Designing Fire Suppression Systems for Calgary Commercial Properties
The complex standards that govern fire protection systems require specialized expertise in order to design a system that will extinguish a vast majority of fires. At Constant Fire Protection Systems Ltd, we employ registered professional design engineers that use state-of-the-art technology to ensure our results meet National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)® standards.
Whether it’s a warehouse with a basic layout, or a complex high rise building, our goal is always to design a system that will protect the building’s occupants and its structural integrity.
Determining Your Building’s Hazard Level
Today, a majority of sprinkler systems are designed with the “area and density” approach. The first step in this process is to analyze the building’s use and contents to determine the fire hazard level. Next, the building is classified as one of the following:
Ordinary Hazard (Group 1)
Ordinary Hazard (Group 2)
Extra Hazard (Group 1)
Extra Hazard (Group 2)
Factoring Design and Density
Once the hazard classification is determined, a design area and density plan can be implemented using reference tables through the NPFA standards manual. The “design area” is the theoretical spot in the building that would represent a worst case scenario if a fire were to occur. The “design density” determines how much water per square foot would need to be applied to the design area in order to suppress a fire.
For example, in an office building classified as light hazard, a typical design area would be 1,500 square feet (139.35 square metres) and the design density would be 0.1 gallons (0.38 litres) per minute, per square foot, or a minimum of 150 gallons (567.8 litres) per minute applied over the 1,500-square-foot design area. Another example would be a manufacturing facility classified as ordinary hazard group 2 where a typical design area would be 1,500 square feet and the design density would be 0.2 gallons (0.76 litres) per minute, per square foot, or a minimum of 300 gallons (1135.6 litres) per minute applied over the 1,500-square-foot design area.
After the design area and density have been factored, calculations are performed to prove that the system can deliver the required amount of water over the required design area. These calculations account for all of the pressure that is lost or gained between the water supply source and the sprinklers that operate in the design area. This includes pressure losses due to friction inside the piping and losses or gains due to differences in elevation between the source and the sprinklers. Sometimes, momentum pressure from water velocity inside the piping is also calculated.
High Pile Storage Analysis – Verifying System Demand Adequacy
Storing combustible materials in closely packed heaps, on pallets, in rack stands or on shelving higher than 12-feet is all considered high-pile storage. Analyzing and verifying the system demand adequacy for these situations requires the same series of calculations as mentioned in the ‘Factoring Design and Density’ section on this page. Contact us to arrange for one of our technicians to provide you with an analysis and system installation quote.
Spray Booth Protection
Including the mixing room, exhaust system and other areas susceptible to over-spray, paint booths that use any spray style propellants need to provide protection through an approved fire suppression system. Spray booth fires can happen suddenly and spread quickly. An automated wet pipe, deluge or pre-action sprinkler system is recommended. Alternate extinguishing systems may include, among others, dry chemical, carbon dioxide and gaseous agents.
The identification of a specialty fire hazard is best determined by a trained professional. The experts at Constant Fire Protection Systems Ltd are educated in looking at your processes and equipment and the unique qualities associated with them. Through careful analysis, the ideal suppression system will be identified.
Chemical Suppression Systems – Featuring NovecTM 1230
There are two ways to suppress a fire using a chemical system: wet chemicals and dry chemicals. Potassium carbonate, most commonly used in wet systems, is usually found in hand-held extinguishers. Sodium bicarbonate, most commonly used in dry systems, is sometimes used in automated, permanent installations. Constant Fire Protection Systems Ltd uses the Novec TM 1230 System. The fluid used in this system works as a gas, but still remains in a liquid form at room temperature. Novec TM 1230 is used to extinguish Class A, B and C fires via its cooling effects. This agent extinguishes fires at concentrations of 4-6% by volume and thus offers the largest safety margin of any chemical clean agents for occupied spaces.
For additional information on how we design fire suppression systems, or to receive a quote, contact Constant Fire Protection Systems Ltd.