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4.9.2014

Fire Sprinkler Systems Save Lives


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NFPA Researching Sprinkler Performance Issues

“Sprinklers Save Lives.”  That’s a key point in the Fire Sprinkler Initiative launched a few years ago by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

But the statement really applies on a larger scale:  “Fire Sprinkler Systems Save Lives.”

Steel fire sprinkler pipe is the backbone of the vast majority of fire sprinkler systems, which are installed in accordance with the NFPA 13 series of standards. Steel systems account for the majority of installations due to benefits such as mechanical strength, low-co-efficient of expansion, noncombustibility, UV withstand, and code acceptance.

As one of the largest manufacturers of steel fire sprinkler pipe, Allied Tube & Conduit is actively involved in participating in codes and standards activities related to sprinkler systems in order to address performance issues and to help develop solutions.

Allied employees attended a Chicago workshop December 9-10, 2013, hosted by the Fire Protection Research Foundation.  According to the Foundation, the objective of the workshop was “to develop possible solutions to sprinkler system design and installation deficiencies that can lead to performance issues”.  Details of the workshop are now posted on the NFPA website.

During the workshop one discussion centered around whether NFPA 25 Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems;

and NFPA 13 Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems are part of the solution and  how changes could be implemented in these two documents.

NFPA 25 will start its revision cycle with public input due June 6 (paper submission) or July 17 (online).  Comments are due next year (check the NFPA.org for details on code cycles).

The NFPA 13 series of standards is in the midst of the 2015 revision cycle.  Proposals (public input) are now posted on the NFPA website (www.nfpa.org) and comments to those proposals are due April 11 (paper submissions) or May 16 (on-line).

Allied Tube & Conduit Conformity Assessment Manager Les Easter is a member of an NFPA 13 Task Group addressing Galvanized Pipe.  According to Les, “A key issue often associated with sprinkler systems is corrosion.  All types of fire sprinkler pipe may be subject to some type of corrosion, whether possible chemical corrosion in non-metallic systems or corrosion in metals caused by oxygen availability, the presence of sediment or debris, or galvanic coupling.  The Task Group is currently looking into galvanized pipe interiors utilized in dry system applications and the adequacy of the overall corrosion performance.  A report is due at the next NFPA 13 meeting scheduled for June 23-25 in San Diego, CA.