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FT 26 AUTOMATIC SPRINKLER

SITTING AND PIPING


OBJECTIVE 1. To explain the sitting of the sprinkler heads and the piping of the automatic sprinkler systems. REFERENCE 2. Manual of Fireman Ship Book 9.

CONTENTS 3. Introduction. Sprinkler system has several procedures for their sitting of heads and piping to follow. 4. Sitting of Sprinkler Heads. The following definitions are used to differentiate between the various pipe work used on a sprinkler installation (Fig. 6.1). a. b. Main distribution pipes: main pipes feeding the distribution pipe work. Distribution pipes: pipes directly feeding range pipes.

c. Range pipes: pipes on which the sprinklers are attached either directly or through short arm pipes which do not exceed 30 mm length. 5. The number of sprinklers allowed on range pipes depends on the layout and size of pipe used, but does not exceed nine on any one pipe. The number of sprinklers fed by a distribution pipe in also determined by the also of the pipe, with a maximum of 18 heads fed by one distribution pipe. Pipe sizes are determined hydraulically; party by pre-calculated pipe size tables and partly by hydraulic calculation. The area covered by a sprinkler and the distance between sprinklers on range pipes and adjacent rows of sprinklers is determined by the hazard class of the installation.

Fig.6.1: Diagrammatic Layout of the Pipe work of a Sprinkler Installation 165

6.

The maximum area covered by a sprinkler in the different classes is shown in Table 8 Table 8

Maximum area covered by sprinkler. Hazard class Extra light hazard Ordinary hazard Extra high hazard General 21 m 12 m 9 m Special risk areas or storage racks 9 m 9 m 7.5 to 10 m

7. Sprinkler design ensures that the water shall be deflected to the ceiling and out in a wide circle which will overlap the distribution from the next head. The deflector should be between 75 mm and 150 mm below ceilings and roofs. Where this is not practicable, sprinklers may be installed at lower levels providing they are not more than 300 mm below the underside of combustible ceilings and roofs or 450 mm below the underside of incombustible ceilings and roofs. 8. To ensure that the efficiency of sprinkler protection is not lessened, a clear space of at least 500 mm must always be maintained below the sprinkler deflectors throughout the room. For high piled combustible stock, an increased clearance of 1 meter or more must be provided. Roof trusses must at all times accessible to water discharged from the sprinklers. 9. All part of a building must be covered by sprinklers; otherwise fire can develop undetected for a period and become too large for the system to deal with effectively. Any roof space or floor space exceeding 800 mm in depth must be sprinkler protected. Where holes are cut in floors to take machinery drives, conveyors, chute and other vertical openings such as hoists, lifts and elevators, it is important that a sprinkler is sited above the opening on the upper floor in order that vertical spreads of fire docs not take place without early detection. 10. Multiple Controls. Head sensitive scaled valve control cutlets (Fig 6.2) are used when it is desired to operate small groups of sprayers simultaneously hence the term multiple control. 11. The heat sensitive device will be glass bulb or a soldered link or lever. When this fuses water is delivered to open sprayers which cover the protected area. An example of a control is shown in Fig 6.3 (1) and on open sprayer in Fig 6.3 (2).

Fig.6.2: Diagram Showing a Multiple Control System 166

12. Extent of A Sprinkler System. Where a sprinkler system is installed, it must cover the who whole building, except where the omission of sprinklers is specifically allowed as an exception under the rules. Every building communicating directly or indirectly with or adjoining the sprinkle red building without separating walls must be sprinkle red throughout unless it in one of the permitted exceptions by fire separation is a separating is a separating wall with openings protected by fire resisting doors or fire-resisting shutters. Certain detached buildings within a specified distance of the sprinkle red building which are considered to present an exposure hazard should also be protected by sprinklers. Alternatively the sprinkler protection in the protected building may be extended to provide external sprinkler protection over window and door openings and over any combustible sections of the wall opposite the exposure hazard.

Fig.6.3(1) An Automatic Control (2) An Open Sprayer 13. Fire Fighting In a Sprinkle Red Building. The following are the principle points a fireman should bear in mind when fighting fire in a sprinkle red building. a. On arrival at a fire in a sprinkle red building, a members of the crew should immediately by sent to the main stop valve so that: (1) He can open the valve if he finds it closed. (2) He can ensure that the valve in not close except express instructions of the officer in charge. Many so-called sprinkler failures have been due to premature closing of the main stop valve. A head opens and apparently extinguishers the fire, the water supply is cut off in order to prevent water damage and fire which bas continued to smolders in a hidden place later bursts out again. The premises being deprived of sprinkler protection, the fire gowns to large proportion, possibly opening a number of heads. Should the valve then be re-opened the simultaneous discharge of water from these heads causes a drop in pressure and less effective flow from each head. A sprinkler system is designed to check an incipient fire and not to cope with one that has got away. b. On arrival at an installation where the principle supplies of water can be augmented through a fire brigade inlet, hose should be laid out and a pump connected ready increase the pressure should a large number of heads have operated. c. It should be remembered that there are many cases where sprinkler will satisfactorily hold the fire which can then be finally extinguished by firemen using hose reels. The sprinklers should not normally be turned off in order that the fire may be fought with jets or spray branches. d. If additional water is needed, it should not be taken from the main supplying the sprinklers it is if large size. This main will usually be a branch from a larger town main and pumps should be set into hydrants on the latter, or on a different main. The layout of mains supplying sprinkler installation in their areas should be known by local fire brigade officers. 167

e. Although a sprinkler may appears to have extinguished the fire, careful examination of the area involved must be made in order to verify that no trace of fire remains under tables, pipes or stack of goods. f. When a fire is out and if for any reason it is impossible to turn off the main stop valve immediately and cut off the flow of water to the sprinkler head, water damage can be prevented by securing the female coupling of a length of hose over the head and directing the hose out of a window. 14. The Value of Sprinklers. Sprinklers have proved their value at many thousands of fires. An analysis of a very large number of fires in sprinkler-protected premises has provided the following statistics: 55 percent of fires were extinguished by the operation of two of sprinkler heads. 80 percent of fires were extinguished by eight or less sprinklers. 90 percent of fires were extinguished by 18 or less sprinklers. 15. The very large rebates which are allowed by insurance companies to owners who have installed sprinklers in their buildings are a clear indication of the protection obtained. The rebate vary according to the risk and it is not possible to give any hard and fast rules for approved installations conforming with the standards laid down by the Fire Offi cers Committee. The saving is seldom less than 50 percent of the premium normally charge for the insurance of a corresponding risk without sprinklers. 16. Re-Setting Of Sprinkler Systems. Most brigades issue specific orders that following a fire in a sprinkle red building, the occupiers are responsible for resetting the system. This avoids any problems of insurance etc should there be a subsequent fire and the system failed to operate. References and Further Reading: a. b. British Standard code of Practice * - CP402-201 (1952) The Rules Of Fire Officers Committee for automatic sprinkler installation.

c. Standard for National Fire Protection Association ON AUTOMATIC SPRINKLER No: 13-1976. d. Manual of Fireman Ship Book 9.

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