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May 2, 2022

Hello All! On this episode we are revisiting high-piled storage. On the 34th solocast episode I get into storage sprinklers and information about how NFPA 13 has changed from the 2016 - 2019 edition for how it addresses storage. 


NFPA 2016 - 2019 Translator



Hello. Welcome to the solo cast of fire code tech in these episodes. It's just gonna be me, your host, Gus Gagliardi. There's gonna be a range of topics, but I'm gonna talk about specific technologies, installation, standards, codes, and how they work as well as some other interesting topics that don't neatly fit inside of the context of a normal interview.

Hello, all welcome to episode 30. On this episode, we're talking about high piled storage. Once again. Yes. This is a follow up episode to our fifth Sylo cast, which talks about high piled storage. In this episode, we're going to go more in detail on what NFPA 13 says. About high powered storage. In this episode, we're going to be talking specifically about storage, sprinklers and their applications, and some other factors around NFPA 13 and the recent additions and changes from 2016 to 2019 of this standard for sprinkler installation.

Don't forget to subscribe and follow us on social media. Oh, and please, please give us a five star review on apple podcast. That would be big. Let's get into the show. So if you want to get some details on when high powered storage is applicable and some features of high powered storage, like, um, low piled and miscellaneous storage, go back and check out episode number five on the solo cast series and had, I have a lot of that detail there, but I was working through some storage hazard classification and, um, commodity.

Inspection for a new facility that I'm working on. And I thought that this would be a good time to visit, uh, calculations and the standards around high cloud storage. So the reason why I want to talk about N FPA 13, 2016 and 2019 is because there's a substantial change in the layout of the standard. And that is the standard for the installation of sprinkler systems.

So in the 2016 and earlier edition of NFPA 13, we have storage addressed starting in chapter 13, titled protection of miscellaneous and low piled storage. And then through about chapter 20 special designs of storage protection, just like we spoke about in episode five, the solo cast, we want to first make sure that we do indeed have a high piled storage scenario.

So some common thresholds are 12 feet for class one through four commodities and a bit lower for. Group a plastics and high hazard materials, such as tires and, uh, flavorable liquids and combustible liquids. So if you have an owner who is looking to have storage, and that could be rack storage, bin box storage, piled storage, um, the configurations vary.

Great. It's worth mentioning that if you have special insurance providers like factory mutual, you may hit storage thresholds, uh, very quickly. And so you might have a case where you would not usually provide higher density, sprinkler protection for storage applications inside of let's say an office building.

But if you have to follow FM global data sheets, then you may be required to have higher density and lower protection area coverage sprinklers in the 2019 version of NFPA 13, the chapters that start to address storage. Start with chapter 20 general requirements for storage. Subsequent chapters are broken down by sprinkler type.

Instead of by commodity classification, I'll include a link N FPA provides a 2016 to 2019 roadmap. That is very helpful. I've used it in the past in order to find a specific section in N F P 13, 2019, that I knew where it was in the earlier edition of the standard. The storage chapters get a very significant rework in the fact that if you take a look at chapter 13, uh, many of these sections, um, get deleted from the 2016 version of the standard.

Moving to the 2019 version of the standard. There are four main types of sprinkler protection strategies that you can use for storage, fire suppress. Three of these types, you can accommodate storage protection at ceiling level only protection. So you can get away with increasing density and providing fire protection features in order to avoid in rack sprinklers, which is typically the owner's preference for a variety of reason.

So the first and very common type of sprinkler approach for storage sprinklers are control mode, density, area sprinklers, or often abbreviated as cm D a cm D is defined in chapter three under the section number 3.3 0.20 5.4 0.1 as. A type of spray sprinkler intended to provide fire control in storage applications.

Using the design density area criteria described in the standard. So cm D a have for the type of sprinklers that allow ceiling only protection in many situations, some of the most lax obstruction criteria, which when we get into the other types will become apparent why this is a benefit, if you can accommodate the storage configurations.

So as we move on to CMSA and ESFR sprinklers, We will continually get more strict obstruction ruling. And then also we will have, um, higher water supply requirements, but the allowed storage height. And hazard severity of the storage configuration will also increase as well. So, um, this is a sort of trade off.

If you have a very hazardous storage configuration or set of commodities, um, you may be in a situation to opt for CMSA or ESFR sprinklers. CMSA is control mode, specific application. Um, which is defined in the chapter three definitions, section 3, 3, 2 0 5 4 2 as a type of spray sprinkler that is capable of producing characteristic, large water droplets.

And that is for its capability to provide fire control of specific high challenge fire hazards. So you can see that this is specifically targeted to a large volume of water discharged and high challenge storage applications. The last type of storage application specific sprinkler is early suppression, fast response sprinklers.

And this is defined just a couple more down in this chapter. 3, 3, 3, 2 0 5, 4, 5 as. A type of fast response sprinkler that has a thermal element with an RTI of 50 meter seconds to the one half power or less, and is listed for its capability to provide fire suppression of specific high challenge fire hazards.

So you can see in this definition that they specifically call out a RTI of 50. Why is that important? Here's another really good definition, further up under sprinkler definitions. That has a really good point to why RTI is important. And what RTI is in this section is 3, 3, 2 0 5 0.2. So this is general sprinkler characteristics.

It says the following characteristics of a sprinkler that defined its ability to control or extinguish a fire. Number one, thermal sensitivity. A measure of the rapidity with which the thermal element operates as it's installed in a specific sprinkler or sprinkler assembly. One measure of thermal sensitivity is the response time index or RTI as measured under the standard test conditions.

Subpoint a sprinklers defined as fast response. Have a thermal element with an RTI of 50 meters per second. To this one half power or less sprinklers defined as standard response. Have a thermal element with an RTI of 80 meters per second to the one half power or more. Number two, temperature rating.

Number three K factor. Number four installation, orientation, number five, water distribution, characteristics, parenthesis I E application rate wall wedding, number six, special service conditions. So this is just a, a really well rounded definition that gives you an idea why an RTI of 50 in the, as F R sprinkler definition is important.

it is a equivalent of the quick response sprinkler rating. And it is a sprinkler that is designed for high challenge storage applications. And like we spoke about before the obstruction characteristics are the most stringent for ESFR sprinklers. S of our sprinklers are one of the only types of sprinklers that will cause the sprinkler subcontractor to be able to.

Um, really drive coordination for the, you know, warehouse or storage facility that you're working with. Um, generally the, you know, lighting and sometimes even structural components will have to move to accommodate the sprinkler application and obstruction ruling for ES R sprinklers. The last type of storage sprinkler application is in rack sprinklers.

In rack. Sprinkler is defined in chapter three as intermediate level sprinkler slash rack storage sprinkler. And it says a sprinkler equipped with integral shields to protect its operating elements from the discharge of sprinklers installed at higher elevations in rack. Sprinkler are usually the least desired option for a storage application because they limit the configuration and have a high.

Material cost upfront and sustained maintenance cost. So that's low flexibility, high materials, cost upfront and high sustained maintenance. There are storage, configurations and situations in which they just simply cannot be avoided. And in that case, you are going to need to use often sprinkler guards and definitely water shields in order to protect these sprinklers from mechanical damage.

The phenomenon known as cold soldering, which is a sprinkler preventing another sprinkler from activating due to water discharge. Still plenty of meat on the bone left for storage. Still have not gotten into some of the flow chart action for how to address these hazards and storage configurations. So please stay tuned for more episodes on storage in the future.

Thanks for listening every. 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 and standards interpretation. Be sure to contact a licensed professional.

If you are getting involved with fire protection and or life safety. Thanks again. And we'll see you next time.