7 Learning Objectives (1 of 11)• List information related to fire protection systems that should be included in a pre-incident plan for a protected building.• Compare residential sprinkler systems to commercial sprinkler systems.
7 Learning Objectives (2 of 11)• Explain why it is important to “Let the System Do Its Job” when conducting operations in a building protected by an automatic fire suppression system.• Recognize the differences between wet pipe, dry pipe, and deluge sprinkler systems.
7 Learning Objectives (3 of 11)• Compare the reliability of a wet pipe sprinkler system to dry pipe and deluge sprinkler systems.• Compare and contrast operations at a sprinkler protected building with and without obvious signs of a fire or system operation.
7 Learning Objectives (4 of 11)• Describe fire department operations at a building protected by a deluge system.• Identify, classify, and describe different types of standpipe systems.
7 Learning Objectives (5 of 11)• Describe fire department operations at a building equipped with a standpipe system.• Explain discharge pressure differences in standpipe systems and how these differences affect operations.
7 Learning Objectives (6 of 11)• Describe the advantages and disadvantages of solid bore and automatic nozzles when operating from a standpipe.• Compute the pump discharge pressure needed to supply a fire line in a high- rise building equipped with a standpipe.
7 Learning Objectives (7 of 11)• Develop a list of standard standpipe equipment.• List and describe fire protection systems other than sprinkler or standpipe systems.• Explain fire department operations at a facility protected by a Class B foam system.
7 Learning Objectives (8 of 11)• Describe fire department operations at a property protected by a total flooding carbon dioxide system.• Describe fire department operations at a property protected by a total flooding clean agent system.
7 Learning Objectives (9 of 11)• Define the term interlock and provide an example of an interlock on a carbon dioxide system.• As it relates to company responses, explain the possible problems with habitual false alarm system activations.
7 Learning Objectives (10 of 11)• Pre-plan a building protected by a sprinkler system.• Pre-plan a building protected by a standpipe system.• Pre-plan a building protected by a foam system.
7 Learning Objectives (11 of 11)• Pre-plan a building protected by a non-water-based extinguishing system.• Evaluate operations at a fire in a building protected by a fire protection system.
7 Overview• Use of fire protection systems – Offensive attack takes on different character – IC’s job made easier – Risk to fire firefighters reduced
7 Fire Protection Systems• Attack strategy involves properly supporting or using the system.• Primary tactic is to support the system.• Fire-ground efforts should include: – Maintaining system in full operational status – Laying lines for extinguishment
7 Pre-Incident Planning (1 of 2)• Essential for buildings protected by automatic fire suppression systems• Should include: – General layout of building – Telephone numbers of owners and managers• Information can be kept on site in a lock box – Or on apparatus and at dispatch center
7 Pre-Incident Planning (2 of 2)• Location and operation of various water supply components: – Main and divisional control valves – Fire pump – Fire department connections – Water supply and hydrant water supply – System limitations and peculiarities
7 Sprinkler Systems (1 of 2)• Residential systems – NFPA 13R: Residential Occupancies up to and Including Four Stories in Height – NFPA 13D: One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes – Highly reliable – Allow for additional escape time – Hardware requirements are different from industrial or office systems.
7 Sprinkler Systems (2 of 2)• Commercial-type systems – Must meet the requirements of NFPA 13: Standard for Sprinkler Systems – Exceptional record in controlling fires – Large losses of life are practically nonexistent in buildings that are equipped with a properly designed, maintained, and operating sprinkler system
7 Sprinkler System Failures• Closed valve in the water supply line• Inadequate water supply to the sprinkler system• Occupancy changes that render the system unsuitable• System is shut down or otherwise out of service. – System should be tagged (NFPA 25).
7 Types of Systems (1 of 6)• Wet pipe sprinkler system – One of the most reliable systems – Reliable water supply – Water is distributed and applied through sprinkler heads. – Valves control water distribution. – Fire pumps may be needed to provide necessary water pressure and volume.
7 Types of Systems (2 of 6)• Dry pipe sprinkler systems – Used in areas that might freeze – Piping is filled with air instead of water. – When a sprinkler head opens, air bleeds out of the system. – Water may take a longer time to reach the fire than in a wet pipe system.
7 Types of Systems (3 of 6)• Pre-action sprinkler systems – A sensing device, such as a smoke or heat detector, opens a valve, flooding the piping with water. – If a sprinkler head has also fused, water will come out of the sprinkler onto the fire.
7 Types of Systems (4 of 6)• Pre-action sprinkler systems (continued) – Advanced warning of activation • Computer rooms – In some systems, both the sprinkler head and the pre-action device must actuate for it to operate.
7 Types of Systems (5 of 6)• Deluge systems – No water in piping or to sprinkler heads – When activated, a valve opens, releasing water through the open sprinkler heads – Usually protect areas with high-challenge fires • Flammable liquids, conveyors moving combustible commodities, transformers
7 Types of Systems (6 of 6)• Deluge systems (continued) – Can be equipped with manually operated override valves – Often located at the deluge control valve – Fire fighters should know where these control valves are located and how to manually activate the system.
7 Operational Concerns• Most common error is shutting down the system prematurely• ICs must be sure the fire is under control before shutting down the system.
7 Fire Control• The system will usually control the fire, but may not completely extinguish it. – Fires that are shielded from direct water contact – Hand lines must be in place.• Operations should not deprive the system of water.
7 System Requirements• System should have a calculated water requirement. – Includes enough water to support hose streams – The IC must be careful to avoid depleting the system of water. – Separate water supply
7 Working at a Sprinklered Building with No Fire (1 of 5)• Gaining entry – Forcible entry may not be necessary • Lock box – Lock boxes identified in pre-plans • Keys • Potential entry locations
7 Working at a Sprinklered Building with No Fire (2 of 5)• Responsible party – It may be advisable to wait for a keyholder. • May not be appropriate to wait if there is a delay • Potential fire or water damage outweighs damage done by forcible entry
7 Working at a Sprinklered Building with No Fire (3 of 5)• Forcing entry – Property damage should be considered. – Upper story windows – Guidance in SOPs
7 Working at a Sprinklered Building with No Fire (4 of 5)• Checking the main control valve – Radio-equipped fire fighter should be sent to the system riser (main shutoff). – Two fire fighters should be assigned if the area is hazardous. – May remain at the valve throughout entire operation
7 Working at a Sprinklered Building with No Fire (5 of 5)• Checking the main control valve (continued) – Determines if system is flowing – If not equipped with a water motor gong, listens for water flowing through pipe – Checks to make sure valve is fully open
7 Main Control Valves• Sprinkler valve types, locations, and operation should be noted in pre-plans.• Sprinkler valve should be locked open. – Cut or break the lock to shut down the system.
7 Checking the Fire Pumps• Fire pumps should be physically checked. – Poor practice to rely on remote annunciator panels – Good chance that the system is discharging if the main pump is operating
7 Monitoring the Fire Pumps• Pumps can be manually started.• May be able to monitor main control valve and fire pump
7 Checking for Sprinkler Operation• Should systematically check entire building• It must be verified that nothing is amiss.
7 Supplying the FDC• A pumper with an adequate off-site water supply should connect to the FDC.• The water supply for this pumper should be large-diameter hose.• A single 2½” (64-mm) or 3” (76-mm) supply line to FDC is inadequate.
7 Water Supply• Off-site water sources should be identified in pre-plans.• Should be covered in SOGs
7 Working at a Sprinklered Building with Fire• Main objective is to support the system while ensuring that occupants are safe• Gaining entry – Use the minimum force necessary. – Time spent gaining entry will increase the risk to occupants. • Also causes additional fire, water, and smoke damage
7 Checking the Main Control Valves and Fire Pumps• Fire fighters should be assigned to the main valve and pump.• Should ensure continued operation of the system – Provide rapid shutdown when appropriate• Positions are critical and should be staffed throughout the operation.
7 Control Valves• Large systems will be equipped with control valves on portions of the system.• Not as prone to accidental closing as main control valves
7 Supplying the FDC• A pumper with an adequate off-site water supply should connect to the FDC.• Department SOPs should identify minimum water supplies and pump pressures. – NFPA 13 recommends a pressure of 150 psi (1034 kPa).
7 Let the System Do Its Job• It is better to shut down a sprinkler system too late rather than too early. – System should be permitted to operate until the fire is under control.• When the system is shut down, only small spot fires should be remaining. – Hose lines
7 Backing Up the System• Prepare for an offensive attack and overhaul. – Fire fighters should be in full PPE, including SCBA.
7 Hose Line Use• Hose lines should not be operated except: – To perform rescue operations – To limit fire spread – For overhaul operations after the sprinkler system has been shut down
7 Use of Hose Lines• May take priority if the sprinkler system is ineffective due to: – Damaged piping – Malfunction – Inadequacy
7 Ventilation (1 of 2)• Will channel the fire and limit its extension• When safe, ventilation openings should be made above the fire.• Cooling effect of water can inhibit upward smoke movement – Makes it more difficult to ventilate
7 Ventilation (2 of 2)• Recommended ventilation tactics should be part of the pre-incident plan.• Roof vents and draft curtains• Overhaul requires ventilation. – Positive or negative-pressure• Ventilate instead of shutting down the system to locate fire.
7 Property Conservation• Accomplished while extinguishment is in progress• Extinguishment takes priority. – Water damage dictates that property conservation occur simultaneously
7 Placing the System Back in Service• To return system to service: – Replace sprinkler heads and reopen valves. – Most codes require spare heads be kept on the premises.• Restoring through use of division control valves• Some SOPs prohibit reactivating the system.
7 Property Protected by a Deluge System• The tasks are basically the same for wet, dry, or pre-action systems.• Additional consideration: manual operation of the deluge valve
7 Deluge Systems• Protected hazard creates extreme risks for fire fighters.• System operation will be obvious.• Pre-incident planning is the key to a successful operation.
7 Deluge System Guidelines• Check the control valve and fire pump. – Valves should be open and pumps operating properly.
7 Operating the Deluge Valve• Deluge can be activated manually.• May deplete a private water supply system – Consideration must be given to the water supply requirements.
7 Checking Interlocks• Deluge systems often trip interlocking devices when activated. – De-energize electric transformers, shut down conveyor belts, or shut off a fuel supply.• Manual interlock activation• Deluge system should control the fire even if the interlocks do not function.
7 Let the System Do Its Job• Shut down – Better too late than too early – Fire must be completely under control.• This system will be flowing large quantities of water, increasing the temptation to shut it down prematurely.
7 Standpipe Equipped Building• Not automatic fire suppression systems – Cannot operate without human intervention• Helpful in conducting offensive attacks – May be impossible in high-rises if the standpipe system is inoperative
7 Standpipe Types (1 of 3)• Automatic dry – Filled with pressurized air – Water enters system when a discharge is opened.• Automatic wet – Most common and reliable – Filled with water – Provides water when the discharge is opened
7 Standpipe Types (2 of 3)• Semiautomatic dry – Dry standpipe – Admits water into the piping upon activation of a remote device
7 Standpipe Types (3 of 3)• Manual dry – Does not have a water supply – System relies exclusively on a supply provided via the FDC• Manual wet – Filled with water connected to a water supply that maintains water in the system – Not capable of providing water unless it is supplied
7 Standpipe Locations• High-rise buildings• Big box stores – May come from sprinkler system• Should be pre-planned – Type and class of systems – Variations in pressure and design
7 Pre-Connected Hose• Poor practice to use pre-connected hose lines – Seldom tested or properly maintained – Should bring own hose, nozzles, and adapters
7 Checking Fire Pumps and Main Control Valves• Fire pumps should be operating and the main control valve open.• A properly operating system is crucial.
7 Supplying the FDC• Much the same as for a sprinkler-protected building• Some systems rely entirely on pumpers to provide water supply. The volume supplied must be hydraulically calculated, allowing for: – Elevation loss – Friction loss in the hose – Friction loss in the standpipe piping system – Nozzle pressure
7 Friction Loss• Standard fire-ground hydraulic calculation should be adequate. – 10- to 15-psi (69- to 103-kPa) friction loss for system piping – Not necessary to determine the exact friction loss in system – Pre-planning
7 Recommended Standpipe Equipment (1 of 2)• First-arriving engine company: – Two 50’ (15-m) lengths of 1¾” (45-mm) or larger diameter hose – Smooth-bore or automatic variable-stream nozzle – A set of adapters, including a 2½”- to 1½” (64- to 38-mm) reducer
7 Recommended Standpipe Equipment (2 of 2)• Second-arriving engine company: – Three 50’ (15-m) lengths of 2½” (64-mm) hose – Variable stream or smooth-bore nozzle• Truck company: – Forcible entry, ventilation, and salvage equipment as required
7 Pressure Reducing Devices• Can cause problems for fire fighters• Pre-incident planning and routine inspections• Many pressure- or flow-reducing valves are field adjustable. – Instructions should be included in pre- plans. • Should also include arrangements to obtain special standpipe adjustment tools
7 Pressure Reducing Valves• Pressure reducing valves – Must be installed and maintained properly – Ensures that systems can provide the required volume and pressure• With proper pre-planning and maintenance, it should not be necessary to field-adjust PRVs.
7 Automatic Nozzles• Do not provide good flows at pressures below design parameters• Nozzle pressure of 100 psi (690 kPa) common – Will not provide any flow at lower pressures. – Should not be used on standpipes
7 Smooth-Bore Nozzles• Produce an adequate stream at low discharge pressures• Better choice for standpipe operations
7 Connecting to a Standpipe Discharge (1 of 2)• Options – Floor below – Fire floor • Provided that the valve is in a stairway or other protected area
7 Connecting to a Standpipe Discharge (2 of 2)• Hose should be laid up the stairway above the fire floor. – Should be done before door is opened – Allows for easier hose movement
7 Hose Management• Excess hose may be a problem.• May impede occupant egress – Smoke conditions in the stairway from open doors• Two dedicated stairways – One for fire operations, the other for occupant evacuation
7 Non-Water Based Systems (1 of 2)• Foam – Surface application – Subsurface application – Deluge• Halon (and other clean agents) – Total flooding – Local application
7 Non-Water Based Systems (2 of 2)• Carbon dioxide• Dry chemical• Other inerting systems (using inert gases to extinguish or contain a fire)
7 Specialized Systems• Influence strategic plan – Good working knowledge essential• Usually activated before arrival – IC may need to activate the systems manually.
7 Pre-Planning• Properties protected by a suppression system should be pre-planned.• Should note location of system components: – Risers – Shutoffs – Pumps – Agent supply containers
7 System Hazards• Suffocation hazard – Carbon dioxide – High concentrations of Halon• Physical harm – Dry chemical
7 High-Expansion Foam Systems• Rare• Designed to protect buildings by filling an area with foam – Smothers the fire – Basements
7 Low-Expansion Foam Systems• Storage of large quantities of flammable and combustible liquids• Some systems are automatic; others require fire department support.• Even automatic systems can be operated manually.
7 Refineries and Petroleum Storage Depots• Normally protect aboveground storage tanks• Located on or nearby the property – Contains quantities of foam and means of manually operating the system• System operation differs at each facility. – Should be familiar with the hazards and the operation of system
7 Foam• Number one defense against flammable liquid fires• Nearly useless on pressurized liquids or gases• Will not suppress a three-dimensional fire – Leaking fuel
7 Carbon Dioxide Systems• Total flooding and local application• Uses – In areas where preventing water damage is a prime objective – Where this agent is more effective than water or dry chemical• Extinguishes by depleting oxygen supply• Rely on detectors for their activation
7 Total Flooding System• Depend on agent containment for a period of time – Ventilation shut down – Compartment kept closed• Very cold when discharged – Heavier than air – May accumulate in low or remote locations
7 Halon (1 of 2)• React quickly to suppress fire in its beginning stages – Limits damage to sensitive equipment• Used in explosion-suppression systems where deflagrations are actually suppressed before pressure builds up
7 Halon (2 of 2)• Products of decomposition are harmful to humans.• Might damage some electronic components• Causes environmental harm – Destroys the ozone layer• Being phased out
7 Clean Agent Systems• Rely on smoke detectors for activation• Limited supply of agent must be discharged into a confined area – Room must remain closed – Ventilation system must automatically shut down
7 Dry and Wet Chemical Systems• Dry chemical applications – Kitchen hoods – Cooking appliances – Ductwork in restaurants – Dip tanks – Gasoline-dispensing facilities
7 Kitchen Hood Systems• Activated either automatically or manually by a pull station – For automatic operation, fusible links are located over the area being protected or in the ductwork.
7 Wet Chemical Systems• Similar in design to dry chemical systems – Also found in kitchen hood applications• Preferred because clean up is much easier• Will probably have discharged prior to arrival
7 Total Flooding CO2 Systems• Let the system do its job. – If the fire is controlled, maintain chemical concentration by keeping doors closed• No need to enter the area unless occupants failed to escape• Have limited supply of extinguishing agent unlike sprinkler and standpipe systems
7 Final Extinguishment and Rescue• PPE, including SCBA, must be worn if entering room – Area may appear to be clear yet is oxygen- deficient.• Clean agents may pose a threat because of corrosive decomposition gases.
7 Manual Activation• Systems may be equipped with a manual actuation device. – Can be operated in the event automatic sensors fail
7 Abort Switch• Systems are equipped with an abort switch. – Can be held to prevent agent discharge – The IC must determine whether preventing discharge is justified.
7 Checking Interlocks• Systems often trip interlocking devices. – Shut down the ventilation system – Pre-action alarms interlocked to the system • Allow occupants time to escape – Manually interlock activation• Ventilation systems should be closed.
7 Local Application CO2 Systems• Let the system do its job. – Make sure valves are open. – Do not interfere with system operation.
7 Checking the Interlocks• Interlocks may shut off fuel supplies or de-energize equipment.• Manual operation• Employees may be able to shut down equipment as needed.
7 Manual Activation• Support the system by activating manual devices.• Generally protect Class B or Class C hazards• Do not depend on an enclosure.
7 Backing Up the System• Be prepared with backup equipment. – Hose lines, foam lines, or portable extinguishers – Augment the system and/or complete overhaul• It is important to inspect the entire ductwork and exhaust system. – Verify that the fire did not spread beyond the cooking appliance.
7 System Restoration• Property owner or contractor – Capable of recharging and resetting the system
7 Responses to Building Fire Alarm Systems• False alarms are common. – Special responses may be sent to alarm activations. – The high number of false alarms causes apathy. • Apathy lulls forces into complacency.
7 False Alarms• Poor system maintenance or improper installation – Assessing penalties
7 Summary (1 of 2)• ICs should take advantage of a working fire suppression system. – Should support and back up system – Manual fire suppression could reduce the effectiveness of the fixed system.
7 Summary (2 of 2)• The key to successful operations: – Having SOPs – Having pre-incident plans