With the harsh winter many areas of the country are suffering from lower than normal temperatures making the protection of their fire protection systems from freezing more of an issue. As stated in NFPA 13
126.96.36.199.1 Unless the requirements of 188.8.131.52.2 are met, where portions of systems are subject to freezing and temperatures cannot reliably be maintained at or above 40°F (4°C), sprinklers shall be installed as a dry pipe or preaction system.
184.108.40.206.2 allows the use of antifreeze systems in small areas in lieu of dry pipe or preaction systems. As NFPA does not define small areas with a specific number the size is usually up to the contractor to determine due to the cost of the system verses a dry pipe system. Also the local building codes may specify and the Authority Having Juristiction (AHJ) may have input as to area and size limitations. In Florida we use NFPA 1 and it has no specifics on size limitations.
The History of Automatic Sprinkler Protection
Part 3 – Henry Pamelee
Henry S. Parmelee is credited with inventing the first practical automatic sprinkler. Objecting to the high insurance rates he determined there had be a way to protect his piano factory that would reduce the rates.
His first attempt was not practical as it used a cord holding a spring mechanism which, when burned would release the device. Upon showing the head to an acquaintance it was suggested to him that the device should operate by heat as well. His first patent was for a perforated head with a spring holding am internal valve shut and released by a fusible link. It was complicated and never known to have been used.
Are we victims of government regulation? What happened to our independence?
When I started in the fire sprinkler industry 33 years ago as a designer I had no idea who the fire marshal was. I seldom if ever submitted any drawings to the local government. When I did it was usually to the fire department and all they wanted to know was where the fire dept connection and alarm bells were.
Prior to that time the fire protection industry was self regulating. Now days it seems that not a news broadcast goes by without some call for more government regulation. But it was not always so. And without the development of a system of self regulation, there would be nothing available for today’s government to use to regulate us. There were many important developments that paved the way for government.
This is a guest post by Michael T Skinner. If you want to Guest Post, check out the Guidelines here.
Imagine that you, your spouse and your three children live in a 2,200 square foot, 2 story, 4 bedroom house in Anytown, USA. It is 1:30am and you are awaken by the shrill of your smoke detectors activating. As you leap from you bed, you are immediately forced towards the floor since the smoke makes it unbearable to stand erect and breathe. Your pulse rate doubles as adrenaline is being feverously dumped into your bloodstream. Thoughts enter your mind faster than you are able to process them: “What the ….?” “Where are the kids?” “How can we all get out?” “Why is this happening?”. As you open the door to the hallway you can’t see anything except an orange glow towards the stairway. Panic takes over, what do you do next? Every day in America people die in fires, most time in there own home. In 2005, 3,675 civilians died along with 87 firefighters, averaging to over 10 people dying in fires each day.i Children 5 years and under face the highest risk of home fire death.ii There is a way to reduce these numbers considerably, that way is the installation of fire sprinklers in your home. Fire sprinklers have been around for more than a century in factories, warehouses, commercial properties and public building such as schools, hospitals, and hotels. They were around long before smoke detector technology was invented and are highly reliable, yet they are resisted due to numerous myths concerning them. Fire sprinklers save lives by providing the necessary protection that allows the occupants to escape a building fire as well as reduces property damage.