Pre-Engineered Fire Suppression Systems
Wet-Chemical fire suppression systems are important systems that have prevented countless kitchen fires. The systems are typically installed at the requirements of the International Building Code or National Fire Protection Assocation (NFPA) 1, The Uniform Fire Code.
Systems are installed due to code requirements adopted in a community. Many contractors refer to the the term “grease ladden vapors” as the minimum requirement for the system to be installed. Over the years the basis for installation has been tweaked and modified. You can see in the most recent IBC the language from section 904.2.1 truly refers to the type of exhaust hood. Similar language can be found in NFPA 1 or NFPA 101.
The systems are typically pre-engineered by the manufacture. The system go under very specific testing and scrutiny. This means the system is has limitations on what and how it protects appliances, plenum spaces, and exhaust ducts. The qualified contractor (attended training by the manufacture) would provide working shop drawings that show the system complying with the manufacture requirements.
These manufacture requirements are documents which indicate how nozzles protect an appliance, which type of nozzle, mounting height, piping limitations, and how many flow points can be achieved from a specific size bottle. It is critical that the system is designed by certified personnel, properly installed, and maintained. It is important to realize that NFPA 17a is critical for the installation, maintenance, and testing of each system. This can include location of manual activation, installation of signage, and other minimum requirements.
When conducting a plan review the submittal package must contain (at a minimum):
- Drawings which are legible, contain basic plan information, and all equipment to be installed
- Description of equipment and mechanical equipment to be protected
- Code and standard for basis of installation
- Date of Manufacture installation manual
- General notes and requirements
- Site plan indicating location of installation
- Sufficient technical data sheets from the manufacture
- Technical calculations to show the system meets the manufacture requirements
- Type of acceptance testing to be completed
Although this is a basic list, the documents must include all information which demonstrates the system meets the manufacture requirements and NFPA 17a.
- Responding to System Actuation (Firehouse.com)
- Do Pizza Ovens Require Suppression
- NFPA 17a Standard for Wet Chemical Fire Suppression Systems
- St. Johns Plan Review List
- Escambia Florida NFPA 17a Plan Review List (2002 edition)
- Spotsylvania Checklist (Word Doc)
These systems require continued maintenance and inspection. What information do you require on shop drawings or to be provided at time of inspection?