What you Need to Know About Fire Pump Inspection, Testing, & Maintenance

An optimally running fire pump is essential for fire safety in a large commercial or residential space. The role of a properly functioning water pump in a fire emergency is to keep water sufficiently pressurized in the system to aid in fire extinguishment. Without enough water pressure, the fire sprinklers and standpipe system will be much less effective in containing and extinguishing a fire hazard. 

To ensure public safety, routine fire pump inspection, testing, and maintenance should be conducted regularly.  

Fire Pump Inspection & Testing

Proper fire pump inspection and testing must be carried out by a qualified individual with ample knowledge and experience of the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA 25) latest codes and regulations. This could be an outside contractor or in-house personnel for the weekly or monthly test. However, some states may require the annual test to be carried out by a certified professional. 

Fire Pump Maintenance

Fire pumps should undergo regularly scheduled maintenance at certain intervals. Here is a checklist for each corresponding period.  

Weekly 

  • Inspection of the pump house/room – A visual inspection of coupling guards, excessive water pooling on the ground, and a room temperature reading of no less than 40° F (4° C). 
  • Inspection of the pump system conditions – A visual inspection of the piping for any leaks, wet pit suction screens affixed in place and free of obstructions, a suction pressure gauge reading within normal limits, and the suction reservoir with an appropriate water level. 

A physical inspection of the water flow test and hose connection valves in the closed position with the pump suction, discharge, and bypass valves completely open. 

  • Inspection of the Electrical system conditions – A visual inspection of the controller pilot light, transfer switch normal pilot light, and normal phase rotation pilot light is on and operational. A physical inspection of the oil level in the vertical motor sight glass within normal range and power to pressure maintenance pump is operational. 
  • A no-flow “churn” start for pump operation (Diesel only) – Start the pump up for 10 minutes while keeping your eye on the suction and pressure reading gauges. Inspect the pump packing glands for any leaks and make any necessary adjustments to gland nuts. Investigate for any strange noises, noticeable vibrations, or overheating. Lastly, record the pump starting pressure and compare your results. 

Monthly 

  • Inspection of the pump operation (electric only) – A no-flow “churn” test should be conducted similarly to the diesel pump operation. 

Annual

It is recommended that the annual fire pump flow test be conducted by a certified professional. 

  • Inspection of the pump operation – The fire pump test as outlined by NFPA 25 begins by connecting hoses to the discharge test header with the hoses leading to a safe location where the large flow of water won’t cause any damage. A close eye should be kept on the pressure reading gauges throughout the test. 

The test results are then compared to recommended factory specifications If the pump’s performance isn’t optimal, further assessment is needed to further diagnose and make repairs. 

Consult the Fire Protection Experts 

Trust the experienced pros at Majestic Fire to carry out proper fire pump inspection, testing, and maintenance to keep your fire protection system running optimally. 

What are the Main Components of Fire Protection Systems?

Fire Sprinkler service

A fire protection system is far more sophisticated than simple fire alarms and sprinklers. In fact, it is a complex, interconnected system that aims to mitigate the health and property damage risks of not just fire, but also the dangers that smoke inhalation and asphyxiation present. 

Many components are put in place to aid firefighters to get to the blaze in a timely manner in order to minimize safety risks on their behalf and excessive property damage as well. This guide is purely informative in nature. Please refer to the appropriate local authority for more fire safety guidelines and up-to-date building codes. 

Fire Sprinklers 

There is a common misconception that fire sprinklers only belong in commercial spaces such as hospitals, hotels, etc. However, fire sprinklers can be installed in any space, particularly a home residence where the risks of fire damage are the greatest. A fire sprinkler is a ceiling-mounted nozzle that is connected to a network of pressured water piping installed in the ceiling that automatically activates in the event of a detected fire. 

In order to guarantee the effectiveness of a fire sprinkler system, a smoke sensitivity test must be conducted on an annual basis for most facilities. 

What is a Standpipe? 

A Standpipe is an interconnected system of water piping, valves, and hose connections placed in strategic locations that allow fire safety personnel to connect a hose or nozzle in order to discharge streams of water and hopefully extinguish the dangerous source of the fire. 

A fire department connection is similar enough to a standpipe, however, with the main difference being that it must be located on the exterior wall with unobstructed access at all times in the event of an emergency. The installation of a standpipe system must be done by licensed professionals and in accordance with the latest building codes.

Fire Alarm Systems 

A fire alarm system is the brains of the operation closely monitoring for the presence of fire or smoke and in turn, triggers an audible or visual signal to notify the public. A fire alarm system can work on both automatic sensors and manual input. Certain models are even linked and will directly notify the nearest fire department in the case of a detected outbreak of fire.

Fire alarm installation should be handled by certified professionals with bonafide experience in handling the safety of the public. 

Fire Pump 

One of the main methods of extinguishment in an outbreak of fire relies on a heavily pressurized stream of water. The integrity of a fire protection system relies on the fire pump’s ability to administer a constant supply of water and keep the system sufficiently pressurized at all times for the automatic sprinkler system. 

There are many different models of fire pumps that require regularly scheduled maintenance in order to perform optimally in a high-stress situation. An improperly functioning fire pump could spell catastrophic consequences. A fire protection expert can inspect and repair a deficient fire pump. 

Fire Protection Key Takeaways 

A full-fledged fire protection system relies on many different components that work together in order to ensure the safety of the public and the protection of property. Each individual component must be properly inspected and maintained for this ‘teamwork’ to result in the saving of lives and property.

How Are Fire Extinguishers Serviced Yearly Up To 12 Years

making sure fire extinguisher tag is correct

Physical Inspection To Hydrostatic & Refilling The Fire Extinguishers

If you’ve been worried about fire in your home or residence, you likely have already purchased a fire extinguisher. However, buying the fire extinguisher isn’t enough – you have to make sure it’s in proper working order, and it’s best to do so very frequently.

One of the best ways to protect you and your family from a fire is to make sure that your fire extinguishers are in good working order. To do this, you should reach out to a trained professional for some fire extinguisher testing.

Fire Extinguisher Testing

Another great way to protect yourself from fire is to annually get your fire extinguishers tested. Annual fire extinguisher tests should be held by a certified and licensed technician, as they are the ones who are knowledgeable about what to look for. When it comes to your family’s safety, thinking that you have the skills and know-how to test your fire extinguisher can lead to large problems if you’re overestimating your abilities!

Monthly and Annual Checks

monthly and annual fire extinguisher testing

Keep in mind that while the fire extinguisher need only be tested by a technician annually, you should reach out to team managers or other team members monthly so that they can visually inspect the fire extinguisher to make sure that the gauge shows that it’s in good standing (in the green) and that the cylinder is in good shape. If there is a problem with either of these, you’ll need to get a new fire extinguisher.

The annual fire extinguisher test will be performed similarly to the monthly check. The licensed professional will visually check the cylinder, check that the cylinder is full/in good standing, and that the status gauge is working correctly.

Six-Year Checks

On top of the monthly and annual tests, it’s highly recommended that you have a more in-depth inspection every six years. This inspection should also be performed by a licensed technician. During this inspection, the technician will check the manufacturing date of the fire extinguisher. If the manufacturing date is over six years, the technician will inform you that that content in the fire extinguisher will need to be emptied. (It’s best to let the professionals handle the disposal since it requires specific handling and disposal techniques.)

Once the contents have been properly disposed of, the technician will then check that the cylinder is still working properly/doesn’t have any obvious or worrisome cracks by wiping it down with soapy water (to see if the water disappears anywhere inside). Once they’ve determined that the cylinder is still safe to use, they will refill it with whatever component is required to be in the fire extinguisher.

(Keep in mind that different fire extinguishers have different contents in them depending on what they’re meant to combat. Some might have foam, some might have powder, and others still might have a more liquid compound. It’s always good to double-check with the technician that they’re replacing the fire extinguisher contents with the right components!)

Once this whole process has been completed, you can feel confident about fighting any potential fires that occur in your home or place of work.

12-Year Checks

fire extinguisher 12 year hydrostatic testing

If you happen to have a fire extinguisher that has not been tested, the same process applies. You will reach out to a trained technician for their services, and they will perform a check on your 12-year-old fire extinguisher. During this testing, the fire extinguisher will go through a similar process as if it were a 6-year-old fire extinguisher. However, there is one main difference – the older fire extinguisher will be going for hydrostatic testing, as well.

Hydrostatic testing is where the fire extinguisher will be emptied of its contents, and then the cylinder will be tested between 500-600 psi to ensure that it doesn’t crumple/break/collapse/crack/otherwise become damaged. 500-600 psi is about 2.5 times the usual amount of pressure that a fire extinguisher will go through when it’s in use, so this hydrostatic test is to make sure that the cylinder can be refilled with the proper contents. If the cylinder fails the hydrostatic test, the cylinder will have to be properly recycled, and you’ll need to buy a new fire extinguisher.

Other Checks

However, when it comes to fire extinguishers, other components go into the fire extinguisher to make sure it can work properly. As such, the other components must be checked as well. These are checks that the technician will also do during each fire extinguisher examination.

The purpose of these checks is to guarantee that all the individual mechanisms, hoses, and other components all function properly. At that point, once everything has been checked, the fire extinguisher technician will reassemble the fire extinguisher, check it for leaks (with the soapy water technique mentioned above), and then set it to completely dry before it is re-installed for later use.

Links

https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Safety-equipment/Fire-extinguishers

Do You Know About Fire Safety Inspection?

Quality inspector working in a steel factory.

The fire department conducts fire safety inspections of a facility frequently to point out the risks and dangers associated with the fire. Then, the employers have to make the desired changes accordingly to the results. It all depends on the state or city laws or local jurisdiction relating to inspection of facilities, how these inspections are carried, and how long it takes to complete. You have to take these inspections seriously, as it could put someone's life at risk. It is advised to acquire some knowledge about the ordinances applicable to fire inspection and standards required by the state. Understanding the procedures and requirements for inspections helps employers comply with inspection codes and prevent the problems that they could have faced.

To maintain a good relationship with fire inspectors, you should be prepared for the inspection and comply with the inspection requirements. Surprise visits are frequent, and inspectors carry out surprise inspections just like the food-related establishments. These surprise visits lead to better preparation and keep employers up to date with the fire protection initiatives. Fire safety inspectors check the following things at the time of inspections:-

Woman repairing fire extinguisher at workshop

The inspector will examine the workplace's prevailing safety system, including the active safety systems vs. passive safety systems.
The active fire systems consist of:.

On the other hand, passive fire systems consist of that equipment that helps prevent fires and contain them while helping people in the safe exit. We can take exit signs and exit doors as an example.

The fire inspector has to identify the potential fire hazards within the facility, and he'll point out possibilities that could spark a fire.

The inspector will ensure the safe access of emergency responders in the building at the time of emergency.

Fire safety inspections are mandatory to provide a secure environment in the workplace. The annual fire inspection brings many positives, or when the same is done in compliance with local laws, it brings the following outcomes:-

Regular inspections make the workplace or building safe for employees.

  1. It ensures the safety of residents and visitors to the building.
  2. It helps in job security because most of the facilities end up in loss after fire accidents and unlikely to open in maximum cases.
  3. Appreciate the building's value and avoid maintenance costs that would have been needed to fix the building in case of fire hazard.
  4. Fewer fire accidents mean lower insurance costs, which would have been required to maintain the building and use of fire protection systems.

According to the fire department, fire hazards are reported every 24 seconds in the United States, which should not be the case. Although the death rate related to fires has reduced remarkably compared to decades ago, the numbers are still high.

Workplace safety is a debatable topic and requires detailed analysis to introduce new methods to prevent fire accidents at the workplace.

 

 

What Does IFC Stand For?

International Fire Code

 

IFC is the abbreviation of the International Fire Code. IFC has issued IFC codes in 2018, which serve as SOPs to practice the minimum level of safety guidelines for all the old and new facilities or buildings. These codes don't only provide guidelines but offer a complete set of procedures that should be followed to prevent the risks of fires to keep people safe. The IFC provides guidelines for designing a protection system. It is recommended to use all new or existing structures, upgrading the old protection systems, or establishing new procedures.

 

Where Does IFC apply?

Presently, IFC is being used worldwide; almost 90% of States in the United States have adopted the IFC code. The IFC codes are being used for designing structures of the building even in the states where IFC has not been officially adopted yet because these codes offer safety and maximum protection.

What Are the Advantages of Implementing IFC?

Regardless of any legal obligation, the IFC guidelines are religiously followed due to their numerous advantages. The guidelines can improve fire safety in most of the building structures and offer countless benefits. the following are the most useful guidelines of IFC:-

Flexibility

The IFC codes are not rigid and offer flexibility to the people to construct buildings and facilities. They are easy to comply with by developers and architects. It gives freedom to construction companies and property builders to design their buildings according to their desires.

National Standards

This means IFC guidelines are designed in consultation with all the stakeholders at a national level, and these guidelines have developed a consensus on using codes among different groups. Thus, making it possible to implement the standards across the country.

Logical Regulations for Hazardous Materials

The IFC regulations have been examined thoroughly, and they are found quite logical to be implemented at the facilities. These standards apply to the buildings or facilities that use hazardous materials to ensure their safety. Regulations are forward-thinking for more ways to protect the lives of people and keep the vicinity safe.

Detailed Guidelines

The IFC codes have been designed in detail; it suits all the situations used within the buildings like in refrigerator rooms, stores, boiler systems, places used for fire supplies, sprinkler systems, or any other place where there is a chance of fire hazard.

Which Fire Extinguisher Is Best For Electrical Fire?

Which Fire Extinguisher Is Best For Electrical Fire?

Fire extinguishers have many types to be used for various fires, and each one uses a different material against different types of fires. To deal with electrical fires, class C fire extinguishers are designed to extinguish different fire types. If the fire erupts out of electricity, termed as an energized electrical fire, class C fire extinguishers can extinguish such fires. First, to completely put out electrical fires, you need to cut down the source of electricity as it could add fuel to the fire. A constant source of electricity can ignite the fire and results in a major catastrophe if the electrical supply is not disconnected in the event of a fire. It can burn everything available in the facility and result in the blast in situations containing flammable gases or liquids.

multiple sources of power failures can happen in a facility that results in electrical fires, and the most common of these include:-

fires arising due to short circuits
faulty wiring
overloaded devices
wire damages
broken electrical outlets
poor installation of lights

Fire Extinguisher Classes Associating To Electrical Fires

Electrical fires can be blown out using extinguishers containing non-conductive materials rather than foam-based equipment because water-based extinguishers can cause a severe fire hazard due to their high conductivity. If anyone uses water or foam-based extinguishers to stop electrical fires, it will result in disaster and severe damage. It led to creating new types of fire equipment, i.e., class C fire equipment that is safe to use on electrical fires and made up of ingredients like potassium chloride, mono-ammonium phosphate useful potassium bicarbonate substance to stop the fire. Some class C-type fire extinguishers use carbon dioxide to control fires because CO2 can prevent fires due to its capability to keep the oxygen out of the fire and stop the heat as it gets cold when applied to the fire.

Since the c type fire extinguisher contains non-conductive materials, they are quite helpful in extinguishing fires that are blown due to electrical faults. However, it is recommended to have both types of fire extinguishers in hand to use at the time of emergency to put out different types of fires spread out of something. You should have class A or class C fire extinguishers to deal with the different types of fires. You need to know how and where to use the fire extinguishers.

It is recommended to keep a check on all the electrical works and carry regular inspections to ensure electric circuits are working correctly. You can take help from trained professionals who are specialized in the field. This is the only way you can prevent such catastrophic accidents at your workplace or building. Besides, you need to make sure your fire safety equipment is in working condition and ready to use when required. Gather all the information relating to the electrical work in the premises and do annual inspections on all IFC codes implemented in your building design.

 

NFPA 16 Standard for the Installation of Foam-Water Sprinkler and Foam-Water Spray Systems

16

Fire incidents are among the major challenges the world encounters today. Most fire protection and fire engineering specialist follow the authorities and NFPA formulate standards, and the observance of these standards is directed compulsory in and all the constructions.
One such standard is NFPA:16. What is this standard about, and what does it imply? We will cover all the information in the following section.

What is NFPA: 16?
NFPA 16: Standard for the Installation of Foam-Water Sprinkler and Foam-Water Spray Systems provides maximum protection and safety against the fire. It provides guidance for installing or repairing the foam water sprinkler and foam water spray systems based on engineering principles and field experience.
The standard outlines minimum requirements for the design, installation, acceptance tests, inspection, and maintenance of foam water sprinkler and foam water spray systems. NFPA 16 specifies that these systems are adequately designed to effectively achieve the desired density of both systems to prevent life and property losses in the US.

Foam-Water Sprinkler and Foam-Water Spray Systems

Foam water sprinklers and foam water spray sprinklers are complicated systems required to extinguish the most horrible fires caused by flammable liquids like alcohol. In case of a fire emergency, the system is activated, and water pressurizes the foam bladder tank to release foam, which combines with water and extinguishes fire.

NFPA: 16. Directions:
NFPA: 16 covers all the directions involving the design of the water supply and discharge density. Under the illustrated standard, the water supplies shall be designed to supply water at the designed discharge density and pressure for a minimum of 60 mins.
It further points out that the minimum discharge density, in any case, should not be less than 0.16 GPM/ft2 (6.5 mm/m2). However, different values can be used depending on the type of fire and the foam manufacturer's recommendations.
Foam-Water Sprinkler and Foam-Water Spray Systems
Though there are many types of Foam-Water-Spray Systems, we have covered the Wet Pipe System in detail. So, you have a comprehensive understanding of this system.
Directions for the wet pipe system:

According to NFPA 16, wet pipe low flow systems need to be automatic and mechanical without devices, valves, and pumps. All components of the system shall be approved to ensure maximal working.
The system requires a reduced discharge pressure at the riser through an approved pilot operated pressure regulating valve. The valve should be capable of enduring water pressure of 250PSI.
NFPA 16 states that a concentrate control valve shall be present between the bladder tank and concentrate controller. The valve should be designed in such a way that it automatically opens in response to water flow. Moreover, the valve shall be of corrosive resistance material with Halar coating, and valves shall be of Viking Model E-2, E-4, or F-2.
The system requires Foam concentrate aqueous or alcohol-resistant aqueous film-forming foam. In the case of water-soluble liquids, the alcohol-resistant type is needed.
These Foam concentrates shall be approved and designed to ensure their efficient working with the Viking Corporation Low Foam System.

WET PIPE AFFF SPRINKLER SYSTEM

According to NFPA 16, for the proper installation and working of wet pipe AFFF sprinkler system, a system fire department connection is crucial. The brass body connection shall be of brass and FM approved for fire protection use.

NFPA 16 also indicates using an alarm valve to activate the alarm during water flow in the system. The valve should be FM approved and installed in a vertical or horizontal position to operate at a pressure of 250 PSI (17 BAR).

A low expansion foam bladder tank is required according to NFPA 16 to store the foam concentrate. The tank should be fitted close to the riser to make it accessible for inspection, and it should meet ASME pressure vessel requirements.

Foam concentrate shall be of brass, and it should have an appropriate nominal orifice plate size. Apart from the basic layout and installation, NFPA 16 covers all requirements for maintenance.
Additionally, foam concentrates needs to be tested by installing contractor which provides maintenance and safety data sheet to the owner.

Temperature and spacing:

Apart from designs, the installation of these sprinkler systems at proper spacing is also necessary. According to NFPA 16, spacing should not be more than 100 square feet per sprinkler.
When these sprinklers are required to fit on the roof, their temperature should not exceed the range of 121 -149 degrees Celsius. While for low-level installation, the temperature should be maintained between 57 to 77 degrees Celsius.

Conclusion

Foam-Water Sprinkler and Foam-Water Spray Systems are essential fire safety equipment installed in buildings to ensure protection against fire caused by flammable liquids and airport hangers. To design a proper system depending upon the type of facility and its installation requires compliance with requirements provided by NFPA 16.

 

 

NFPA 13R: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in Low-Rise Residential Occupancies

NFPA 13

The fire has become a significant problem in the United States. Every day, on the news, you see dark clouds of smoke and fire rising from residential occupancies, caused by kitchen accidents, faulty wiring, or carelessness. These increasing fires have now become nightmares for Americans, burning people's properties and turning precious lives into ashes.

But what is the best solution to combat these horrible fires in residential buildings?

The answer is the Fire Sprinkler System.

What is a Fire Sprinkler system?

It is simple but effective machinery to stop the fire and protect against the most unexpected fires, minimizing the risk of property damage and life losses. The system is based on a water supply system that distributes highly pressurized water into the pipe network to which fire sprinklers are connected.

Sprinkler System acts as the first line of defense against the fire, and its proper installation is essential to constrain spark in the room where the fire begins. It is the most efficient component of the fire response system as it provides the residents sufficient time to escape the building on fire.

According to the NFPA report on Sprinkler System, from 2010 to 2014, the death rate per 1000 fires was decreased by 87% in buildings with Sprinkler systems, compared to properties without automatic extinguishing systems.

Owing to Sprinkler systems, the civilian injury rate was reduced by 27%, and the firefighter injury rate was dropped by 67%.

Considering the importance and necessity of Fire Sprinkler systems, it is crucial to have appropriate guidance regarding their designs and installation.

NFPA 13R: Standard for Installation of Sprinkler Systems in Low-Rise Residential Occupancies

In this regard, NFPA 13R: Standard for Installation of Sprinkler Systems in Low-Rise Residential Occupancies cover up all the conditions requisite to design and install automated sprinkle systems in residential occupancies up to four stories high.

NFPA 13R includes all information about the designs and installation of the Sprinkle System to detect and combat fires in residential buildings. It ensures the proper utilization of Sprinkle systems to prevent life and property loss in a sudden fire.

A standard Sprinkler system that complies with NFPA 13-R

NFPA 13R provides assistance on Sprinkler system installation in buildings not exceeding 60 feet from the ground level. NFPA 13R clarifies that the standard is constructed to safeguard against a fire that starts from a single ignition location.

According to standard, a fast response sprinkler bearing a thermal element with an RTI of 50(meter seconds)1/2 or less is appropriate to combat fire to its origin in residential buildings.

In order to protect against fire, an integrated system of underground pipes is designed under fire protection standards. Each system includes a device to activate an alarm in response to heat and smoke from the fire origin and discharge water to control the fire.

NFPA 13R ensures that all sprinklers installed in residential occupancies are new and permanently marked with one or two character manufacturer symbols.

Along with these symbols, three or four numbers are present, giving each sprinkler a unique identity for identification of size, shape, rating, pressure, deflector characteristics, and thermal sensitivity.

Requirements of low rise residential building in accordance with NFPA 13R

NFPA 13R ensures that the building where the sprinkler system needs to be installed should be designed according to the standard. A compartment, to meet the requirements of NFPA 13R shall be a space entirely surrounded by walls and ceilings.

The compartment is allowed to have openings with adjacent space; however, the opening should have a lintel depth of 8 in the ceiling.

The requirements for the position and location of fire sprinklers should be based on these standards.

  1. To protect against fire, the Sprinkler system should be fitted throughout the building.
  2.  Another vital point that must be considered while installing the sprinkler systems for maximum efficiency is their spacing. They should be present at proper locations without exceeding the maximum area per sprinkler.
  3. It is essential to precisely locate the positions of Sprinklers with respect to activation time and distribution to achieve satisfactory performance.

That's pretty much it about it. If you want to know about NFPA 16, you can find it here.

 

 

NFPA 14: Standard for the Installation of Standpipe and Hose Systems

publication_artikelcode_NFPA-14

Fires are an emergency. Considering that, we are taught starting our childhood about fire prevention and protection. But when fire kindles at most unexpected times, people can not cope with the emergency due to ineffective and improperly installed fire safety equipment.

To ensure people's safety in case of a fire emergency, NFPA provided various codes and standards, each dealing with different fire safety equipment to minimize the fire damage in America.

In this regard, NFPA 14: Standard for the Installation of Standpipe and Hose Systems provides all instructions regarding the installation of standpipes and hose systems to ensure a sufficient degree of protection against the fire.

What is Standpipe and Hose system?
Before diving into the details of the NFPA 14, let's first look at a Standpipe and fire hose systems.

According to NFPA :

Standpipes consist of vertical rigid pipes and valves, attached with hose and nozzles. These pipes are connected to the water supply and installed on floors of multistory buildings to combat the fire. In case of fire, Standpipes discharge water through hose or nozzles, which extinguishes the fire, thus protecting the building and residents.

NFPA 14 provides all necessary requirements about the proper fixation of standpipes and hose systems to offer maximum protection against fire by delivering adequate water amounts.

It covers all instructions about the proper designs, building requirements for installation, as well as proper locations of hose and Standpipe to ensure the optimum activity.

Building requirements for Standpipe and hose system installation

Before the installation of standpipe systems, a fire inspector thoroughly examines the building to see whether the facility meets the NFPA 14 criteria for standpipe system or not. In case a building does not meet any of these criteria, Standpipe will not be required to install in the building.

· According to NFPA 14, a standpipe system is required for:
· A building having one or more story below grade (20 ft below grade)
· A building with occupant load surpassing 1000.
· Mall buildings -Both covered as well as open
· Underground buildings
· Buildings stage expanding to an area of 1000ft2 or greater
· Buildings having helistop and heliports
· Rooftop gardens and landscaped roofs

For installing a standpipe system, the building's height is critical to consider. If a building whose uppermost story floor level is present at the elevation of more than 30 ft from its lowest level or the fire department's lowest level, a Class III standpipe should be installed.

Requirements for the selection of proper Standpipe systems

Apart from considering the building requirements, NFPA 14 also specifies which type of Standpipe needs to be fitted in the building. Standpipe systems are available in three types, I, II, and III. Which one is most appropriate for a specific building depends on whether they are used for full-scale fire fighting, first aid fire fighting, or both.

For example, the class I standpipe system with 2 ½-in. hose connections are designed to be used by the fire department. Class II standpipe system has 11/2-in. Hose connections and intended for trained workers and the fire department. Meanwhile, Class III system with both 1 ½-in. and 2 ½-in. hose connections are also used by trained personnel and the US fire department.

Identification of appropriate location for Standpipe system installation
Once the appropriate type of standpipe system is determined, the next challenge is identifying proper locations for hose outlets in the building. An outlet needs to be fitted at the intermediate landings in all internal exit stairways.

Apart from intermediate landings, each wall contiguous to the external exit and entrance must contain hose outlets under NFPA 14. In the case of malls, an outlet is required at each public entrance point and adjacent to the passageways to ensure people's safety.

Another factor of prime importance regarding the standpipe system's appropriate installation and functionality is the travel distance from an outlet. The hose outlet distance should not exceed 130 ft in non -sprinklered buildings, while in the case of sprinklered buildings, the distance need not be more than 200 ft. So, if a building is constructed considering the codes and recommendations of NFPA, every part of the building is accessible to hose (within 200 ft).

Conclusion

In short, NFPA 14 provides all the necessary instructions for the installation of standpipes and hose systems in multistory buildings to ensure people's protection in case of fire ignition. So before designing a standpipe system for any building, engineers need to know about the requirements directed by NFPA standard.

 

 

NFPA 15 Standard for Water Spray Fixed Systems for Fire Protection

Fire safety is of prime importance while designing any building to ensure the protection of occupants as well as the facility. Fire safety equipment is installed in almost every building in America, but it does not mean that fire will never happen.

Fire is an unpredictable catastrophe that can start at any time. So, one needs to be always ready to combat such contingencies. To handle the fire at the most appropriate time, one 'requires adequately installed and functional fire safety equipment such as Water Spray Fixed Systems.

What is Water Spray System?
Water Spray System is a fixed pipe system that is connected with a water source and spray nozzle. The system is associated with the automatic detection system or fire alarm to get activated in case of fire.

Upon activation, it supplies water at a high pressure to control the fire. Water Spray System is employed to protect from fire caused by flammable liquid, gases, oil switches, electrical equipment such as transformers, etc.

NFPA 15: Standard for Fixed Water Spray Systems

All the instructions relevant to the water spray system are provided by NFPA 15. NFPA 15: Standard for Water Spray Fixed Systems for Fire Protection helps control fire by giving guidance about water spray system layout and proper testing and maintenance of the system.

Selection of a nozzle according to NFPA 15

NFPA 15 contains all the instructions for selecting the correct spray nozzle to achieve the proper coverage area and water density requisite to extinguish the fire.

The nozzle selection under NFPA 15 involves considering different factors such as the purpose of the system, discharge characteristics of the nozzle, thermal draft condition, equipment configuration, and atmospheric conditions.

NFPA 15 provides the method to determine the range of water spray by measuring velocity and water droplet size. Velocity is an important factor while selecting a proper nozzle for a fixed water spray system, and no one can change a nozzle without fulfilling the requirements of NFPA 15 standard.

Requirements for proper pipes and hangers selection
Apart from nozzles, the standard covers all necessary recommendations regarding water spray system pipe, fittings, and hangers. According to NFPA 15, Pipe hangers and support should be designed to endure the impact of maximum operating pressure. The standard requires the pipes capable of withstanding at least 175psig water pressure so that they do not collapse in case of emergency.

All the pipes and fittings should be made of anti-corrosive material, and they should be galvanized to ensure maximum protection. If the galvanization is damaged at any point, the exposed steel should be covered with resistant paint.

Actuation valve for fixed water spray system
Under the recommendations of NFPA 15, each water spray system must possess system actuation valves (for opening and closing of the system) to control the flow of water. Actuation valves are required both for manual as well as automatic operation.

In a manual system, these actuation valves should be present on the access points, easy to identify in an emergency. In addition to these valves' locations, NFPA 15 covers all requirements for the types of valves.

System actuation valves that are required for automatic systems are known as deluge valves. NFPA 15 ensures that these valves are properly regulated hydraulically, electrically, or mechanically to spray water when needed.

Instructions for proper inspection and maintenance of fixed water spray system

Apart from proper design and fitting of fixed water spray systems, NFPA 15 makes sure the appropriate maintenance and inspection of the system to avert the fire danger.

It ensures :

· Adequate water supply
· Annual inspection and cleaning of nozzles and strainers
· Proper cleaning and calibration of values and detectors

Conclusion

Fixed water spray systems provide safety and protection against fire, but they can only work effectively when they comply with the requirements of NFPA 15. NFPA 15 covers all instructions and requirements for optimal functioning and maintenance of fixed water spray systems.
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