Sprinklers for Technical Thinkers

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To Replace or Not to Replace – System Gauges

NFPA 25, The Standard for Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Sprinkler Systems is the minimum standard for building owners to properly maintain their buildings’ fire sprinkler systems. The requirement for inspection and testing of gauges can be found in Chapter 13 of the 2020 edition.  Section 13.2.5 provides the inspection requirements, stating that water pressure gauges are inspected quarterly, and if constantly monitored, air or nitrogen gauges are also inspected quarterly. If not monitored, then these gauges must be inspected monthly.  There are some other inspection requirements that can be found in this section for specific situations.

When #@*% Hits the (HVLS) Fan

The use and market for high-volume low speed (HVLS) fans has increased significantly over the past several years. The concept of placing fans in buildings originally started in agricultural buildings in the late 1990’s to keep cows cool during hot summer months. Farmers realized the cows would produce little to no milk when they were too hot. HVLS fans generate cooler air, when felt on the body the cool air accelerates evaporation and this effect helps the body feel cooler. Manufacturers realized there was a need for large diameter fans in commercial and industrial environments to keep employees cool as well. Business owners found by installing HVLS fans, efficiency, …

Understanding Hose Stream Allowance

Hose Stream Allowance Hose stream allowance or demand is the amount of additional water that is added to the sprinkler hydraulic calculation design , when hose connections are added to sprinkler systems. This allowance is not required for most hose connections installed as part of a combined sprinkler-standpipe system using NFPA 14 Standard for the Installation of Standpipe and Hose Systems , designed as a Class I, II or III standpipe system. While sprinklers and standpipes can be supplied by a common riser in combined systems, the hydraulic system demands are done separately to the individual standard. NFPA 14 Section 7.10.1.3.1.1 …

Fire Sprinklers with Hose Connections

NFPA 13 Hose Connections This use of hose connections on sprinkler systems has caused confusion in the fire service by not recognizing that not all hose connections in a building are created equal. Some are hose connections simply installed on sprinkler systems with an added inside hose stream allowance. This allowance only provides a minimal additional water supply not intended to provide the required flow for fire operations. It is intended for ancillary occupant use or for mop-up after a fire Inside hose stream allowance is the amount of additional water that is added to the sprinkler hydraulic calculation design ,  when …

Unsinkable Buildings

On April 10 th , 1912, the White Star Liner, RMS Titanic, set sail from Southampton, England, on her first transatlantic crossing. At 883 feet and 52 tons, she was the largest, fastest moveable manmade object ever constructed to date. The White Star Line had produced an advertising brochure claiming the Titanic and her twin sister Olympic as being designed to be unsinkable. She was loaded with 3400 total onboard and included 2240 of the wealthiest passengers of the day. This passenger manifest included Margaret Molly Brown, an American born socialite and philanthropist. Molly was one of the 706 people to survive this tragedy and would come to be known as …

What is your sign

NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems , provides the minimum requirements for properly maintaining water-based fire sprinkler systems. Within this standard are several requirements for maintaining proper signage. Many in the industry are unaware of the requirements for proper signage. Of course, the requirements do change from edition to edition. In this blog we will cover the requirements for these signs. Let us start with what is not required. Many technicians cite the building owner for not having signs such as main drain, inspector’s test connection, and alarm line signage. These signs are required …

Sprinkler Protection and Vertical Openings

On November 21, 1980, a fire at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada took the lives of 85 people and injured over 650. At the time of the fire, 5,000 people were either in the casino or staying in one of the 2,000 hotel rooms. The fire began around 7:00am in one of the first-floor restaurants while most people were asleep in the hotel. The fire spread quickly throughout the 26-story partially sprinklered building. Today, the MGM Grand Fire remains the third deadliest hotel fire in United States history and had a significant impact on building and fire codes throughout the country. One of the most concerning statistics from this fire was, 61 of …

Tiny Fires in Tiny Homes

One might assume that the size of a home is a direct indication of survivability from fire. The concept is simple, we can safely egress from smaller spaces, but the reality is many of the fire protection features found in larger or more crowded spaces are not applicable to these smaller spaces. This means no fire sprinklers systems, passive fire protection or even early warning systems. That is strange because fires start in the same places regardless of the size of the home and quickly spread toxic gases through the home, no matter the size. In fact, toxic smoke can fill small spaces even faster, with the same rules of physics applying to fire spread and the …