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June 2009: Suppression Mode Sprinklers (Updated)

Our technical articles in August 2003 and November 2007 detailed the history of Early Suppression, Fast-Response (ESFR) sprinklers, provided some installation details and listed some facts/figures for the various ESFR heads available. We've updated our table to include other "Suppression Mode" sprinklers as follows:

Suppresson-Mode Sprinkler Facts and Figures
ESFR Sprinkler
Approximate Flow at 50 psi (3.5 bar)
Maximum Storage Height (Note 1)
Maximum Ceiling Height (Note 2)
Ceiling Clearance
Current FM Approved Manufacturers
K25.2 Pendent
178 gpm (675 L/min)
40 ft. (12m)
45 ft. (14m)
4 to 18 in. to Centerline of Thermal Sensing Element (102 to 457 mm)
Tyco, Viking
K22.4 Pendent
158 gpm (598 L/min)
40 ft (12m)
45 ft. (14m)
4 to 18 in. to Centerline of Thermal Sensing Element (102 to 457 mm)
Reliable
K16.8 Upright
119 gpm (460 L/min)
30 ft. (11m)
35 ft. (12m)
5 to 14 in. to Deflector (121 to 356 mm)
Tyco
K16.8 Pendent
119 gpm (460 L/min)
35 ft. (12m)
40 ft (12m)
5 to 14 in. to Deflector (121 to 356 mm)
Reliable, Tyco, Victaulic, Viking
K14 Upright
100 gpm (379 L/min)
30 ft. (11m)
35 ft. (12m)
5 to 14 in. to Deflector (121 to 356 mm)
Viking
K14 Pendent
100 gpm (379 L/min)
35 ft. (12m)
40 ft (12m)
5 to 14 in. to Deflector (121 to 356 mm)
Reliable, Tyco, Victaulic, Viking

Notes:
1. The storage heights listed above represent the maximum storage heights, when paired with appropriate ceiling heights that is acceptable without in-rack automatic sprinklers (IRAS), for Class I through IV commodities in single-, double- and multi-row racks according to Table 16.3.3.1 in NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems (2007 Edition). Maximum rack storage heights for cartoned unexpanded plastics, cartoned expanded plastics, uncartoned unexpanded plastics, and uncartoned expanded plastics can be found in the appropriate tables in NFPA 13 (Table 17.3.3.1) and FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheet 8-9, Storage of Class 1, 2, 3, 4 and Plastic Commodities, (Table 2.3.7.5(a)). NFPA 13 currently does not have protection criteria for suppression mode sprinklers for uncartoned, expanded plastics; Table 2.3.7.5(a) in FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheet 8-9 does provide suppression mode protection criteria for such products.

2. The ceiling heights listed represent the maximum permissible for the given sprinkler head.

As noted in our previous aforementioned technical articles, suppression mode sprinklers may only be used on wet-pipe systems. NFPA allows the use of suppression mode sprinklers in storage areas and ordinary hazard manufacturing occupancies (with no flammable liquids). FM Global recommends using suppression mode sprinklers in storage areas only.

Spacing of all suppression mode sprinklers should be minimum 8 ft. (2.4 m) and maximum 12 ft. (3.7 m) between sprinklers or branch lines for buildings up to 30 ft. (9.14 m) high. For buildings higher than 30 ft. (9.14 m) up to 45 ft. (12.2 m), the maximum allowable spacing is 10 ft. (3.05 m). The maximum area to be covered by a sprinkler is 100 sq. ft. (9.3 sq. m) and the minimum is 64 sq. ft. (5.8 sq. m).

If you are considering installing suppression mode automatic sprinklers in your warehouse or storage area, be sure to follow the applicable installation guidelines in NFPA 13 and FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheet 2-2, Installation Rules for Suppression Mode Automatic Sprinklers. It is critical to remember that although suppression mode sprinklers have many benefits, proper installation and use are vital when it comes to their protection success.

If you would like further information regarding the installation of suppression mode sprinklers, please contact Risk Logic Inc.