Fire Safe Life – A Fire Protection Collective

Fire Fighters plus Fire Sprinklers Save Lives and Protect Property

Welcome to Fire Safe Life

Welcome to Fire Safe Life,

Fire Safe Life came about as a place for Fire Protection Professionals to come together and discuss fire prevention. We searched the Internet for a website that was open to everyone and after a thorough search we did not find it. We found many fire sprinkler sites that were run by big companies and governing bodies, but nothing for the rest of us.

Fire Safe Life wants all Fire Protection businesses and Fire Fighter’s to take part. Without your help this venture will not be possible. We would like readers to send in questions and have the pros answer them. This is a place to share and help each other.

Fire Safe Life is not here to change the world, but to spread the word on how important fire protection is to your community.

Fire Safe Life is open to all. If you have something to say, a question to ask, a story to tell, we would like to hear it. Let’s be helpful to the designer, the engineer and others that might need a little inspiration. We would like advice from our more experienced practitioners to make Fire Safe Life a pool of knowledge for all.

Would you like to Guest Post at Fire Safe Life, See our Guest Post Guidelines.

Installation of a Water Flow Switch

The Water Flow Switch is mounted on a wet-pipe system only. The water flow in the pipe deflects the paddle. The deflection of the paddle produces a switched output. All detectors will activate on a continuous flow of water greater than 10 gallons per minute (gpm) but will not in subtle surges of less than 4 gpm.

Information from Potter Electric Water Flow Alarm Switch Installation Guide:

“The units should not be installed within 6″ (15cm) of a fitting which changes the direction of the water flow or within 24″ (60 cm) of a valve or drain.”

The Water Flow Switch should be mounted 6 to 7 feet above the floor to minimize the switch from being damaged.

Below are two pictures of a Wet Pipe Sprinkler Riser, One was installed properly and the other is “WRONG”.

Wet Pipe Sprinkler Riser

Incorrect Installation

Wet Pipe Sprinkler Riser

Correct Installation

I’ve been in the fire protection business for many years and when I see something like this it makes me mad. I cannot believe that a fire protection contractor can let this happen, then the AHJ approved it. I hope by showing the correct and incorrect ways of installation of fire protection equipment will help us all.

What is the best material used to extinguish fires?

What is the best material available to man to use in fire protection systems? Oxidane, Hydrogen oxide, Dihydrogen monoxide, Hydrogen Hydroxide, Hydroxylic acid, Hydroxic acid H2O or just plain old WATER? Actually all the items listed are just water!

We are in the business of putting water on fires. Either as a fire sprinkler contractor or fire fighter. We both employ specialized equipment whose only purpose is to get water on the fire in many different ways.

What makes water such a great fire fighting medium? Both as liquid water and as vaporized steam, water has properties that make it good for firefighting. Water has a high capacity for holding heat. Thus when applied to a fire, water carries the heat away and reduces the fuel’s temperature. When water absorbs enough heat it turns to steam which is effective in displacing oxygen and starving the fire.

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Class vs Pounds The Rating of fittings

What is the pressure rating of a Class 125 fitting? What is the pressure rating of a Class 250 fitting? The answer to both of those questions is the same. It depends!

One thing that’s been a problem over the years in dealing with fittings is the nomenclature used. For years we called our cast iron fittings 175 pound fittings. And then when we needed higher pressures we called for 300 pound fittings. I’ve had plenty of discussions with engineers over what fittings to use due to a general misunderstanding of how fittings are rated. I learned to start by trying to educate people about this subject.

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Glass Bulb Sprinklers

Grinnell Quartz Bulb 1931

I’m sure everyone is familiar with glass bulb fire sprinklers. So much so in fact that they may not be familiar with fusible link sprinklers. The glass bulb is considered the standard type of sprinkler operation today. But, us older folks in the sprinkler community remember a time when the fusible link sprinklers were the standard. But did you know that the glass bulb sprinkler has been around over 80 years!

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