Warehouse Fire Protection Systems
Fire Hazards in Warehouses
First, determining your risk factor is dependent on what is stored in the warehouse. If you are handling highly combustible materials, then it is best to take all the precautions you can. Storing more materials also means there is a risk of the fire spreading faster. Also, you could be at risk from the electrical equipment in your facility.
Notably, an in-rack system is perfect for warehouse fire protection. An in-rack sprinkler system is a network of pipes within and surrounding rack structures to limit the spread of a fire. It works like any other sprinkler system but focuses the fire-protection efforts in a specific area to reduce the spread. In-rack warehouse fire protection can reduce the damage in areas where stored inventory is close together. At the very least, this limits and slows the spread of a fire to fewer areas of the warehouse.
Early Suppression, Fast Response (ESFR)
On the other hand, an ESFR sprinkler system is a network of piping usually run in the structural bar joists up at a building’s roof deck. The difference with these is that they release more water and are specially designed to handle High challenge storage arrangements. These sprinklers are designed to suppress fires because of the quantity of water and size of water droplets, coupled with the strict design parameters they must meet. There is, however, a balance, sprinkler contractors need to educate customers and weigh their options before deciding these systems make sense. In summary, it may not always be the right choice.
Cold Storage & Dry type Sprinkler Systems
Alternatively, in today’s growing market of cold storage, we are seeing an increasing need to provide systems to protect high challenge storage of cold goods. This makes the most sense in areas maintained below freezing, and in areas not having temperature regulation and can drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit due to fluctuating weather temperatures. Knowing when to employ a system like this can save you from disaster for your business.
However, you can eliminate this warehouse fire protection problem by removing the water until needed. A dry or pre-action system does not store water in the pipes. That way, when it drops below freezing, there is no water to freeze in the pipes. Water is only introduced to the system when activated by a fire. Another option is usually seen in large coolers that use dry pendants, and a network of piping is run above the freezer or cooler in a conditioned space. This can be more economical as it completely removes the potential for freezing and may even eliminate costly freeze-up repairs.
Valley Fire Protection & Plumbing can help you with your warehouse fire protection needs. We have engineers that can design the right system for you and the professionals to install it.