Second Quarter 2014 Fire Protection Press
In the second quarter newsletter, we are featuring an article that is an of-the-moment issue for warehouse owners. When a warehouse needs to expand, should they expand up or out? What will save warehouse owners the most money when expansion is absolutely necessary?
This article explains the various options available for fire protection in warehouses. It explains the latest fire protection possibilities, and the questions to ask when making the decision. We hope that the article, "Fire Protection Reaches New (Ceiling) Heights" will provide the essential information needed to make an educated decision.
President, F.E. Moran Fire Protection Northern Illinois
President, F.E. Moran Fire Protection National
The United States has more than 600,000 warehouses with an average of 17,400 square feet. As business grows, the warehouse must grow with it. Expanding the footprint of the building to accommodate a growing business is far more expensive than building up. However, when a warehouse expands in height, fire protection becomes an issue. In-rack sprinklers or ceiling fire sprinklers need to be able to reach wherever the fire is, and if pallets are stacked too high, they will inhibit the spray.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fire sprinkler regulations are being explored. Changes in firefighting strategy, limitations in water supply, and the increase in warehouse size provoked the Fire Protection Research Foundation to investigate new fire protection options. They looked at fire detection for early fire warning, fire location identification and monitoring in warehouses, benefits of quicker suppression systems, reducing water supply requirements, and minimizing the involvement of fire departments. When we bring higher ceiling heights into the mix, fire sprinklers get even more complicated. However, with the evolution of warehouse expansion, fire protection has evolved as well and provided a less expensive way for warehouses to expand.
Everyday fire sprinklers save lives. This is a compilation of a sampling of the fire events in the second quarter of 2014 in which people and property were saved by fire sprinklers.
The Woodland Center in Tampa experienced a fire on May 30, 2014. Fire Sprinklers were able to prevent the fire from spreading.
A fire started in a machine that is believed to be part of the wrapping process caught fore on May 29th. The fire spread to the room next door, but was held in check by the room's fire sprinklers.
A careless cigarette dropped in a flower pot smoldered and caught fire twice in the night. The first time, a good Samaritan put it out. The second time, the fire spread to an interior wall and caught the curtains on fire. Luckily, the fire sprinkler activated and kept it contained until the fire department could arrive.
"The sprinkler system basically saved the day, "the fire chief said. "It kept the fire in check in the front portion of the dining room." In fact, it did such a good job, the restaurant opened as normal for lunch.
A sprinkler system saved the day at an Indiana Wood Products Pant fire. The sprinkler system kept the fire contained to its point of origin.
A stove fire was extinguished by the building's fire sprinklers. The building's owners retrofitted the fire sprinklers, starting with common areas, and then adding to units as tenants changed.
A sprinkler system saved a St. Helens warehouse from destruction when it contained a fire. Fire crews were able to extinguish the blaze in under an hour thanks to the containment.