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


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

Lawrence Webster Forrest
Legion House
Lower Road

Tel: +44 (0)20 8668 8663 Fax: +44 (0)20 8668 8583

Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment - Sprinkler System Installations - Part 23

Posted by LWF: 30/11/2017 12:12

In this fire engineering blog series by LWF for Architects and professionals involved in building design and construction, we have been covering sprinkler installations and their impact on a fire safe design. In part 22, the thermal sensitivity of sprinkler heads was discussed and in Part 23, the various types of sprinkler system will be introduced.

Each building will have its own requirements and capabilities when it comes to the installation of a sprinkler system. Each project can have differences in water supply, supply control and alarm system and so the sprinkler system must be the one which is most appropriate for the circumstances. The variation in parameters has meant that different types of sprinkler system have been developed to serve those needs.

One common part of a sprinkler system installation, no matter the design, is the inclusion of a valve(s) to isolate the system from the water supply. The valve can be used by the Fire Service when the fire is under control or by appropriate maintenance personnel for system checks, repairs or alterations. In a larger system, the valves can be engineered in such a way that only a part of the system is shut down at once.

Some systems operate in ‘dry’ mode, meaning that the water to operate the sprinkler system does not sit in the pipes leading to the sprinkler heads, but is delivered to the pipes in the event of fire. A fire engineered solution will take into account pipe size and the time taken to deliver water to the sprinkler heads, because the fire size cannot be controlled or reduced until the water arrives and sprinkler effectiveness can be affected by an excessive waiting period.

For this reason, the most commonly installed sprinkler system is a ‘Wet Installation’. When used appropriately, a wet installation sprinkler system is the simplest and most effective sprinkler available. The pipework for the system is constantly charged with water, ready to operate at its operational pressure. This means that in case of a fire, this sprinkler system has a very quick reaction time.

The main reason this type of system is not universally used is that, due to the water held in the pipework, it is not suitable for extremes in ambient temperature. The water in the pipes cannot be allowed to freeze, nor must it be heated beyond 70°C.

In Part 24 of this series, we’ll look at what type of system is recommended for environments where it may be excessively cold during the Winter months, but normal during the warmer weather. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this blog, or wish to discuss your own project with one of our fire engineers, please contact us.

Lawrence Webster Forrest has been working with their clients for over 25 years to produce innovative and exciting building projects. If you would like further information on how LWF and fire strategies could assist you, please contact Peter Gyere on 020 8668 8663.

While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF's publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.

Leave a reply





[ Change the image ]


Subscribe to our fire safety blogs

Email Format
* indicates required


  • Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises - Structural Fire Protection Provision - Part 14

    In LWF’s blog series for healthcare professionals, the aim is to give advice and information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 13 of this series, the emergency plan was looked at from the viewpoint of ensuring that there were sufficient numbers of trained staff to execute an evacuation if necessary. In part 14, LWF takes a look at the design and construction of the building and the...


  • Facilities Management & Fire Safety - Fire Development & Human Behaviour - Part 5

    In LWF’s blog series for those who work in facilities management, or who have an interest in or responsibility for fire safety, we have been looking at human behaviour when a fire starts and is developing. In part 4, the necessity of interesting and instructive fire safety training to impress the need for immediate and appropriate action was outlined. In part 5, we look at ‘panic’.The thought that people react to a fire situation...


  • Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment - Sprinkler Installation Design - Part 38

    In LWF’s fire engineering blog series for architects and others in the building design business, we have recently been looking at the design of sprinkler system installations. In part 37, the importance of a providing a sufficiently reliable water supply was discussed. In part 38, we talk about the need to ensure design objectives are met through thorough commissioning and testing of the completed installation.Unlike the majority of other piped installations, a sprinkler system...


  • Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment - Sprinkler Installation Design - Part 37

    In LWF’s Fire Engineering blog series for Architects and others in the building design business, the use of sprinklers as a method of fire suppression is being explored. In part 36, the sprinkler system grid design was discussed along with the graphs to be produced which contain data on demand curves. It was ascertained that the point at which the most favourable curve intercepts the pump curve at its highest point is known as Qmax,...


  • Facilities Management & Fire Safety - Fire Development & Human Behaviour - Part 4

    In LWF’s blog series for those who work in Facilities Management or who have an interest in or responsibility for Fire Safety, we have been looking at people’s reactions to a fire starting and their actions resulting from that. In part 3, the fact that other matters may seem pressing to individuals in a fire situation – such as settling a bill or getting a meal they’d already paid for – and the resulting actions...


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