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Forums» Fire Codes» ESFR Sprinkler System In Non-Warehouse Occupancies

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ESFR Sprinkler System In Non-Warehouse Occupancies
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Re: ESFR Sprinkler System In Non-Warehouse Occupancies By  inspector/firefighter

Posts: 0

12/2/2005 4:37:00 AM

I would have the owner resubmit approval documentation based on NFPA 13. If the is a situation, you do not want to be the one person that said it was okay. Most companies pay good money to have these system designed and maintained. Make them prove to you the system meets code requirements as well as insurance company requirements. I have contacted insurance companies before and advised them of changes if the owner does not want to cooperate.


Re: ESFR Sprinkler System In Non-Warehouse Occupancies By  cda

Posts: 0

12/2/2005 8:31:00 AM

Have to agree with the post above have someone certify that the system is designed for what it is being used for. Helps if there is ever any question, and this is not just with esfr systems should be done if there is a question about any fire sprinkler system, due to changes or other circumstances.


Re: ESFR Sprinkler System In Non-Warehouse Occupancies By  stookeyphxfire

Posts: 0

12/2/2005 9:14:00 AM

I disagree. In the condition specified, your hazard requires approximately 20-30 GPM for each sprinkler in the design area. If the building is protected with ESFR, the volume of water discharged is 100-140 GPM. Additionally, ESFR sprinklers have a much faster response time.

Remember that a conventional sprinkler system is designed to only control the fire. ESFR is designed to suppress (e.g., extinguish) the fire.

While it has not been stated, a concern with any ESFR system is introduction of a stored commodity that is beyond the system''s capability. This would include flammable liquids in plastic containers, oxidizers, certain exposed plastics and the like.


Re: ESFR Sprinkler System In Non-Warehouse Occupancies By  Builder bob

Posts: 0

12/2/2005 9:37:00 AM

Along with the great success of this new sprinkler head (ESFR) there have been many growing pains. This head is very susceptible to obstructions from overhead steel, cross bracing and wind bracing, lighting fixtures, HVAC systems and ductwork, etc. Extreme care must be taken during the design and installation phase to assure you will end up with an effective system. They must only be used where they have been tested and proven effective.


Re: ESFR Sprinkler System In Non-Warehouse Occupancies By  Builder bob

Posts: 0

12/2/2005 9:41:00 AM

NFPA 13 TIA Limits ESFR Installation Under Obstructed Construction
A Tentative Interim Amendment has been issued to the 1999 edition of NFPA 13 to clarify the use of ESFR sprinklers under ceilings with beams and joists. The TIA revises Section 5-4.6.3 in its entirety, deleting the current three subsections that respectively address smooth ceilings and open trusses, beamed ceilings, and paneled ceilings. The new wording of Section 5-4.6.3 is as follows:
"5-4.6.3 ESFR sprinklers shall be permitted for use in buildings with unobstructed or obstructed construction. Where depths of the solid structural members (beams, stems, etc.) exceed 12 in., ESFR sprinklers shall be installed in each channel formed by the solid structural members. Minimum sprinkler spacing and area of coverage shall comply with sections 5-11.3.4 and 5-11.2.3."

To explain the requirement, a second paragraph has been added to appendix section A-5-4.6.3 as follows:

"A-5-4.6.3 ESFR sprinklers are not suitable for all types of building construction. Various ceiling construction features such as those with deep narrow ceiling channels can cause unacceptable delays with sprinkler activation and obstruct the sprinkler''s discharge pattern. Where sprinklers are installed in each channel of obstructed construction there needs to be adequate separation between sprinklers as identified in Section 5-11. The limitations of sections 5-11.3.4 and 5-11.2.3 will preclude the use of ESFR sprinklers under narrow deep channels."

Also per the TIA, a new definition of concrete tee construction has been added to Section A-1-4.6 of the appendix, which provides examples of obstructed construction. This takes the form of a new subsection:

"(c )Concrete Tee Construction. The term "concrete tee construction" as it is used in this standard refers to solid concrete members with stems (legs) having a nominal thickness less than the nominal height. See Figure A-1.4.6(b) for examples of concrete tee construction."

The TIA was sponsored by the Minnesota Office of the State Fire Marshal and was issued by the NFPA Standards Council with an effective date of August 9, 2000. The TIA is intended to clarify that ESFR sprinklers are not permitted under deep beams, since there is no test data that supports their use under such conditions. The reference to Section 5-11.2.3 (minimum area of coverage) and Section 5-11.3.4 (minimum distance between sprinklers) clarify that it is not acceptable to violate these minimums when placing ESFR sprinklers in every beam pocket.


Re: ESFR Sprinkler System In Non-Warehouse Occupancies By  Builder bob

Posts: 0

12/2/2005 9:47:00 AM

The main advantage of an ESFR system over a Conventional sprinkler system is the possible elimination of the requirement for in-rack sprinklers in rack storage areas. However if suppression mode sprinklers are obstructed or are not designed properly they will fail to suppress a fire and the results can be devestating. Specific detail to sprinkler design and installation is most important. The best ESFR guideline is Property Loss Prevention Data Sheet 2-2 "INSTALLATION RULES FOR SUPPRESSION MODE AUTOMATIC SPRINKLERS," which is published by FM Global and is available for free on their web site at [URL=http://www.fmglobal.com.]www.fmglobal.com.[/URL] The data sheet states there are a total of six known fires involving suppression mode sprinkler protection. In all of these incidents, suppression mode protection was successful and no more than four sprinklers operated. In the two incidents for which detailed information was available, the sprinklers involved were not obstructed.

It is critical that exact guidelines from Fata Sheet 2-2 regarding obstructions are followed. Some of the key problems found today in most ESFR systems are that:

All ESFR sprinkler heads should be located a minimum of 12 in. horizontally from the edge of the bottom chord of open web joists and trusses.

All ESFR sprinkler heads should be located a minimum of 12 in. horizontally from the edge of all light fixtures located below the sprinklers.

It is critical to provide adequate clearance from obstructions below ESFR sprinklers in order for ESFR sprinkler systems to work properly. One or two obstructed heads over a fire area could lead to an uncontrolled fire.

Another common problem found is that 1 hour fire rated partitions are recommended between areas protected by ESFR and conventional sprinklers


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