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Fire Protection

Mezzanine Floors and Fire Protection

This is a guest post by Harry Mortensson. If you would like to Guest Post, check out the Guidelines here.

What is mezzanine floor fire protection and why is it necessary?

So called ‘fire protection’ is effectively insulation of the mezzanine floor steelwork to prevent it from heating up quickly in a fire. Unprotected steelwork heats up quickly and can suddenly collapse. Fire protection is specified for a certain period of time such as ‘half hour’, ‘1 hour’, ‘2 hour’ or ‘4 hour’. The time period refers to the time that the protected elements remain structurally sound in the event of a fire. The fire protection required for different parts of buildings is specified within the Building Regulations part B.

Fire protecting building elements in accordance with the regulations is a statutory requirement, protecting lives and property and enabling the fire brigade to assess how long they can safely fight a fire before a risk of collapse.

Providing fire protection to mezzanine floors is also referred to as ‘fire rating’ them, and a mezzanine floor fitted with fire protection may be referred to as ‘fire rated’.

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Failure of CPVC piping

CPVC fire sprinkler pipe. Why do we use it? This is a product that the fire protection industry has used for years, but now we seem to be seeing it fail at an increasing rate. What is causing this? There is an excellent article on this that I feel all should read. It can be found on the web at:

Failures in CPVC piping

It identified 4 basic causes of failure. Contamination, Installation practices, Manufacturing defects, and other. Of all of these contamination is the most prevalent and also in so many ways beyond our control. If we get a good product that is not defective, If it was shipped and stored properly, Then we have to make sure that the installer is well trained and all of our products are compatible with the pipe. But after that we are at the mercy of so many others.

Therefore it is important to document the products we use and practice good CYA in informing the customer of the risks associated with possible contamination of the pipe by other trades and by service personal after the project is turned over to the owner.

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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