Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF), Fire Engineering and Fire Risk Management Consultants
Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF), Fire Engineering and Fire Risk Management Consultants



Navigation

Client login
Forgotten password
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Subscribe to our blog

Lawrence Webster Forrest
Legion House
Lower Road
Kenley
Surrey
CR8 5NH

Tel: +44 (0)20 8668 8663 Fax: +44 (0)20 8668 8583
E-mail: fire@lwf.co.uk

Facilities Management & Fire Safety - Sprinkler System Heads & Heat - Part 12

Posted by LWF: 15/06/2017 16:29

In this blog series for those who work in Facilities Management and who have a responsibility for or interest in fire safety, we have been looking at how sprinklers operate in buildings and in Part 11, we began to look at sprinkler heads. In Part 12, we’re going to discuss the effect of temperature on the operation and design of sprinkler heads and how the choice of the most appropriate type of sprinkler head can have a positive effect on the sprinkler system.

Throughout the world, sprinkler heads are manufactured with a range of standard operating temperatures. In the United Kingdom, the heads operate when they reach 68°C most commonly. The heads incorporate a glass bulb which contains a coloured liquid, this indicates the temperature of operation for the sprinkler head. UK heads have bulbs which contain red liquid. On occasion, it is possible that the yoke arms of fusible link heads will be coloured to indicate temperature of operation, rather than the liquid inside the bulb.

When a fire starts in a place with a sprinkler system, the temperature of the sprinkler head and the temperature of the surrounding air can be significantly different. The sprinkler head may take a little time to become heated by the hot gases which rise from the fire. As different designs of sprinkler head may heat at different rates, this can mean that two heads which are rated the same temperature for operation might begin working at different times. The delay may only be slight and acceptable in lower risk circumstances, but should be taken into account.

To reduce the chances of this occurring in situations which require fast reaction times, such as high hazard storage or residential units, the use of ‘quick response’ heads with a low thermal inertia can be used.  This time saved can be valuable and this is demonstrated by the suggestion that design fire size for smoke control systems might be reduced on the basis of using ‘quick response’ heads.

The Factory Mutual Insurers in the United States created a particularly fast response sprinkler system for use with ceiling sprinklers to reduce the high risk in storage facilities. The Early Suppression Fast Response System (ESFR) is now recognised by insurers within the United Kingdom too, however, the design of such systems means that they are less forgiving of building features which can affect sprinkler efficiency than the traditional ceiling and in-rack sprinkler installations.

In Part 13 of this series, we will give an overview of the importance of the location and placement of sprinkler heads as part of the sprinkler system within your buildings. In the meantime, if you have any queries about your own facilities or wish to discuss this blog series, please contact Peter Gyere in the first instance on 0208 668 8663.

Lawrence Webster Forrest is a fire engineering consultancy based in Surrey with over 25 years' experience, which provides a wide range of consultancy services to professionals involved in the design, development and construction and operation of buildings.



Leave a reply

  *

  *

 


CAPTCHA Image

[ Change the image ]


*Required

Subscribe to our fire safety blogs

Bulletins
Email Format
* indicates required

FIRE SAFETY BLOGS

  • Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - Vertical Escape - Part 23

    In LWF’s blog series for healthcare professionals, we look to give information on best practice in fire safety for hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 22 of this series, we looked at the issue of vertical escape in relation to stairways and ascertained that in effect, all stairways in a hospital must be considered escape stairways as they would be used for escape in case of fire. In part 23, we will continue looking...

    Read more...

  • Facilities Management & Fire Safety - Inspection, Testing and Maintenance - Part 1

    In LWF’s blog series for Facilities Managers or those with an interest in or responsibility for fire safety, we aim to give an overview of best practice and methods of applying or maintaining fire prevention provision. In part 1, the importance of inspection, testing and maintenance of fire protection measures is discussed.Once fire protection measures are installed in a building, it would be comforting to think that they were simply waiting in case they...

    Read more...

  • Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment - Foam Proportioning - Part 4

    In LWF’s fire engineering blog series for Architects and others in the building design business, we have been looking at fire suppression systems and in particular, foam systems. In part 3, it was ascertained that foam proportioning is the means by which foam concentrate is mixed with water at the necessary ratio. An overview of inductors (also known as line proportioners) was given. In...

    Read more...

  • Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - Vertical Escape - Part 22

    In LWF’s blog series for healthcare professionals, the aim is to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 21 of this series, LWF looked at the necessary considerations of hospital streets and escape route widths. In part 22, we will look at vertical escape using stairways.While it is possible for organisations to denote certain staircases as escape stairs (and therefore, certain staircases are not classed...

    Read more...

  • Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment - Foam Systems - Part 3

    In LWF’s Fire Engineering blog series for Architects and others in the building design business, we have been looking at fire suppression systems and, in particular, foam concentrate systems. In part 2, we began an overview of the different types of foam concentrate and part 3 will continue from that point before discussing foam proportioning.Synthetic, or high expansion foam is produced from detergents and, as a result, can produce great quantities of ‘bubbles’ making...

    Read more...

Case Studies

The Wohl Neuroscience Institute - Fire Safety, Strategy & Engineering
Key Facts: Client: King’s Clinical Neuroscience Institute Project Manager: MACE Ltd Designers: Devereux Architects/Allies and Morrison Approximate Size: 7,400m2 Description of the Project:...

Read more..

General Bulletins

Fire - The External Risk
When we consider fire safety, our focus is normally from within, what can we do to prevent the occurrence of fire and how we can limit its damage.  Whilst this is the correct stance to take, we m...

Read more..

Technical Bulletins

Evacuation Modelling - Factor in Human Behaviour
Evacuation of buildings can be analyzed in different ways. Approved Document B (ADB) which provides guidance on meeting the requirements of the England and Wales Building Regulations with regard to fi...

Read more..

Site map | Web development London