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Fire Sprinklers


This system also requires a yearly inspection of the check valve and flow alarm operation. ... who is testing water flows, ... Increased Hydrant Spacing: ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Fire Sprinklers

Fire Sprinklers
  • A Presentation to the Canadian Home Builders
  • Technical Research Committee

Sean Pearce National Marketing Manager Canadian
Automatic Sprinkler Association
Who is C.A.S.A.
  • C.A.S.A. Is a trade association incorporated
    under a Dominion Charter in 1961, its staff
    represent its member corporations through
    technical research, government relations and
    industry promotion.
  • Its head office is in Markham, Ontario and has
    regional offices in Alberta and Nova Scotia.
  • Our Goal is to "To enhance the level of life
    safety and property conservation from the effects
    of fire through the use of fire sprinklers."

About the Trade
  • The Fire Sprinkler trade in Canada is governed
    provincially, it is also a designated trade.
  • Currently Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland,
    Nova Scotia, and Quebec require all fire system
    be installed by a certified sprinkler fitter.
  • Sprinkler Fitters are qualified by their
    provincial governments, these qualifications are
    transferable across Canada when a fitter achieves
    the Red Seal Level.

Fire Sprinkler Codes
  • NFPA 13 Standard for the Installation of
    Sprinkler Systems as referenced in the National
    Building Code.
  • NFPA 13 D-This standard shall cover the design
    and installation of automatic sprinkler systems
    for protection against the fire hazards in one-
    and two-family dwellings and manufactured homes
  • NFPA 13 R-This standard shall cover the design
    and installation of automatic sprinkler systems
    for protection against fire hazards in
    residential occupancies up to and including four
    stories in height.

Types of Sprinkler Systems
  • Fire Sprinkler systems fall into two basic
    categories, Residential and Commercial.
  • On the commercial side there are Wet and dry
    systems with various functionalities to improve
    sprinkler response time.
  • The residential side is made up of predominantly
    wet systems with three possible installation

Residential Sprinkler Systems
  • Stand Alone-This type of system is completely
    separate from your domestic supply. This system
    also requires a yearly inspection of the check
    valve and flow alarm operation. An advantage to
    this system is that a separate set of pipes is
    dedicated solely to the sprinklers. This system
    can be easier to engineer and install trained
    sprinkler fitters can install these system
    quickly with little disruption to the
    construction timelines.

Residential Sprinkler Systems
  • Combination-This type of system is commonly
    called a multi-purpose system. The major
    difference with this type, is its integration
    into your domestic plumbing system. The water
    actually flows through the plumbing pipes and the
    sprinkler system. This system requires detailed
    designs and correct installation to ensure
    adequate water supply in the
    event of a head activation.

Residential Sprinkler Systems
  • Passive Purge- Designed as a standalone system
    but ending at a single domestic water device,
    like a toilet. This system has many benefits of
    both of the previous system but again design and
    correct installation is imperative to ensure
    correct operation.

Who Should Install
  • Trained certified sprinkler fitters provide you
    with the peace of mind that the system are
    installed correctly and will function according
    to the design specifications. This peace of mind
    will help to prevent liability and ensure the
    system will work when it is called upon.
  • While in some Provinces this is not required, it
    is a best practice that you should investigate,
    certified sprinkler fitters spend a considerable
    amount of time repairing incorrectly installed
    systems. This does generate hours for the
    industry but it is also very disturbing that
    there are systems out there that may fail due
    incorrect parts or installation.

Accurate Parts Lists
  • The importance of using the correct parts when
    installing a fire sprinkler system is paramount.
    Residential heads are designed for light hazards
    use, and they have quick response requirements
    as well as extended reach requirements, they are
    not always the least expensive individually but
    can reduce the overall installation cost.
  • Be carful when selecting
    the lowest price installation.

Sprinkler Head Designs
Pendant Style Head
Upright Style Head
Concealed Style Head
Sidewall Style Head
Sidewall Installations
  • The least expensive style of installation as you
    can have multiple heads on a single riser and all
    of the pipes can remain on interior walls. No
    freeze thaw concerns and less pipe.

Sprinkler Head Operation
Fire sprinklers are activated by heat, not smoke,
or steam, but heat. The activation point varies
depending on the thermo bulb or thermo link
installed. Residential heads are quick response
type heads. They traditionally activate at a
temperature of 57celsius to 260 Celsius
depending on the need in the area. Generally
heads with an activation temperature of 68 to 74
Celsius are used. The colour of the thermo bulb
indicates the temperature rating.
What is K Factor
  • The term K-Factor refers to a set of
    dimensionless numbers used as coefficients of
    discharge for fire sprinklers. They are usually
    listed along with other fire sprinkler
    specifications found in manufacturer brochures.
    But exactly how is a K-Factor determined? The
    Bernoulli Equation is a good starting point. Most
    nozzles and standard deflection type sprinklers
    yield predictible flows relative to pressure(P)
    because the 4 Lagrangian assumptions regarding
    the flow stream are easily met. However,
    specially engineered sprinklers have complex
    internal and external geometries that may
    confound the Lagrangian assumptions. The internal
    vanes in such sprinklers impart a radial velocity
    component that creates their characteristically
    unique spray patterns. As pressure increases, the
    flow rate may drop because energy losses from
    turbulence could yield a lower K-Factor.
    Turbulent flow makes it virtually impossible to
    predict friction losses related to changes in
    pressure. Note that Q kÖP kP0.5 for standard
    deflection type sprinklers. For specially
    engineered sprinklers this could be Q kP0.44 or
    Q kP0.47. In such cases the fire sprinkler must
    be field tested to obtain Q kPn for nlt0.5.

K- Factor
  •  A hydraulic calculation may well be the single
    most important activity associated with designing
    a fire sprinkler system. The success of a design
    hinges almost entirely on the extent to which
    discharging sprinklers can meet the density and
    flow requirements specified in the design
    criteria. If the calculations fail, or are in
    error, the design must be rejected. Hydraulic
    calculations are usually performed at the bid or
    preliminary stage of a fire sprinkler project.
    The results could determine both the physical and
    economic viability of the sprinkler project.
    Hydraulic calculations must be done "in house" to
    ensure flexibility and control over the design

Why is K Factor Important
  • Who is designing your systems, who is supplying
    the components, who is testing water flows, two
    identical homes may have different heads so as to
    allow correct operation. Qualified installers
    protect the lives of the occupants and your

Why Fire Sprinklers
  • In 2001, there were 21,494 residential fires
    reported, 39 of the Canadian total. A
    significant number also go unreported.
  • This includes 273 deaths or 73 of fire

The primary victims are children under 10 years
old and adults over 70 years old!
Contents have Changed
  • We have more dense fuel loads and they are more
    petroleum based products in our structures.
  • Quicker flashover
  • More toxic vapours
  • More gas is burnt outside of the room. This leads
    to greater radiation of heat to surrounding

Cost of Installation
  • Water supply, water pressure, head location
    style, head design(k factor) all contribute to
    system pricing actual pricing is something
    derived during a bid when all of the relevant
    information is available. To estimate a factor
    of one to one and a half percent of the price of
    a home, in a competitive market is a safe
    consideration. This is not considering stand
    alone installations which can be more.

A Canadian MunicipalExperience with Sprinklers
  • No fire fatalities have occurred in a residential
    property protected by a sprinkler system
    installed to NFPA 13D standards.
  • Fire losses have reduced from over 30.8M per
    year in 1990 to 15.4M a 50 reduction despite
    a 25 population growth.
  • Over the 10 year average, the damage in a
    sprinklered residential unit was 13 times less
    than for an equivalent non-sprinklered unit.

10 year Experience with Sprinklers
Sprinklered Unsprinklered
Fire Deaths 0 4.5
No. of Fires 121.5 1062
Fire Loss 1,612,000 14,023,000
Total Value at risk 911,281,000 329,690,000
Average Fire loss (residential) 1065 13,937
Fire Growth
  • If we look at the Power Laws related to fire
    growth and development we become aware that even
    average fires, of medium fire loads ( offices and
    residential occupancies for example) existing
    between normal ventilation parameters within the
    confines of a compartmented space, are expected
    to double in size every 60 seconds where there is
    adequate amounts of fuel and air. With increased
    fire loads and ventilation this growth can double
    in size as fast as every 16 seconds.

Note The NRC Report of Fire Performance of
Canadian Housing December 2008 found conditions
to be untenable in under 5 minutes in most test
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Fire Sprinklers Are Green!
FM Global
-Scientifically focused -Dont manufacture or
sell fire sprinklers -Believe losses are
preventable not inevitable -One of the worlds
largest insurers -175 years in business -Employ
1700 engineers, no actuaries
Environmental Analysis
  • Outside
  • Pollution (air-water)
  • Water Usage
  • Fire Damage
  • (land fill waste
  • reconstruction)
  • Inside
  • Temperature
  • Gases
  • Smoke

  • 99 reduction in greenhouse gases
  • 97 reduction in fire damage
  • 50 reduction in fire suppression water

Possible Trade Ups
  • Options include
  • Street Width Reduction Traffic lanes may be
    narrowed, substantially reducing the amount of
    pavement in every linear foot of street in the
  • Longer Dead-end Streets Dead-end streets may be
    increased in length allowing additional building
    lots to be accessed.
  • Tee Turnarounds Permitted The permitted use of
    tee turnarounds in sprinklered developments can
    create at least one additional lot per
  • Increased Street Grades and Building Setbacks
    Steeper street grades and building locations
    further from paved fire vehicles access may be
  • Additional Units Permitted Although the actual
    percentage may vary, increases up to 20 percent
    are not uncommon.
  • Expansion of Existing Water Supply May Not Be
    Needed Required fire flows for fully sprinklered
    developments can be greatly reduced compared to
    non-sprinklered developments.
  • Increased Hydrant Spacing Supply mains may be
    reduced and hydrant spacing can be increased.
  • Decreased Death Rates and Property Loss Over
    time, communities with fully sprinklered
    developments should see a decrease in fire death
    rates and property loss.

Ontario Meetings
  • Currently the Ontario Home Builders Association,
    the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs and
    C.A.S.A. are meeting to examine partnership and
    promotion opportunities for the sale of
    residential fire sprinkler systems Ontario.

  • Questions?
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