Fire Sprinkler Design

What’s involved in designing a new fire sprinkler system?

We will go over some of the tasks that are performed when designing a new fire sprinkler system.  They are in no particular order because often times these tasks are done simultaneously or repeatedly such as code compliance.

  • Code Compliance – Ensure that all local and state codes are being followed and check to learn if any new codes have been added recently. This saves a ton of time when the inspectors from the city come out to inspect your work.  This can change depending on the type of business and the occupancy rating of the business as well as the hazard class or hazard grade.
  • Measurements and Calculations – The types of things we measure are square footage, walls, types of chemicals in different areas, the hazard class of each area, how much piping will be needed and where the control panel and water/chemical storage will be located.  This is sometimes referred to as the design area and design density steps of this process.
  • Determine the amount of flow based on several factors discovered in the previous steps.  Conditions such as a smaller space, a warehouse or a sloped ceiling can cause a need for a higher or lower flow factor.
  • Type of Piping – Sometimes we need different sizes of pipe depending on several factors in order for the fire sprinkler system to be effective.
  • Type of system – Deluge, Dry Pipe or wet pipe or a combination depending on the presence of chemicals, freezers, office space, the shape of the design area, existing machinery or storage of paper goods.
  • Hydraulic Calculation – is used in several steps and
  • Sprinklers – Determine how many sprinklers are needed based on the size of the area, the shape of the area and the type of activity occurring in this area.

It is important to follow the requirements of NFPA 13.  Even though each project and system design is unique, the beginning steps to each project are similar. It is important to correctly classify the occupancy so the design stages are accurate and effective. The design area and density provide the system with the quantity of fire suppression materials needed to control or suppress a fire. The location and shape of the design area will ensure that the calculations will be for the worst-case scenario.

If you need a new fire sprinkler system designed or need your existing system retrofitted to provide safety to your current situation, call Maverick Fire and Safety (832) 653-2598.

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