exposure
to such a low oxygen concentration should not exceed five minutes. The concentration of
the system corresponds to the total oxygen amount in the room (based on the enclosure
volume) and should be coordinated to ensure that oxygen levels do not dip below 10
percent (unless the room is not normally occupied) and that any exposure can be limited
to 30 seconds.
All clean agents form more decomposition products than Halon 1301; therefore, they
have the potential to have negative health effects on occupants. Depending on the exposure
time and the concentration of the clean agent within an enclosure, clean agents can cause
eye and nasal irritation, upper respiratory tract irritation, and tissue surface irritation. Pro-
longed exposure to halocarbons can trigger cardiac arrhythmia. The varied effects of inert
gases could be so pronounced as to impair escape. Therefore, all clean agent discharge areas
should be equipped with discharge signs, strobes, and exit signs to facilitate rapid egress.
Table 16-3 shows the minimum design concentrations required to extinguish Class A
and Class C fires, as well as the NOAEL for each chemical.
Table 16-3 Minimum Design Concentrations for Five-Minute Exposure
Class A Minimum Design Class C Minimum Design
Clean Agent NOAEL, %
Concentration, % Concentration, %
FM-200 6.7 7 9
FE-25/ECARO 8.7 9 11.5
NOVEC-1230 4.5 4.7 10
43 design concentration (12
Inergen 34.2 38.5
oxygen concentration)
43 design concentration (12
Argonite 37.9 42.7
oxygen concentration)
10/03/17
Chapter 16: Clean Agents 111

SYSTEM DESIGN
Similar to carbon dioxide and chemical systems, clean agents can be designed as a to-
tal-flooding system or for local application. Total-flooding systems are an engineered
assembly consisting of a calculated quantity of agent discharging into a tight, fully enclosed
space designed to retain and concentrate the agent. Local application systems are employed
to suppress hazards that are not enclosed or where the enclosure does not form an effective
fire boundary, such as transformers, spray booths, chemical hoods, etc.
Due to the gaseous nature of clean agent systems, they are much more effective when dis-
charged into an area that will prevent rapid ventilation and evaporation of the gas, allowing
the concentration to quickly reach extinguishment levels. While halons were used in both
local application and total-flooding systems, the decreased effectiveness of alternative clean
agent systems essentially limits them to total-flooding applications. If local application is
desired, an alternative system such as water mist or dry chemical should be considered.
Typical applications for clean agents include data centers/IT facilities, telecommunica-
tions rooms, control rooms, and record storage/archive areas.
Design Procedure
The process of designing a total-flooding clean agent system involves the following steps:
1.Determine the hazard area to be protected and the volume of that area.
2.Determine the agent to use.
3.Define the hazard and determine the appropriate design concentration for the space.
4.Calculate the total quantity of agent required.
5.Design the maximum discharge time.
6.Design the agent storage location, piping distribution network, and nozzle location/type.
7.Establish the piping material and thickness rating for the chosen agent.
8.Engineer the detection system for agent release, including detector types, the panel,
detector layouts, and the interface with the releasing system.
9.Evaluate the pressurization potential of the hazard area to determine whether relief
venting will be required.
10.Analyze compartments for leakage and seal the hazard area.
A more detailed description of the implementation of these steps follows.
Step 1. The first step is to concretely define the area to be protected by the clean agent
system. As these systems are costly and require extra equipment and preparation, it is
important to accurately identify critical protection areas versus estimating a general lo-
cation/enclosure. Once the protected area is defined, a general room volume needs to be
determined to accurately size the system.
Step 2. Selection of the agent to use is based on many factors, including room hazards,
enclosure integrity, owner requirements (e.g., environmental preferences), effectiveness/
required concentration amount based on the hazard size, and project budget.
Step 3. The design concentration should be established through calculation methods
available in NFPA 2001 and should be appropriate for the hazard protection. General
minimum design concentrations are outlined in Table 16-2.
Step 4. The total agent quantity available affects both the design concentration and
the discharge time. General equations to estimate the required agent quantity for both
halocarbon clean agents and inert gases are available. The equations require the agent
type and specific weight, the volume of the protected space, and the design concentration
10/03/17
112 Fire Protection Systems

of the agent. These equations do not estimate or take into account enclosure leakage. For
halocarbons, use Equation 16-1:
Equation 16-1
V C
w= x
S 100 C
where
w = Specific weight of agent required
V = Net volume of protected space
C = Design concentration percentage
S = Specific volume
S can be defined using the following equation and Table 16-4 to estimate the required
discharge volume based on the specific volume constants.
Equation 16-2
Table 16-4 K Values for Equation
S = K1 + K2(T) 16-2
Agent K1 K2
Use Equation 16-3 for inert gases.
FE-13 4.730 0.0106
Equation 16-3 FE-25 2.722 0.0063
V 100 FM-200 1.879 0.0046
X = 2.303 log ( )V
S 100 C s NOVEC 1230 0.986 0.0024
where Argonite 9.881 0.0214
Inergen 9.858 0.0214
X = Volume of inert gas at 70F
Source: NFPA Handbook, Chapter 6
Vs = Specific volume at 70F
V = Net protected hazard volume
S = Specific volume
Step 5. Halocarbon clean agent systems are limited to a 10-second discharge, defined
as the point when all liquid agent has cleared the final nozzle. Additional vaporized agent
may still leave the piping due to the uncontrolled gaseous nature of the agent. Inert gases
are generally at a 60-second discharge time, but that may be increased if the design con-
centration requires for certain applications.
Step 6. The agent is typically stored within the protected enclosure or in a separately
isolated and protected room close to the protected area. The storage location will depend
on the type of clean agent or inert gas being used, based on discharge time constraints,
pressure piping losses, and the energy required to drive the clean agent. Individual agent
characteristics and requirements must be considered for location and distance constraints.
Step 7. The chosen piping is specific to each agents distribution system. The distribution
piping must be engineered to mechanically control the agent discharge time, maintain
adequate nozzle flow and pressure to ensure agent distribution, and deliver both uniform
and sufficient agent quantity to every area of the protected enclosure. Each clean agent
manufacturer typically has proprietary software that can accurately size a designed piping
system and a software user certification program.
Step 8. The detection system is an important part of a clean agent system. The detection
and alarm system is responsible for detecting and confirming a fire, sounding the pre-dis-
charge alarms, and rapidly actuating the system.
Step 9. The near-instantaneous release of agent into an enclosure causes rapid changes to
the compartments pressure. Depending on the agent and the rate of discharge, the pressure
10/03/17
Chapter 16: Clean Agents 113

of the compartment can fluctuate between a negative and a positive value due to the cooling
of the compartment and the vaporization of the agent. This effect is particularly notable with
inert gases, as the discharged gas will rapidly expand in the space. Calculating the required
open venting area is part of the design process for inert gas systems. The pressure-relief
vent (or vents) must be positioned at a location, typically higher in the compartment, to
prevent heavier-than-air agent from escaping during the discharge/settling period.
Step 10. The compartment should be analyzed for leakage and sealed for integrity to
prevent agent loss during discharge and to ensure that the design concentration is main-
tained throughout the required hold time. In conjunction with the fire alarms activation
(and during the pre-discharge period, prior to system activation), the compartments
openings (doors, windows, vent openings, cable openings) must be automatically closed.
All openings must be secured before agent release to ensure that adequate concentrations
of the clean agent remain in the compartment during the design period.
A door fan test (room integrity test) and leakage calculations are performed by certi-
fied personnel to simulate a worst-case leakage scenario in the space and to ensure that
an adequate concentration of the agent is maintained within the space during and after
discharge. Door fan test methods are standardized by ASTM E779, ASTM E1827, and
CAN/CGSB-149.10-M86. Leakage calculations are performed using certified computer
software operated by certified users. Leaks are detected by a smoke pencil test and sealed
off using standard construction techniques. Door fan testing is considered a conservative
approach, and if acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction, a witnessed detailed leak
inspection might be a substitute.
CONCLUSIONS/COMPARISONS
Table 16-5 summarizes the various positive and negative aspects of clean agent fire sup-
pression chemicals. It also outlines the possibility of future regulation within the industry;
although no formal talks have occurred, some speculate that halocarbon-based extin-
guishing chemicals may be further regulated or banned based on health or environmental
impact. The chart is for comparison purposes only and may vary significantly based on
market factors, local labor rates, and building type.
Table 16-5 Clean Agent Comparison Table
Halon
Property CO2 FM-200 FE-25 NOVEC 1230 Inergen Argonite
1301
Class No regulation if cylinders are
Transport* Class 2.2 Class 2.2 Class 2.2 Class 2.2 Class 2.2
2.2 not charged with nitrogen/CO2
Environmental
High Low Medium Medium Low None None
impact
Occupant
hazard and
Low High Low Low Very low Low Low
system safety
factor
Cost
(compared to $ x1.5$ x2$ x2$ x3$ x4$ x4$
halons)
Space/storage
Low Medium Low Low Low High High
requirements
Future
Banned None Possible Possible None None None
regulation
*Class 2, Division 2 (or Class 2.2) is a HAZMAT categorization that is applied on all nonflammable, nontoxic gases. These gases exert
(in the packaging) an absolute pressure of 40.6 psia or greater at 68F and are not Division 2.1 (flammable) or 2.3 (toxic) gases.
10/03/17
114 Fire Protection Systems

10/03/17
115

Portable Fire
Extinguishers 17
Portable fire extinguishers offer a convenient and easy means of putting out small fires or
supplementing fixed fire suppression systems. Portable fire extinguishers are most effective
when a fire just begins and people are present in the area.
NFPA 10: Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers details the classification, marking,
installation, and maintenance requirements for portable extinguishers. Requirements
also can be found in 29 CFR 1910.157 published by the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA).
CLASSIFICATIONS
Portable fire extinguishers are classified based on the type of fire they can extinguish:
uu Class A extinguishers are used on ordinary combustibles such as wood, paper, and
textiles and contain either water or dry chemicals.
uu Class B extinguishers are used on flammable liquids and gases and contain agents that
deprive the fire of oxygen and inhibit the release of combustible vapors.
uu Class C extinguishers are used on energized electrical equipment fires and contain an
electrically nonconductive extinguishing agent.
uu Class D extinguishers are used on combustible metals, such as sodium, titanium, zir-
conium, and magnesium and contain an extinguishing medium that does not react
with the burning metal.
uu Class K extinguishers are used on fires involving cooking media (fats, grease, and oils)
in commercial kitchens and contain either wet or dry chemicals.
The extinguisher is marked with its letter Table 17-1 Portable Fire Extinguisher
and a symbol for easy identification as shown Classifications
in Table 17-1. Extinguishers suitable for more Class Hazard Symbol Color
than one class of fire should be identified A Ordinary combustibles Triangle Green
by multiple symbols placed in a horizontal B Flammable liquids Square Red
sequence. C Live electrical fires Circle Blue
D Flammable metals Star Yellow
Class A and Class B extinguishers also carry
K Cooking media None None
a numerical UL rating to indicate the size of
fire an experienced person can put out with the extinguisher. Each A rating is equivalent
to 1.25 gallons of water, so an extinguisher marked 5A would be equivalent to 6.25 gallons
of water. The B rating is equivalent to the amount of square footage the extinguisher can
cover, so an extinguisher marked 10B could cover 10 square feet.
Class C and D extinguishers do not have a numerical rating. Class C fires are essentially
Class A or B fires involving live electrical equipment, so the rating should be based on the
amount of the Class A or Class B component. The effectiveness of Class D extinguishers
is described on the faceplate.
10/03/17
116 Fire Protection Systems

INSTALLATION
Portable fire extinguishers constitute the first line of defense against a fire, so they should
be located in strategic locations, including at every exit from a floor or building. A portable
fire extinguisher must be conspicuously located, with its top 3 to 5 feet above the floor.
Bright markings must draw attention to its location.
OSHA requires fire extinguishers to be located based on the class of anticipated fires as
well as the size and degree of the hazard. The
requirement is based on the distance a person Table 17-2 Fire Travel Distances to Portable
Extinguishers
must travel to reach a fire extinguisher. See Table Class Travel Distance
17-2 for the placement requirements. A 75 ft or less
A plan showing the proposed locations of B 50 ft
fire extinguishers must be developed before C Based on appropriate Class A or B hazard
installation. This plan must be submitted to the D 75 ft or less
authority having jurisdiction for their comment Note: Class K extinguishers have no distance requirement.
They are typically placed at the point of possible cooking
and/or approval. fire ignition.
Source: OSHA 1910.157
MAINTENANCE
OSHA 1910.157 requires portable fire extinguishers to be visually inspected monthly to
verify the following:
uu Fire extinguishers are in their assigned places.
uu Fire extinguishers are not blocked or hidden.
uu Fire extinguishers are mounted in accordance with NFPA 10.
uu Pressure gauges show adequate pressure.
uu Pin and seals are in place.
uu Fire extinguishers show no visual sign of damage or abuse.
uu Nozzles are free of blockage. Table 17-3 Hydrostatic Testing Requirements
OSHA 1910.157 also requires Type of Extinguisher Test Interval, years
hydrostatic testing by trained per- Soda acid (stainless steel shell) 5
sonnel according to the schedule Cartridge-operated, water and/or
5
antifreeze
found in Table 17-3.
Stored pressure, water and/or antifreeze 5
To sum up, portable fire extin-
Wetting agent 5
guishers must be: Foam (stainless steel shell) 5
uu Properly located and in good Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) 5
working condition Loaded stream 5
uu Conspicuously located Dry chemical with stainless steel 5
uu The proper type for the respective Carbon dioxide 5
combustible material Dry chemical, stored pressure, with mild
12
uu Used when the fire is still small so steel, brazed brass, or aluminum shells
Dry chemical, cartridge or cylinder
the extinguisher will be effective operated, with mild steel shells
12
uu Clearly marked for easy identifi- Dry powder, cartridge or cylinder
cation, labeled, tested regularly, 12
operated, with mild steel shells
and inspected Halon 1211 12
Halon 1301 12
Source: OSHA 1910.157

10/03/17
117

Index

Argonite (IG-55), 33, 109, 110, 113


3 times rule, 56 around the pump proportioning, 86
3M Novec 1230 (FK-5-1-12), 33, 108, 110, 113 Asch Building, 78
ASET (available safe egress time), 23
A ASHRAE Guideline 0: The Commissioning Process,
absolute pressure, 63 19
AFFF (aqueous film-forming foam), 84, 116 aspirated foam discharge, 86
AHJ (authorities having jurisdiction), 23, 18 atmospheric lifetimes, 109
air handlers, 24 atmospheric pressure, 63
air pressure, 63 authorities having jurisdiction, 23, 18
air-pressurized barriers, 10 automatic detection systems, 25
aircraft hangers, 29, 83 automatic doors, 14
airports, 83 automatic dry standpipes, 43, 45
alarm systems, 6 automatic pump systems, 37
analyzing requirements, 24 automatic sprinkler systems. See sprinkler systems
carbon dioxide systems, 98 automatic wet standpipes, 43
carbon monoxide detection, 23 auxiliary power, 24
clean agent systems, 110 available safe egress time (ASET), 23
components of, 2425 axisymmetric flow, 62
for diesel pump drivers, 36
signaling evacuation, 30 B
sprinkler alarms, 5455 balanced-pressure proportioning systems, 86
standards, 6, 23, 25 barriers
testing, 21 air pressurization, 10
alcohol liquids, 85 designing into buildings, 1314
alcohol-resistant aqueous film-forming foam (AR- fire-rated walls and doors, 5
AFFF), 84, 85 basis of design (BOD), 17, 18, 19, 20, 48
alcohol-resistant film-forming fluoroprotein (AR- battery failures, 36
FFFP), 84, 85 biodegradable foam, 8788
alcohol-resistant fluoroprotein foam (AR-FP), 84, biological oxygen demand, 88
85 blankets, 11
ammonia, 23 BOD (basis of design), 17, 18, 19, 20, 48
annunciation systems, 23, 24 BOD (biological oxygen demand), 88
antifreeze solutions, 22, 116 boiling points, 83
antifreeze sprinkler systems, 50, 62 booster pumps, 32, 37
application rates (foam), 87 borax, 103
aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), 84, 116 Boston textile mills, 47
AR-AFF (alcohol-resistant aqueous film-forming brake horsepower, 40
foam), 84, 85 breathing apparatus, 98
AR-FFFP (alcohol-resistant film-forming bromine, 107
fluoroprotein), 84, 85 buildings
AR-FP (alcohol-resistant fluoroprotein foam), 84, certificates of occupancy, 2
85 construction safety, 1415
area modifications (sprinkler systems), 7980
10/03/17 exits, 5
118 Fire Protection Systems

fire-safety design, 1315 types of, 108


green building certification, 109 cleaning programs, 22
occupancy classifications, 5152 cleanup
remodeling, 15 dry chemicals, 104
smoke control, 10 extinguishing agents, 31
structural stability, 5 wet chemicals, 106
Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, 78 closed bulbs (water mist systems), 92
bulb water mist dispensers, 92 clouds (Co2), 95
codes and standards
C codes, defined, 1
calculations. See formulas and hydraulic NFPA standards (See under NFPA)
calculations performance-based, 12
carbon, 9, 11, 108 standards, defined, 1
carbon dioxide UL standards (See under UL (Underwriters
alarms and evacuation, 98 Laboratory))
characteristics, 95 combined dry pipe and preaction sprinkler
compared to clean agents, 113 systems, 50
concentrations needed for combustibles, 99 combined standpipe systems, 43
cylinder storage and scales, 98 combustibility and combustible materials, 1011
dry chemical systems and, 105 classes of materials, 31
as extinguishing agent, 31, 33, 9597 detection devices for, 29
fires and, 11 extinguishing agents and, 31
installing systems, 96 fire-retardant treatments, 1112
sizing system pipes, 99101 handling materials during construction, 15
system advantages/disadvantages, 97 occupancy classifications, 5152
system specifications, 98 portable fire extinguishers and, 115
testing systems, 116 combustion, 9
types of systems, 9697 cooling flames, 32, 83, 97, 106, 109
carbon monoxide detection, 2324 detecting, 28
casings, pump, 36 dry chemical agents and, 104
catalysts, 9 material combustibility, 1011
ceilings, 79, 93 preventing, 95
centrifugal pumps, 35, 37 suppressing, 32
certificates of occupancy, 2 commissioning, 17
certification documentation, 18 commissioning plans, 18, 19
chemical extinguishing agents, 103. See also dry commissioning specifications, 18, 19
chemical extinguishing agents; wet chemical documentation, 1819
extinguishing agents guidelines, 19
chemistry of fires, 912 process, 1920
chlorine, 23, 107, 108 re- or retro-commissioning, 20
churn pressure, 38 standards, 17
Class I, II, II standpipes, 4345 team, 1718, 19
Class A, B, C, D, K combustible materials, 31, 93 testing and, 20
Class A, B, C, D, K portable fire extinguishers, 115 commissioning authorities (CxA), 17, 18
Class A fires, 83, 85, 103 compressibility (water), 61
Class A foam concentrate, 85 computer rooms, 29, 91, 96
Class D fires, 105 concealed sprinklers, 54
clean agents, 33, 107 concentration of carbon dioxide, 100101
comparisons, 94, 113 construction
environmental impact, 109110 commissioning and, 1720
as extinguishing agents, 108109 fire prevention, 4, 1415
safety, 110 fire-safety building design, 1315
standards for, 107 occupancy classifications, 5152
substances not suitable for, 107 permits and plan reviews, 23
system design, 111113 sprinkler documentation, 58
10/03/17
Index 119

structural stability of buildings, 5 diesel pump drivers, 35, 36


construction managers, 17 discharge devices (foam), 8687
construction phase (commissioning), 20 discharge head, 36, 37
contaminants, 9 discharge issues (foam), 8788
continuous-line detectors, 26 discharge rates (foam), 84
contractors distance to fire extinguishers, 116
contractors sheds, 15 documentation
general contractors, 17 certification, 18
installation contractors, 17 commissioning, 1819
control-mode specific-application sprinklers, sprinklers, 58
5556 training, 18
control panels (alarm systems), 2425 door fan tests, 113
control rooms, 25 doors
control valves, 4142 automatic, 14
controls (pumps), 37 closing, 24
cooking oils, fat, or grease, 31, 105, 106, 115 controlling during fires, 6, 24
cooling combustion, 32, 83, 97, 106, 109 emergency exits, 13
correction factor (carbon dioxide), 100101 exit paths, 5
corrosion-resistant sprinklers, 5354 fire-rated, 5, 1314
costs locked, 7
detection systems, 29 propping open, 5
extinguishing agents, 113 smoke control and, 10, 14
fire suppression systems, 31 double drivers, 36
water mist systems, 93 double shots (carbon dioxide), 101
coverage (sprinklers), 74 drainage rates (foam), 84
Cx. See commissioning drains (sprinkler systems), 57
CxA (commissioning authorities), 17, 18 dry chemical extinguishing agents, 31, 33,
cylinders (carbon dioxide), 96, 98 103105, 116
dry ice, 95
D dry pendant sprinklers, 54
dampers, 24 dry pipe sprinkler systems, 4849
deaths alarms, 55
smoke inhalation, 910 design area, 79, 80
Triangle Shirtwaist fire, 78 drainage, 57
deep-seated fires, 97, 103 testing, 21, 59
deflectors (sprinklers), 56 dry pipe valves, 4849
deluge sprinkler systems, 50, 59 dry standpipe systems, 43
density (water), 61 dry upright sprinklers, 54
density/area method (sprinklers), 58, 7377 dump-in proportioning, 86
design concentration (clean agents), 111 Dv0.99, 89
design fires, 6
design phase (commissioning), 20 E
design review comments, 18, 19 early suppression fast response sprinklers, 54, 56
design/area method (sprinklers), 58, 7377 ECARO-25 (HFC-125, FE-25), 33, 108, 110, 113
detection systems, 6, 23 eductors, 86
carbon dioxide systems, 96 electric pump motors, 35, 36
carbon monoxide, 2324 electrical equipment, 31, 96, 101, 105, 115
choosing, 2829 elevation, pressure and, 6364, 7778
clean agents, 112 elevators, 6, 7, 24
components of, 2425 emergency exits, 13
design questions, 25 end suction pumps, 35
locating, 30 endothermic processes, 9
manual and automatic, 25 energy (thermodynamics), 63
types of, 2528 engineered dry chemical systems, 104105
diesel generator rooms, 29 environmental impacts
10/03/17
120 Fire Protection Systems

clean agents, 109110 dangerous conditions, 4


extinguishing agents, 113 detection and notification, 6
foam, 8788 fire safety personnel, 14
halon compounds, 107 safe building design, 1315
equivalent lengths of pipe, 65, 76, 77 suppression systems, 68
ESFR (early suppression fast response sprinklers), fire protection
54, 56 authorities having jurisdiction, 23
evacuating personnel, 96, 98 codes and standards, 12
evacuation signaling, 30 fire prevention, 4
evaporative cooling, 109 fire safety personnel, 14
exits, 5, 13 organizations, 34
exothermic processes, 9, 11 passive fire protection, 5
expansion rate (foam), 84 safe building design, 1315
explosions, 27 fire protection organizations, 34
explosives, 29 fire pump rooms, 40
exposure risks, 110 fire pumps. See pumps
extended coverage sprinklers, 53, 5556 fire-rated barriers, 5, 1314
extinguishing agents, 6, 3133 fire-retardant (resistant) treatments, 1112
alternatives to water, 33 fire safety personnel, 14
clean agents, 33 fire service mains, 3, 14, 42, 45
dry chemicals, 33 fire signatures, 910
foam, 33, 8388 fire sprinklers. See sprinkler systems
inert gases, 33 fire suppression systems, 68. See also specific
wet chemicals, 33 types of systems
extinguishing fires, 1112 alternatives, 33
Extra Hazard Group 1 occupancy, 52, 55, 56, 58 designing, 68
Extra Hazard Group 2 occupancy, 52, 58 extinguishing agents, 3133
pre-engineered, 6
F fire triangle, 31
FAAP (fire alarm annunciator panels ), 24 fire walls, 13
facility managers, 17 fires
FACP (fire alarm control panels), 24 chemistry and physics, 912
falling fuel fires, 83 deep-seated, 97
false alarms, 25, 29 design fires, 6
fast-response sprinklers (quick-response), 4, 53, extinguishing, 1112
54, 79 fire triangle, 31
fats (cooking fires), 31, 105, 106, 115 foam suppression, 83
FCxA (fire commissioning agents), 17, 18, 20 material combustibility, 1011
FE-13 (HFC-23), 108, 110 preventing, 4
FE-25 (HFC-125, ECARO-25), 33, 108, 110, 113 smoke and, 910
film-forming fluoroprotein (FFFP), 84, 85 speed of, 28
final commissioning reports, 18, 19 Triangle Shirtwaist fire, 78
fire alarm annunciator panels (FAAP), 24 types of, 29
fire alarm control panels (FACP), 24 worst-case, 6
fire alarm systems. See alarm systems fitting friction losses, 65, 76
fire commissioning agents (FCxA), 17, 18, 20 fixed-temperature heat detectors, 26, 29
fire department connections, 22, 41 FK-5-1-12 (3M Novec 1230, Sapphire), 33, 108,
fire department notification. See notification 110, 113
systems flame detectors, 2728, 29
fire detection systems. See detection systems flames, cooling, 32, 83, 97, 106, 109
fire extinguishers, 15, 115116 flammable liquids
fire hydrants. See hydrants carbon dioxide and, 96
fire inspectors, 2 classes of combustible materials, 31
fire notification systems. See notification systems dry chemical extinguishing, 103
fire prevention fighting fires, 32
10/03/17
Index 121

foam extinguishing, 83 carbon dioxide extinguishers, 97, 99101


NFPA standards, 83 compressibility, 61
occupancy classifications, 52 density/area method, 7377
portable fire extinguishers and, 115 elevation changes, 7778
water mist systems and, 93 flow in pipes, 6263
flash points, 9 halocarbon concentration, 112
flooding Hazen-Williams formula, 6465, 8182
carbon dioxide systems, 97, 99 hydraulically-calculated sprinkler sizing, 58
clean agents, 111 hydraulics overview, 61
dry chemicals, 104105 K factor, 77
flooring, 13 looped or gridded piping, 8082, 81
flow NFPA forms, 7879
axisymmetric, 62 pressure losses in pipes, 6365
calculating, 6263 pressure-relief venting, 100101
one-dimensional, 62 pump pressure, 64
flow rates sprinkler coverage, 7478
calculating, 6263 sprinkler tank pressure, 3839
exiting pipes, 66 standpipe pressure, 64
extinguishing agents, 6 total head, 36
flow tables, 65, 6672 water exiting pipes, 66
flushing sprinkler systems, 59 water flow tables, 65, 6672
private fire service mains, 42 FP (fluoroprotein foam), 84, 85
standpipe systems, 44 freezing temperatures
flow switches, 24 sprinkler systems and, 48, 49, 50
flow tables, 65, 6672 standpipe systems and, 4344
flow tests, 45 water fire suppression systems, 32
fluorine, 107, 108 friction, fires and, 9
fluoroprotein foam (FP), 84, 85 friction losses. See pressure losses
flush sprinklers, 54 fuel
flushing additives, 85
private fire service mains, 42 combustibility, 1011
sprinkler systems, 59 in fires, 9, 32
standpipe systems, 45 removing, 11
FM Global, 4 separating from fires, 83
Approval Guide, 4
Approval Standard for Water Mist Systems, 90
G
Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets, 4 gases
water mist systems, 91 carbon dioxide (See carbon dioxide)
FM-200 (HFC-227ea), 33, 108, 109, 110, 113 carbon monoxide, 2324
foam detection, 23
characteristics, 84 hydrogen, 9, 11, 108
discharge devices, 8687 inert, 32
environmental impacts, 8788 inert gas agents, 108, 110, 112
expansion rates, 84 nitrogen, 11, 92, 105
as extinguishing agent, 31, 33, 83 oxygen (See oxygen)
guidelines for, 87 gate valves, 41
NFPA standards, 83 gauge pressure, 63
proportioning, 8586 gauges, 21, 22
storage, 87 general contractors, 17
testing schedule, 116 global warming, 109
twin-agent systems, 103 grease, 31, 105, 106, 115
types of, 8485 green building certification, 109
wet chemicals, 106 gridded piping, 8082
fog (Co2), 95 gunpowder, 107
formulas and hydraulic calculations GWP (global warming potential), 109
10/03/17
122 Fire Protection Systems

H IG-100 or -541 (Inergen), 33, 109, 110, 113


HAD (heat-actuated detectors), 96 IMO (International Maritime Organization), 90, 91
halocarbon replacements, 108 impellers (pump), 36, 40
halogenated gases, 23 impingement nozzles, 92
halon compounds, 107, 109, 110, 113, 116 impregnation, 12
hangars (aircraft), 29, 83 Inergen (IG-100 or -541), 33, 109, 110, 113
hangers (sprinkler systems), 57 inert gas agents, 108, 110, 112
hazard classifications inert gases, 32
deluge systems, 50 infrared detectors, 28, 29
NFPA sprinkler systems, 67 inhibitors, 9
occupancy classifications, 5152 initiating device circuits, 24
hazardous extinguishers, 97 inlet (suction) head, 36, 37
hazardous work, detectors and, 29 inline pumps, 35
Hazen-Williams formula, 6465, 8182 inspection reports, 18
head. See pressure inspections
heat, 9, 32 fire extinguishers, 116
heat-actuated detectors (HAD), 96 fire inspectors, 2
heat detectors, 24, 2527, 29, 96 schedules, 21
heat extraction, 8990 standards, 3, 21, 87
heaters at construction sites, 15 installation contractors, 17
HFC-23 (FE-13), 108, 110 insurance representatives, 18
HFC-125 (ECARO-25, FE-25), 33, 108, 110, 113 integrated testing, 2021
HFC-227ea (FM-200), 33, 108, 109, 110, 113 integrated testing agents, 18, 20
high-expansion foam, 84 intelligent sensors, 24
high-piled storage, 48, 55 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 109
high-pressure carbon dioxide systems, 98 intermediate-pressure water mist systems, 92
high-pressure water mist systems, 92 International Building Code, 1
history of fire codes, 78 International Fire Code, 1
horizontal split-case pumps, 35 International Maritime Organization, 90, 91
horizontal surface fires, 83 iodine, 108
horns, 6, 24 ionization-type smoke detectors, 27, 28, 29
hose application (dry chemicals), 104 IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
hose houses, 42 Change), 109
hose stations, 44 isolating areas, 24
hose systems. See standpipe and hose systems issue logs, 18, 19
HVAC systems, 6 ITA (integrated testing agents), 18, 20
hydrants J
during construction, 15
jockey pumps, 38
fire service mains for, 41
Joule, James Prescott, 63
fixed water systems, 32
valves, 42 K
hydraulic calculations. See formulas and hydraulic K factor, 66, 75, 77
calculations kitchen equipment, 96, 105, 115
hydraulic pipe schedules, 65, 6672 kitchen grease or fats, 31, 105, 106, 115
hydraulically-calculated sprinkler sizing, 58
hydrazine, 107 L
hydrocarbons, 11, 84 leakage
hydrogen, 9, 11, 108 carbon dioxide systems, 100
hydrostatic tests, 45, 59, 116 clean agent systems, 112113
fire service mains, 42
I sprinkler systems, 59
IBC (International Building Code), 1 Life Safety Code (NFPA 101), 78
IDC (initiating device circuits), 24 Light Hazard occupancy, 51, 55, 56, 58, 90
IFC (International Fire Code), 1 light-obscuring smoke detectors, 27
IG-55 (ProInert, Argonite), 33, 109, 110, 113 light-scattering smoke detectors, 27
10/03/17
Index 123

limited combustibility, 11 NFPA 11: Standard for Low-, Medium-, and


line proportioners, 86 High-Expansion Foam, 83
linen chutes, 58 NFPA 13: Standard for the Installation of
lithium, 107 Sprinkler Systems, 3, 67, 25, 47, 5758, 73,
LOAEL (lowest-observed-adverse-effect level), 110 7879
local application NFPA 14: Standard for the Installation of
carbon dioxide systems, 97 Standpipe and Hose Systems, 3, 45
clean agents, 111 NFPA 16: Standard for the Installation of
dry chemical systems, 104 Foam-Water Sprinkler and Foam-Water
wet chemical systems, 106 Spray Systems, 83
looped piping, 8082 NFPA 17: Standard for Dry Chemical
low-expansion foam, 84 Extinguishing Systems, 103
low-pressure carbon dioxide systems, 98 NFPA 17A: Standard for Wet Chemical
low-pressure water mist systems, 92 Extinguishing Systems, 105
lowest-observed-adverse-effect level (LOAEL), 110 NFPA 20: Standard for the Installation of
Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection, 3, 36,
M 93
machinery, water mist systems and, 91 NFPA 22: Standard for Water Tanks for Private
magnesium, 31, 96, 107, 115 Fire Protection, 32
main drains, 45, 59 NFPA 24: Standard for the Installation
mains of Private Fire Service Mains and Their
providing during construction, 14 Appurtenances, 3, 42, 45
standards, 3, 42, 45 NFPA 25: Standard for the Inspection, Testing,
maintenance and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire
fire extinguishers, 116 Protection Systems, 3, 21, 87
ongoing, 2122 NFPA 30: Flammable and Combustible Liquids
preventative, 22 Code, 83
standards, 3, 21, 87 NFPA 33: Standard for Spray Application Using
manual detection systems, 25 Flammable or Combustible Materials, 103
manual dry standpipes, 43 NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling
manual fire alarm boxes, 24 Code, 6, 25
manual wet standpipes, 43 NFPA 92: Standard for Smoke Control Systems,
manufacturer representatives, 17 10
master streams, 42 NFPA 96: Standard for Ventilation Control
mechanical water flow alarms, 5455 and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking
medium-expansion foam, 84 Operations, 105
metals, 31, 96, 105, 107, 115 NFPA 101: Life Safety Code, 78
microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC), 48 NFPA 220: Standard on Types of Building
mobile carbon dioxide systems, 97 Construction, 11, 13
monitor nozzles, 42 NFPA 403: Standard for Aircraft Rescue and
monoammonium phosphate, 103 Fire-Fighting Services at Airports, 83
motors, pump, 35 NFPA 409: Standard on Aircraft Hangars, 83
N NFPA 720: Standard for the Installation of
NAC (notification appliance circuits), 24, 30 Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detection and
NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) Warning Equipment, 23
fire pump studies, 35 NFPA 750: Standard on Water Mist Fire
NFPA Type 1 or 2 foam discharges, 87 Protection Systems, 89, 90, 9192, 93
standards, 1, 3 NFPA 1150: Standard on Foam Chemicals for
NFPA 3: Recommended Practice for Fires in Class A Fuels, 83
Commissioning of Fire Protection and Life- NFPA 2001: Standard on Clean Agent Fire
Safety Systems, 17 Extinguishing Systems, 107
NFPA 4: Standard for Integrated Fire Protection nitrogen, 11, 92, 105
and Life Safety System Testing, 17, 2021 NOAEL (no-observed-adverse-effect level), 110
NFPA 10: Standard for Portable Fire non-aspirated foam discharge, 86
Extinguishers, 115 10/03/17 non-combustible materials, 11
124 Fire Protection Systems

notification appliance circuits, 24, 30 removing, 11, 32, 8990, 95, 109, 110
notification systems, 6, 23 oxygenated fuel additives, 85
components, 24 ozone layer, 107, 109
notification appliance circuits, 24, 30
Novec 1230 (FK-5-1-12, Sapphire), 33, 108, 110,
P
113 P (protein film), 84, 85
nozzle sprinklers, 54 paddle-type water detectors, 28
nozzles passive fire protection, 5, 1314
monitor nozzles (master streams), 42 paths of travel, 5, 13
placement, 6 pendant sprinklers, 53, 5556
standards, 4 penetrations, 13
water mist systems, 92 percentages (foam mixtures), 8586
performance-based codes, 12
O permits, 23
obstructions (sprinklers), 56 peroxides, 107
occupancy classification personnel
fire suppression systems, 6 in commissioning, 17
permits and plan reviews, 2 fire safety, 14
sprinkler design and, 48, 55, 58 health effects of agents on, 110, 113
types of, 5152 photoelectric smoke detectors, 27, 29
water mist systems and, 91 physics of fires, 912
occupancy phase (commissioning), 20 pipe schedules, 57
occupants, fire safety and, 14 pipes
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 98 carbon dioxide systems, 96, 99101
ODP (ozone depletion potential), 109 clean agent systems, 112
offices, 29 hydraulics and (See formulas and hydraulic
oil pressure alarms, 36 calculations)
on/off sprinklers, 54 looped or gridded systems, 8082
open areas, 29 pressure losses (See pressure losses)
open nozzles (water mist systems), 92 roughness, 6465
open sprinklers, 53 sprinkler systems, 54
OPR (owners project requirements), 17, 18, 19 water flow tables, 65, 6672
Ordinary Hazard Group 1 occupancies, 51, 55, 56, pitch (drains), 57
58 PIV (post-indicator valve), 41
Ordinary Hazard Group 2 occupancies, 5152, 58 plan reviewers, 2
orifices (sprinklers), 53 planning phase (commissioning), 1920
ornamental sprinklers, 54 plastics, storage, 48
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health pneumatic tests, 59
Administration), 98 polar liquids, 84, 85
ovens, 96, 105 portable carbon dioxide systems, 97
owners portable dry chemical systems, 104
in commissioning team, 17 portable fire extinguishers, 15, 115116
in design drawings, 58 post-indicator valves (PIVs), 41
fire suppression systems and, 14 potassium, 96, 107
owners information certificate, 48 potassium acetate, 105
owners project requirements, 17, 18, 19 potassium bicarbonate, 103
permitting process, 23 potassium carbonate, 105
owners information certificate, 48 potassium citrate, 105
owners project requirements, 17, 18, 19 pounds per square inch, 63
oxidizing agents, 11, 96 power supplies, 23, 24
oxygen pre-engineered suppression systems, 6, 105
biological oxygen demand, 88 pre-mix proportioning, 86
carbon dioxide systems and, 98 preaction sprinkler systems, 4950, 57, 59, 79
combustion and, 9 pressure. See also pressure losses
in fire triangle, 9, 32 absolute, 63
10/03/17
Index 125

air, 63 components, 3637


atmospheric, 63 jockey, 38
booster pumps, 37 pressure example, 64
carbon dioxide systems, 99, 100101 pump curves, 3940
churn, 38 pump rooms, 40
clean agent systems, 112113 reservoirs and, 32
discharge head, 36 spare, 37
elevation and, 6364 standards, 3, 36, 93
extinguishing agents, 6 water mist systems and, 93
fire pumps, 35, 36 Purple K, 103
foam, 86, 87
gauge, 63
Q
Hazen-Williams formula, 6465 QR (quick-response sprinklers), 4, 53, 54, 79
hydropneumatic tanks, 3839 QREC (quick-response extended coverage
inspections, 21 sprinklers), 54
K factor, 66 QRES (quick-response early suppression
looped or gridded piping, 8082 sprinklers), 54
maintaining in systems, 3839 R
private fire service mains, 42 rack storage areas, 29, 48
sprinkler systems, 55, 59, 7478 radiant energy detectors, 25, 2728
standpipe systems, 44 radiant heat, 8990
suction head, 36 radiative forcing, 109
total head, 36 rate compensation heat detectors, 26, 29
water mist systems, 91, 92 rate-of-rise heat detectors, 26, 27, 29
pressure-activated alarms, 55 ratings (fire-rated barriers), 5
pressure impregnation, 12 ratios (foam mixtures), 8586
pressure jet nozzles, 92 RDP (registered design professionals), 17, 18
pressure losses re-commissioning, 20
calculating, 6365 recessed sprinklers, 54
carbon dioxide systems, 99 reflashing, 97
dry chemical systems and, 105 registered design professionals (RDP), 17, 18
fittings and valves, 65 regulations (extinguishing agents), 113
friction losses in flow, 63 remodeling buildings, 15, 20
Hazen-Williams formula, 6465 remote annunicators, 24
looped or gridded piping, 8082 remote areas (hydraulics), 74
sprinkler systems, 7478 repairs, 22
pressure-regulating devices, 45, 59, 112113 replacing parts, 22
pressure-switch water detectors, 28 reservoirs, 32
pressure transducers, 38 residential sprinklers, 54, 56
pressurized fires, 83 residue, 97
preventative maintenance, 22 resolution logs, 18
priming, 21, 36 restraints (sprinkler systems), 57
private fire service mains, 3, 14, 42, 45 retro-commissioning, 20
private water supplies, 41 rock sites, 15
ProInert (IG-55), 33, 109, 110, 113 rocket propellant, 29
propellants in water mist systems, 92 roof holes, 31
proportioning foam, 8586 room design method (sprinklers), 58
protein foam (P), 84, 85 room integrity tests, 113
psi (pounds per square inch), 63 roughness of pipes, 6465
puff tests, 98 rubber, storage, 48
pull stations, 24
pump rooms, 40 S
pumps, 3536 safety
booster, 37 clean agents, 110
capacity, 36, 3940 extinguishing agents, 113
10/03/17
126 Fire Protection Systems

safety of life at sea (SOLAS), 89 fixed water systems, 32


saponification, 104, 106 hangers and restraints, 57
Sapphire (FK-5-1-12, 3M Novec 1230), 33, 108, history, 47
110, 113 hose stations and, 44
scales (weight), 98 hydraulics (See formulas and hydraulic
sectional control valves, 4142 calculations)
self-restoring detectors, 26 hydropneumatic tanks, 3839
semiautomatic dry standpipes, 43, 45 installation and location, 5557
sensors, 24 looped or gridded piping, 8082
shelters, construction, 15 maritime, 89
shutoff pressure (fire pumps), 35 NFPA hazard classes, 67
sidewall sprinklers, 53, 5556 occupancy classifications, 5152
signaling line circuits, 24 pipe materials, 54
single-fluid water mist systems, 9192 pressure and, 3839
sizing during remodels, 15
carbon dioxide systems, 99101 sizing, 5758
pumps, 37 standards
sprinkler systems, 5758 NFPA 13, 3, 67, 25, 47, 5758, 73, 7879
SLC (signaling line circuits), 24 UL 199, 4
smoke, 910 UL 1626, 4
smoke alarms, 4 UL 1767, 4
smoke barriers, 6 temporary, 14
smoke control, 10 testing, 22, 59
smoke detectors types of, 4850, 5354
choosing, 29 water flow detection, 25
designing systems, 24, 25 stabilizers, 9
locating, 30 stack effects, 10
standards, 4 stairwells
types of, 27 designing, 13
smoke evacuation systems, 24 pressurization, 10
smoke inhalation, 910 standards. See codes and standards
smoke pencil tests, 113 standpipe and hose systems, 4245
smoke-stop doors, 14 analyzing requirements for, 4243
smothering fires, 31, 83, 97, 106 carbon dioxide systems, 97
soda acid, 116 classes of, 43
sodium, 96, 107, 115 fixed water systems, 32
sodium bicarbonate, 103 flow rates, 44
SOLAS (safety of life at sea), 89 hose connections, 4445
spacing sprinklers, 56 looped or gridded piping, 8082
spare pumps, 37 materials for, 45
sparks, 9 pressure example, 64
special design areas (sprinklers), 58 providing during construction, 14
speed of fires, 28, 48 standards, 3, 45
spot detectors, 26, 30 testing, 45
sprinkler heads, 5254 types of, 4344
sprinkler systems start points (pumps), 38
alarms, 5455 steam, 83, 90
area modifications, 7980 steam turbines, 36
basis of design, 48 stop points (pumps), 38
compared to water mist systems, 94 storage
components and materials, 5255 clean agents, 112
coverage, 74 dry chemical systems, 105
design and construction documents, 58 extinguishing agents, 113
designing, 4750, 5758, 7377 wet chemical systems, 106
drains, 57 storage spaces
10/03/17
Index 127

carbon dioxide systems, 101 trip tests, 59


occupancy classifications, 5152 triple point pressure (CO2), 95
sprinklered, 48 turbines, 91
storage tanks, 32, 87 twin-agent systems, 103
strobe lights, 6, 24 twin-fluid water mist systems, 92, 94
structural stability of buildings, 5 Types 1, 2 or 3 foam dischargers, 87
submittal review comments, 18, 19
suction head, 36, 37
U
suction lift, 35 UL (Underwriters Laboratory), 34
surface fires, 103 fire pump listings, 35
system manuals, 18, 19 foam dischargers (UL Type 1, 2, 3), 87
ratings (fire extinguishers), 115
T standards
tall buildings, 10, 24 UL 199: Standard for Automatic Sprinklers for
tamper switches, 28 Fire Protection Service, 4
tanks, 32, 3839, 87, 96 UL 217: Standard for Smoke Alarms, 4
temper switches, 55 UL 268: Smoke Detectors for Fire Alarm
temperature Systems, 4
cooling combustion, 32 UL 300: Fire Testing of Fire Extinguishing
foam applications, 87 Systems for Protection of Commercial
freezing (See freezing temperatures) Cooking Equipment, 105
hydraulic calculations, 61 UL 1254: Standard for Pre-Engineered Dry
sprinkler heads and, 52 Chemical Extinguishing System Units, 103
sprinkler ratings, 53 UL 1626: Standard for Residential Sprinklers
test data reports, 18, 19 for Fire Protection Service, 4
testing UL 1767: Standard for Early-Suppression Fast-
carbon dioxide systems, 98 Response Sprinklers, 4
clean agent systems, 113 UL 2127: Standard for Inert Gas Clean Agent
in commissioning, 17, 19 Extinguishing System Units, 107
fire extinguishers, 116 UL 2166: Standard for Halocarbon Clean Agent
foam systems, 87 Extinguishing System Units, 107
for inspections, 2122 UL 2167: Standard for Water Mist Nozzles for
integrated testing, 2021 Fire Protection Service, 90
private fire service mains, 42 UL 2351: Standard for Spray Nozzles for Fire
sprinkler systems, 59 Protection Service, 4
standards, 3, 17, 2021, 87 ultraviolet detectors, 29
water mist systems, 91 ultraviolet light, 28
wet chemical systems, 105 Underwriters Laboratory. See UL (Underwriters
textile mills, 47 Laboratory)
thermal sensitivity, 53 unlocking doors, 24
thermodynamics, 63 upright sprinklers, 53, 5556
third-party testing, 18 uranium, 107
three times rule, 56 urea-potassium bicarbonate, 103
timers (pump), 36
titanium, 31, 96, 115
V
total flooding valuables, 48, 49, 93, 96
carbon dioxide systems, 97, 99 valves
clean agents, 111 friction losses, 65
dry chemicals, 104105 inspections, 21
total head, 36 private fire service mains, 41
training documentation, 18 sprinkler systems, 55, 59
transporting extinguishing agents, 113 testing, 22, 59
trash chutes, 58 vane-type water flow alarm, 54
travel distance (fire extinguishers), 116 vapors, 83
Triangle Shirtwaist fire, 78 velocity, 36, 6263
10/03/17 ventilation equipment
128 Fire Protection Systems

detectors and, 24, 29 water heaters, 23


dry chemicals and, 104 water mist systems, 89
HVAC systems, 6 compared to other systems, 94
water mist systems and, 90, 93 designing, 9294
venting carbon dioxide systems, 100101 extinguishing fires, 8990
vertical turbine pumps, 35 history, 89
viscosity, 6162 pressure, 92
visibility, 98 standards, 89, 9091
voice instructions, 6 technical issues, 94
volume (carbon dioxide), 99 types of, 9192
volume (water), 61 water motor gongs, 5455
water-reactive liquids, 83
W water-reactive metals, 105
walls, fire-rated, 5, 58 water spray systems, 94
warnings (carbon dioxide), 98 water tanks, 32
warranties, 19 weight
water carbon dioxide cylinders, 98
density, 61 water, 61, 64
as extinguishing agent, 11, 31, 32 welding, 1415
hydraulic calculations (See formulas and wet chemical extinguishing agents, 33, 105106
hydraulic calculations) wet pipe sprinkler systems, 48, 49, 50, 57, 79
hydrocarbons and, 11 wet standpipe systems, 43
temporary sources of, 14 wet water, 11
viscosity, 6162 wetting agents, 116
wet water, 11 worst-case fires, 6
water-driven foam proportioners, 86
water flow alarms, 22, 30, 5455 Z
water flow detectors, 24, 25, 28 zirconium, 115
water flow tables, 65, 6672

10/03/17
10/03/17