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Oct 18, 2021

Welcome to episode 19 of Fire Code Tech. On this episode we are talking about underground fire protection mains and appurtenances! Codes and standards for private service mains as well as all systems covered by NFPA 24 are discussed in this solocast.



Hello, all welcome to the show. I'm Gus Gagliardi, and this is fire code tech on fire code tech. We interview fire protection professionals from all different careers and backgrounds in order to provide insight and a resource for those in the field. My goal is to help you become a more informed fire protection.

Professional fire code tech has interviews with engineers and researchers, fire marshals, and insurance professionals, and highlights topics like codes and standards, engineering systems, professional development, and trending topics in the industry. So if you're someone who wants to know more about fire protection or the fascinating stories of those who are in the field, you're in the right place.

Hello, all welcome to episode 19, a fire code. In this episode, we're talking about underground Firemans. So specifically I wanted to talk about the provisions in codes and standards that pertain to, uh, Firemans for fire protection systems. I wanted to talk about the codes and standards around the underground piping for fire suppression systems.

This is a very frequently used piece of code in standards. So I think it's important that, um, we cover it in our journey on learning how to use codes in standards and evaluate all the different pieces and parts of the process of, uh, fire protection engineering. So I wanted to talk about the codes and standards around the subject.

So let's speak about NFPA 24, which is the installation of private service mains and their AURs. So NFPA 24, if we want to talk, talk about the scope of this document starts at about five feet outside of the building. So it's a bit of a strange topic, um, for fire protection engineering, because although it is a, uh, fire protection system, a fire main for a fire suppression system, uh, oftentimes, um, the majority of the time these systems are, uh, routed and, um, shown on civil sheets.

In most utilities for buildings. As soon as you get to about five feet outside of the building, it is in the scope of what a civil engineer does. So as a fire protection engineer, I would show in the Revit model where the lead in comes into the building and coordinate with the civil engineer, whether it.

um, at the company I work at or at a different company, um, where this lead in is coming and coordinate where that utility line is coming from. So, although N F P a 24. Um, really refers to the design of fire mains, um, how to locate them. Uh it's well, within the jurisdiction of a fire protection engineer, to understand the limitations in the common elements in this NFPA document, I'd say it's one of the more commonly used NFPA documents, even though it's not extremely dense.

So let's speak about what topics does in FPA 24 cover in the first section in the book, 1.1 scope. Uh, this is what N FPA 24, 2022 has to say. This standard shall provide the minimum requirements for installation of private fire service mains. And there are PS which include the supplying, which include supplying the following automatic sprinkler systems.

Open sprinkler systems, water spray, fixed systems, foam systems, private hydrants, monitor nozzles, or stand pipe systems with references to water supplies and hose houses. So as you can see, uh, if it is a water based, uh, fire suppression system or. And including hydrants then NFPA tells you how to route the, um, private fire service main, um, and their appurtenances, which basically just means, um, in my mind it means, um, the ancillary pieces or different pieces of these systems.

So probably the most common is. Probably the most common system is fire hydrants and sprinkler systems. So, uh, let's talk a little bit about the code around fire mains and where in the model codes it speaks about, um, fire mains and how it applies to. In FPA 24, so that I'm aware of, there's not a portion of the building code that applies directly to fire mains or private fire service mains, but in the international fire code, uh, in chapter five, which is fire service features, there is section 5, 0 7.

Which is fire protection, water supplies. And so in fire protection, water supplies, it talks about some of the common topics for, um, fire service mains. And it also references in FPA 24. And so here is where you can find the applicability of NFPA 24. You can also find N FPA 24 and the referenced standards.

so here's where the two documents link together. let's take a look at where it talks about the requirement. So it says 5 0 7 0.1 is a required water supply says an improved water supply, capable of supplying the required fire flow for the fire protection shall be provided to premises upon which facilities, buildings or portions of buildings are hereafter constructed or moved into within the jurisdiction.

So that's a very. Wordy statement for you need a water supply. That's going to be able to provide the fire flow and or system demand for the building that is being built. The next section 5 0 7 0.2 type of water supply goes on to state a water supply shall consist of reservoirs pressure tanks, elevated tanks, water mains, or other fixed systems capable of providing the required fire flow.

I'll be honest today. I wanted to talk about fire protection, water storage tanks, but I realized that we did not cover this important piece of the fire protection system that while it is a little bit more rudimentary, um, has not been covered in the solo cast series so far. Um, so this talks about pieces of the water supply that you may or may not.

Uh, usually municipal water supplies are fed by either, uh, pumped systems from a reservoir or more commonly, I would say, uh, elevated tanks that is generally where municipal water supplies, um, get their pressure and flow from is an elevated tank and all of that piping. And tanks follow within the jurisdiction of NFPA 24.

Another great portion of this section of the fire code. And I'm reading out of the 2015 version of the fire code is 5 0 7 0.5, which is fire hydrant systems. You might wonder how do you know when a fire hydrant is required or how to space. This is the portion of the fire code in which it describes when you need a fire hydrant and how to locate those fire hydrants.

5 0 7 0.5 0.1, where required under the section 5 0 7 0.55 systems says. Where a portion of the facility hereafter constructed or moved into within the jurisdiction is more than 400 feet from a hydrant on a fire apparatus access road as measured by the approved route to the exterior of the facility or building on site fire hydrants main shall be provided, were required by the fire code official.

And there are a couple exceptions here, but really what I want you to take away. the baseline requirement and the version of the fire code I'm looking at is 400 feet, um, from the, uh, access road around the building. So the way you measure the distance to, um, using fire hydrants is how you would lay out a hose.

But, uh, for a more approximate layout, you can use 400 foot diameter. Circles. So if you can lay out 400 foot diameter circles around a building, you can get some idea of how many fire hydrants you need for a facility. Also, if you have a standby system or a fire suppression system, you need a fire. H within, I believe it's 150 feet of the fire department connection.

Um, and that's found in NFPA 14. Let's talk about the layout of NFPA 24. So chapter one is administration. Chapter two is referenced publications, chapter three definitions in chapter four general requirements. If you've noticed it by now, there's a theme here. Um, we have the same for chapters that are extremely common in NFPA documents.

Moving on to speak about other chapters in NFPA 24, which again is the installation of private fire service mains and their PS. So chapter five is water supplies. And then there are a lot of, uh, good sections in here, um, pertaining to, uh, a lot of very common systems. Chapter five and six are probably gonna be.

Some of your most commonly used sections, chapter six is water supply connections. And so we talked about some of the different systems in the scoping of the document and in FPA 24 kind of breaks out different systems into different chapters. So we have chapter seven as hydrants. We had kind of had two categories of two categories of systems in these documents.

We had water supplies for fire suppression systems. And then we had other systems that could be fed by, um, a water supply. So by that, I mean, hydrants, hose houses, and master streams, which master stream is effectively just like a nozzle, um, where you might see these systems are. by, um, tank farms or, uh, maybe oil and gas equipment, Wells or industrial facilities.

Um, I don't know too much about these systems, but I have designed, uh, only, I think one application in my career with master streams and it was, um, O owner driven to put the system in. I don't believe it was a code requirement. Um, and we were working with the AJ to. Provide coverage, um, in order to, uh, appease the, uh, local fire departments requirements.

So to expand on what NFPA 24 does cover, um, NFPA does cover the piping valving and, um, elbows and connections that are required to, uh, provide. Fire suppression water supplies. So this is generally, um, the like post indicator valve and the, if, uh, some jurisdictions don't require the post indicator valve. I know Oklahoma city does not require post indicator valve, but for those of you who don't know a post indicator valve is.

A valve that is, um, meant to be a shutoff for a fire suppression system in the case of a catastrophic failure. So, um, it's usually located outside of the building. It can be located on the wall of the building or, um, remote. So maybe like 40 feet away from the building. Well, I think that concludes our first talk about NFPA 24 in the codes and standards around fire mains and private fire service mains.

Uh, thank you so much for listening. And we'll see you next time on fire code tech. Thanks for listening, everybody. Be sure to share the episode with a friend, if you enjoyed it, don't forget that fire protection and life safety is serious business. The views and opinions expressed on this podcast are by no means a professional consultation or a codes end standards interpretation.

Be sure to contact a licensed professional. If you are getting involved with fire protection and or life. Thanks again, and we'll see you next time.