Forensic Engineers and Consultants

Tag Archive: Fire Protection Systems

  1. Dig into Underground Fire Water Piping and Appurtenances

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    Many sites that are protected by fire sprinklers will have at least some amount of private underground fire water piping. Its purpose is to make water available for fire protection or suppression at a needed flow and pressure. Its presence is usually quietly evidenced by the connected objects that occasionally surface along its course, like valves, fire department connections and private hydrants, termed appurtenances. Underground water piping commands attention, though, when (more…)

  2. Dive Into Suction Tank Issues and Inspections

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    Privately-owned water tanks supplying fire protection systems have a long history. The NFPA published the Standard on Gravity Tanks in 1909. It is one of the oldest NFPA codes, predating even the Life Safety Code’s precursor, the Building Exits Code, first published in 1927. The Standard on Gravity Tanks evolved over the years to become NFPA 22, Standard for Water Tanks for Private Fire Protection. The inspection, testing, and maintenance requirements for all types of private fire water storage tanks are laid out in NFPA 25, Chapter 9 – Water Storage Tanks. While there are about eight different types of fire water tanks, I’d assert that the most common type today is the steel suction tank. (more…)

  3. A Primer On The Elements Of Fire Protection Water Supplies

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    Get primed!

    Fire protection water supplies can be made up of one or more common elements, including tanks, pumps, water sources and water systems. Sometimes elements are used together to develop an adequate supply for fire protection.

    An adequate water supply for a fire protection system will meet the needs of the fire protection system (plus safety factor) in three terms: (more…)

  4. Fire Pumps are Cool 😎; Lets Keep Them That Way

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    In my last blog, we discussed the small PRVs that go on wet sprinkler systems to limit their pressure below 175 psi. That brought to mind a small PRV in another application that is used to keep something different cool: an electric motor-driven centrifugal fire pump. I can’t talk about electric fire pumps without also talking about diesel fire pumps, so let’s dive in and take a look at both! (more…)

  5. Wet System Pressure Release Valves

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    Ah, summertime. Summer’s heat brings some good things: opportunities for outdoor swimming and seasonal produce: blueberries, and peaches, and watermelon…

    Summer’s heat doesn’t bring all good things. It can even trigger issues with fire sprinkler systems. Let’s zoom in on a small component on a wet fire sprinkler system that’s there in part because of summer heating: a pressure relief valve.

    A pressure relief valve (or an auxiliary air reservoir) is required on wet sprinkler systems; one reason is to (more…)

  6. Scared of Water, or Prefer to Get Drenched? Fire Suppression with Preaction and Deluge Systems

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    In my two previous blogs, we first discussed wet sprinkler systems (Wet), the most basic and most common fire system type followed by dry sprinkler systems (Dry), which are a bit more complicated.  Ratcheting up another level, in this last edition on sprinkler systems, let’s take a look together at preaction and deluge systems.  These can be complex and variable, so we’ll operate at the 30,000 ft level. (more…)

  7. When a DRY Fire Sprinkler System Leaves You Soaked

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    In my previous blog , I discussed the most basic and most common fire system type: wet sprinkler systems. The possible failure areas discussed with wet systems will also apply to dry sprinkler systems (control valves closed, obstructions, issues in the system, installation, or deficiencies with inspection, testing, and maintenance). Dry systems are even more prone to obstructions than wet systems, so close attention should be paid to that possibility. (more…)

  8. When a Fire Sprinkler System Fails to Deliver

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    After a major fire, it is necessary to investigate the fire sprinkler system to see if and why it malfunctioned. Wet sprinkler systems are the most common and least complex fire sprinkler systems in use. The following are major items addressed in an investigation involving a wet system.

    If available, drawings of the supply piping and sprinkler system are helpful. If these are not available, a sketch of the system will be made. Requests will also be made for inspection, testing, and maintenance documentation as well as fire alarm logs.

    The top reason that fire sprinkler systems do not function correctly during a fire is (more…)

  9. Warren Welcomes Fire Protection Engineer Amy Anderson, P.E.

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    Please join us in welcoming Fire Protection Engineer Amy Anderson, P.E., to the WARREN family! Amy has over 20 years of property loss prevention engineering and experience, specializing in fire protection. Amy graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Chemical Engineering and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Fire Protection.

    Amy’s Expertise Includes: (more…)

  10. New 2017 Edition of NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations

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    Over the course of its 25-year history, NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations has changed the practice of fire investigation for the better.  Without a doubt, NFPA 921 has appropriately driven a more rigorous approach to fire investigation that seeks to avoid cognitive bias and reliance on techniques that, when rigorously examined, are little more than pseudoscience.  One need look no further than the Cameron Todd Willingham matter, wherein a Texas man was executed in part based on a flawed fire investigation, to understand the importance of conducting a proper fire investigation. (more…)

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