FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS

Fire is the largest single cause of property loss in the United States. Building codes currently require fire protection systems, also known as fire sprinkler or fire suppression systems, for most commercial and multifamily buildings where they have proven effective at reducing property damage and saving lives.

More than half of residential fires take place in one or two-family dwellings. Having a residential fire sprinkler system installed in homes like these is like having a firefighter on-site and on-duty 24 hours a day.

Introduction

Fire protection systems using automatic sprinkler heads deliver significant savings in lives, development costs, and water conservation. Fire sprinklers make it possible to immediately halt raging fire events, save lives, diminish destruction, reduce demands on responders, and conserve water by extinguishing flames at onset.

See Water Usage Comparison by the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition.

The ripple effect of extrapolated benefits includes less property damage, fewer events of homelessness from total losses, overall enhanced safety and security of constituents, higher home values, and greater community appeal.

Materials

Sprinklers, tubing and fittings must comply with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requirements for fire sprinkler systems. Local codes must be consulted when implementing any fire protection system to ensure that PEX and/or CPVC are permitted for each building type.

Certain PEX and CPVC plastic pipe and fitting systems listed to system standard UL 1821 may be used to supply water to fire sprinklers for one and two-family dwellings, according to installation standard NFPA 13D where the intent is to provide an affordable sprinkler system in homes, while maintaining a high level of life safety.

Many single family sprinkler systems are designed as stand-alone systems, independent from the water distribution system. In some one- and two-family buildings, the fire sprinklers can be combined with a building's cold-water plumbing system. These multi-purpose systems have the potential to reduce installation costs and the total amount of installed pipe and fittings.

Certain CPVC plastic pipe and fitting systems listed to system standard UL 1821 can be used to supply water to fire sprinklers for low-rise residential occupancies according to installation standard NFPA 13R and to supply light hazard occupancies according to NFPA 13.

Each approved PEX or CPVC product carries its own listings for the specifically approved applications.

Applications

Can be installed as multi-purpose combined fire sprinkler and plumbing systems or as stand-alone systems. Approved CPVC plastic pipe systems may be installed in low-rise residential occupancies per NFPA 13R and light hazard occupancies per NFPA 13.

Advantages

TAs compared with traditional fire protection materials such as steel or copper, CPVC and PEX fire protection piping systems are more reliable, easier and safer to install, and can deliver cost savings to both contractors and facility owners.

This is largely because CPVC and PEX fire protection piping systems are resistant to corrosion, install without flame, are less expensive materials, and typically install in less time than metallic systems.

See Also