FIRE-FIGHTING INSTALLATION BUILDING CHARACTERISTICS Overall building New Town Development Sdn Bhd is planned to build a 40 storey
including 4 storey basement, commercial building. The building comprises of 4 storey basement parking and 7 storey shopping complex, the rest are offices lot.
Figure 1: Building part
Factors important for fire sprinkler the proposed building. Fire sprinklers have been so successful at reducing fire causalities and property damage around the world, that many regions have passed local laws making it mandatory to fit them in shopping complex and commercial building. Some regions are even making it mandatory to retro fit fire sprinkler systems into selected existing buildings, because of that reason that why we chose sprinkler system for this 40 storey building.
Sprinkler systems provide an additional degree of protection for both life and property above smoke and/or other fire detection systems. A correctly designed and installed sprinkler system can detect and control a fire at an early stage of development and activate an alarm. Correct operation of the system will rapidly reduce the production rate of heat and smoke, allowing more time for the occupants to escape safely or be rescued. Sprinkler Systems (i) Introduction Sprinkler Systems are the most popular of automatic water based fixed firefighting systems. Sprinklers play an important part in the fire engineering approach to fire protection in building design. (ii) Legislation The Building Regulations specifically make provisions for sprinklers in certain buildings such as a life risk in high multi-storey buildings, large unpartitioned areas in shops and commercial premises and buildings for industrial and storage use. The installation of sprinklers allows buildings to be larger and closer to adjoining premises than would normally have been permitted. (iii) Standards A sprinkler system has to be properly designed and fitted to appropriate British Standards. A certificate of conformity can be issued if the Loss Prevention Certification Board approves the installing company. The standards comprise detailed system requirements and Fire Safety Officers and other specialists should deal with advice on their application and use. (iv) General Description of a Sprinkler System A grid of pipes covers all areas of the building to be protected with sprinkler heads fitted into them at regular intervals. Water from a tank via pumps or from the town main (if it can give enough flow) fills the pipes. Each sprinkler head will open when it reaches a specific temperature and spray water on to a fire. The hot gases from a fire are usually enough to make it operate. Only the sprinklers over the fire open. The others remain closed. This limits any damage to areas where there is no fire and reduces the amount of water needed. The sprinkler heads are spaced, generally on the ceiling, so that if one or more operate there is always sufficient flow of water. The flow is calculated so that there is always enough to control a fire taking into account the size and construction of the building and the goods
stored in it or its use. Sprinkler heads can be placed in enclosed roof spaces and into floor ducts to protect areas where a fire can start without being noticed. In a large warehouse sprinklers may be placed in the storage racks as well as at roof level. At the point where the water enters the sprinkler system there is a valve. This can be used to shut off the system for maintenance. For safety reasons it is kept locked in the open position and only authorised persons should be able to close it. If a sprinkler head opens, waters flows through the valve and lets water into another pipe that causes a bell to ring. In this way the sprinkler system both controls the fire and gives an alarm using water, not electricity.
There are many factors that have an influence on the level of fire fighting installation offered by this building. Some of the more significant factors are listed below: • • • • • • • • • Numbers and types of fire starts Likelihood of fire suppression by occupants Reliability and effectiveness of the detection and alarm system Communication system Emergency procedure and staff training Reliability and effectives of the sprinkler system Fire characteristics(flames and smoke) The action of the fire brigade Reliability and effectiveness of the smoke control system.
Mall sprinklers Sprinklers in shops are an essential part of the smoke ventilation design in order to prevent a fire growing beyond the design fire size. Sprinkler operation in the malls will lead to increased heat loss reducing the buoyancy of smoke, which in turn can contribute to a progressive loss of visibility under the smoky layer. However, gases sufficiently hot enough to set off sprinklers will remain initially as a thermally buoyant layer under the ceiling.
When the fire occurs in a shop, operation of sprinklers in the mall will not assist in controlling it. If too many sprinklers operated in the malls sprinklers in the shops could become less effective as the available water supply approaches its limits. Malls should be sprinklered if they contain sufficient combustibles to support a fire larger than the design fire size of 5 MW, 12 m perimeter, during their operational lifetime. Note however that sprinklers installed at high level in a multi-storey mall are unlikely to operate unless the fire size reached is much larger than this. Sprinkler cooling can be used in the malls to reduce the smoke layer temperature to below 200°C, above which heat radiation from the layer is likely to impede escape beneath. A natural ventilation system relies on the buoyancy of the smoke for extraction, therefore if sprinkler cooling is underestimated, the use of unrealistically high smoke temperatures could lead to the system being under designed. Conversely a powered extract system, to a reasonable approximation, removes a fixed volume of smoke irrespective of temperature. Therefore if the extent of sprinkler cooling is overestimated the system could be underdesigned. The heat lost from smoky gases to sprinklers in the mall is currently the subject of research although data suitable for design application is not yet available. Operation of wet pipe sprinkler systems and fire detection systems Wet pipe sprinkler system operation. The city potable water serves as the source for fire water. A shutoff valve is provided in the fire riser just inside and above the building floor. Above the shutoff valve is a double check valve installed to prevent back flow into the city water system. This valve is followed by a shutoff valve with outside access having an indicator to indicate whether it is open or closed. The valve is normally open with a chain and padlock applied to prevent tampering. A tamper switch is also installed to sound an alarm should the valve be tampered with by unauthorized personnel. Above this valve is an alarm check valve which permits flow to the sprinkler system and has connections for a drain, pressure gages and the retard chamber which operates the water flow motor driven alarm placed outside of the building. Test connections, shutoff valves, check valves, vents and drains are located as required to flush and test various components of the system.
. Figure 2: Typically wet pipe sprinkler system. One leg of the tee allows fire water to be provided by a set of fire department connections located outside of the building. A check valve is incorporated to prevent backflow through the fire department connection. The fire department connections are redundant to the city water supply and provide another source of water for the wet pipe sprinkler system. The riser then connects to branch lines which serve sprinkler lines. In the sprinkler lines are fusible link sprinkler heads located as required by the Local Authority, local codes and the insurance company. The fuse is usually chosen to melt at 135oF, however other temperatures are available. The number, type and location of sprinkler heads is determined by the fire occupancy rating. This rating considers the type of structure, the materials present in the area, the number of personnel and the liability resulting from a fire. In the wet pipe system, heat from a fire will melt the fuse in the sprinkler allowing water to flow from that head. The purpose of the water is to slow the fire until professional fire fighting assistance can arrive. Also provided in the sprinkler lines are a high point vent and a drain at the far end of the system. The vent allows the system to relieve air to assist with draining the sloped sprinkler and branch lines and to assist in filling the system with water. The drain at the far end of the system permits verification of water flow and flushing of the system. Factors that influence in Sprinkler system and alarm detection system Sprinkler Effectiveness
For this building our team proposed sprinkler system that suitable for these building characteristics because sprinklers are an essential part of good fire-safety design and their effectiveness is very important. The effectiveness of a component or system can be defined as: Effectiveness= reliability x efficacy Sprinkler efficacy is defined here as the ability of the sprinkler system to function. Sprinkler reliability, on the other hand, is concerned with whether the system will activate (deliver waste) and takes into account such matters as isolation of the system and failure of the water supply. These terms can each be represented numerically by a number between 0 and 1.
Figure 3: Part of the sprinkler system Sprinkler Efficacy The efficacy of a sprinkler system in controlling a fire is a function of: • • • The type and arrangement of fuel The geometry of the room and the arrangement and type of sprinkler heads Whether the area in which the fire occurs is fully sprinkler.
Sprinkler Reliability The chosen of the sprinkler system because factor of the reliability of sprinkler system in Malaysia is generally accepted as being high. It is vitally important to consider this issue for modern shopping centre buildings and to understand what factors have most influence. It is found that the factor that has most
influence .it is found that greatest influence on reliability is isolation of the system to allow tenacy upgrades and modifications. The reliability of sprinkler system depends very much on how it is managed with respect to modifications taking place within the building. If the sprinkler system is soundly managed,the following average values of reliability can be adopted: • • Sprinkler zones associated with 98.5% specialty shops Sprinkler zones associated with 99.50% major stores
Sprinkler system associated with shopping centres and commercial area on this 40 storey building should be designed and managed to achieve the above levels of effectiveness. Other considerations Other consideration using sprinkler system for this building especially at shopping complex area and commercial on this 40 storey building: • The bigger the fire, the greater the uncertainty in performance of fire safety system.
Figure 4: Fire sprinkler system testing Components of a Fire Sprinkler System Installation 1. Water Source • • City Tap Tank
2. Backflow Preventer • Underground Supply Main
4” minimum 8” recommended
3. Control Valve • • Exterior post indicator valve Inside OS & Y or butterfly
4. Alarm Device • • Alarm valve with mechanical water motor alarm Water flow switch wired to electric bell or base building.
5. Booster Pump (If required) • Pressure not volume
6. Fire Department Connection • BOMBA Connection
7. Pipe fittings & hangers 8. Sprinkler Heads Sprinkler Heads must be replaced or sample test if over 50 years old or are painted over or corroded. They must be installed and serviced with the proper head wrench. Improper head wrenches will void warranty. • • • • • • • • Standard response vs. Quick response Extended Coverage vs. Standard Coverage Upright Pendant (semi-recessed, concealed) On/Off Pendant Horizontal Sidewall Attic Heads ESFR
• • •
Vertical Sidewall Dry Pendant Special hazard head
Figure 5:Fire Sprinkler System
Smoke control systems Other than that we are also proposed smoke control system where mechanical exhaust and/or natural venting are critical to the achievement of the design principles given in the following sections, the reliability of the systems should be demonstrated to be greater than 0.90 and the impact of external environmental conditions (temperature and wind) and smoke temperature, on the efficacy of the system taken into account. Simple systems are more likely to achieve high levels of reliability than more complex systems. In some centres, parts of the smoke extraction system are used for normal operations. This is good practice and should be encouraged. Natural venting systems are more likely to be effected by environmental conditions, whereas mechanical extraction systems may be significantly affected by the temperature of the smoke in several ways. As the temperature of the smoke increases, the volume of smoke expands and the efficacy of an extraction fan will be less than at lower temperatures. Should the temperature become too high, the fan will stop due to failure of wiring or the components. For 40 storey building we proposed Photoelectric Detectors as a smoke control system because of the characteristic of the smoke detector and effectiveness of the smoke control system.
Factor that influence in smoke detection system Photoelectric smoke detector ,as a class ,provide response to low energy (smoldering) fires , since they respond to the optical density of the smoke ,and such fires produce a preponderance of visible size range smoke particles. Photoelectric Detectors characteristic Photoelectric detectors are as effective as ionization detectors in sensing smoke. Ionization unit responds to flaming fires with smaller particles; photoelectric detectors respond more quickly to all fires. Photoelectric detectors are more expensive than ionization units but the latter provides a level of built-in security not found in photoelectric detectors. The difference between these detectors is also apparent during the change of batteries. The alarm of ionization detectors sound to hint that the battery should be changed. The sound is caused by the drop in the ion current. In contrast, photoelectric detectors can be provided with backup batteries, but don't provide this added benefit. In one type of photoelectric device, smoke can block a light beam. In this case, the reduction in light reaching a photocell sets off the alarm. In the most common type of photoelectric unit, however, light is scattered by smoke particles onto a photocell, initiating an alarm. In this type of detector there is a T-shaped chamber with a light-emitting diode (LED) that shoots a beam of light across the horizontal bar of the T. A photocell, positioned at the bottom of the vertical base of the T, generates a current when it is exposed to light. Under smoke-free conditions, the light beam crosses the top of the T in an uninterrupted straight line, not striking the photocell positioned at a right angle below the beam.
Figure 6:Response sentivity of the detectors
Sentivities of the photoelectric smoke detector A chart which graphically displays the changing sentivities of photoelectric and ionization detectors over the ranges of particle sizes for contant mass concertration.the fact of the total mass of particulates stays contant for the given volume of air cause the number of the particles to decrease in the number of particles per unit volume rather than the increase. All photoelectric smoke detectors contain an LED that projects a light throughout the area it is installed in. When a fire breaks out, it produces smoke and this smoke blocks the LED, tripping the smoke alarm off. These are a more effective and reliable device for building because most fires within the building produce a lot of smoke. Conclusions Detecting fires early in building provides the benefit of time for investigation, manual intervention and, if necessary, suppression. In the event of a fast growth fire, the advance notice provides a critical opportunity to call for fire brigade attendance while the fire can still be managed to avoid total loss of the facility. This is especially important in complex building like high rise building since the risks to the environment and the loss of assets, premises and business continuity are quite significant. Reference A.I.James (2005), Characterizing the Entry Resistance of Smoke Detectors, Fire Protection Engineering. H P Morgan,and J P Gardner* (1991), Design Principles for Smoke Ventilation In Enclosed Shopping Centres, Building Research Establishment Report, Colt International Ltd Fire. I.D .Bennetts,K.W.Poh and I.R.Thomass (2000),Design of Sprinkled Shopping Centre Buildings for Fire Safety,OneSteel-Market Mills,Australia.