May 2010

Changes to FM Global Data Sheet 8-9 – Storage of Class 1, 2, 3, 4 and Plastic Commodities (2010)

In March of 2010, FM Global made several significant changes to this Data Sheet. The changes were made on their part in an effort to further minimize damage from fire, water and smoke based upon advances in fire protection technology, testing, and loss experience. One item they note is that if the products being stored were considered adequate in the previous version of their Data Sheet (January 2008), they continue to be adequate. Upon request, this older version of the Data Sheet is still available.

New Groupings for Commodities

The protection tables are now grouped into five categories using commodity classifications found in their Data Sheet 8-1, Commodity Classification. These new groupings are:

  • Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 commodities.
  • Class 4 and Cartoned Unexpanded Plastic commodities.
  • Cartoned Expanded Plastic commodities.
  • Uncartoned Unexpanded Plastic commodities.
  • Uncartoned Expanded Plastic commodities.

The different protection differences between rack storage and other general storage arrangements (solid-pile, palletized, shelf and bin-box) remain using separate tables.

New Classification for Sprinklers

All sprinklers used for storage are now listed as Storage Sprinklers. Groupings for Control Mode Density Area (CMDA), Control Mode Specific Application (CMSA), and Suppression Mode sprinklers have been eliminated. Similar to the previous edition of the Data Sheet, all Storage Sprinklers have a K factor between 11.2 (160) and 25.2 (360). Storage Sprinklers are differentiated by standard-response or quick-response.

The design criteria for all Storage Sprinklers are based upon: Wet versus dry system; Pendant versus upright heads; Quick response versus standard response; and, Ceiling height. These criteria are noted in each table.

The installation guidelines for Storage Sprinklers are provided in FM Global’s new edition of 2 0, Installation Guidelines for Automatic Sprinklers. The installation rules for all Storage Sprinklers, regardless of response, is similar to that of the old Suppression Mode sprinklers.

Formerly Used Parameters No Longer Applicable

The overall storage height, the aisle width and Favorable/Non-Favorable factors are no longer considered as parameters when determining protection options for the new edition.

Changes in Open-Top Container Protection

Criteria for open-top containers have been modified. Conditions between combustible and noncombustible containers are noted, along with specific guidelines for methods that can eliminate the need for in-rack sprinkler (IRAS) protection.

Preferable Designs Highlighted

On each table some of the protection criteria have been highlighted in green. These designs have a hose stream demand of 250 gpm and a water supply duration of 60 minutes. These highlighted options have the potential result in less fire, smoke, and water damage than other acceptable options and thus may, from a sustainability standpoint, be preferable.

Risk Logic, Inc. can be of assistance regarding the changes to Data Sheet 8-9 and how they affect your facility.