Basics of Fire Sprinkler Design

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K.S. “Buck” Collier
NICET Level III Fire Protection
Engineering Technology/Water
Based Systems Layout.
 Have worked in industry 28 years.
 January 1986 to December 1999
employed by Commonwealth
Sprinkler Company
 February 2000 to present
employed by K & E Fire Sprinkler

 Water
Supply
 Occupancy
 Building Construction
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Basic Definition- The water that is available to
the building/job site. The design of the
sprinkler system is based on this available
water
Varies from project to project
Can be public or private
Public- Locality provides water flow data
◦ Some perform hydrant flow test
◦ Some provide calculated information

Private- designs will include tank and pump
 The
three elements of the water
supply are:
 Static Pressure
 Residual Pressure
 Water Flow
 Static
Pressure: The pressure
available with no water flow
 Residual Pressure: The pressure
available with a water flow
 Flow: The amount of gallons per
minute of the water flow
These three make up the Water Supply Curve
Occupancy Determines Hazard Classification
Light Hazard
(Schools, Office Buildings, Restaurant Seating Areas, Hospitals)
Ordinary Hazard
Group I (Parking deck, restaurant service area, beverage
manufacturing)
Group 2 (Repair garages, mercantile, barns, chemical plants,
piers, wood shop)
Extra Hazard
Group 1 (Aircraft hangers, printing, saw mills,)
Group 2 (Flammable liquid spraying, Manufactured home
assemblies, plastic processing)
The Fire Hazards are based on fuel load
Each Fire Hazard has its own design criteria
Design Criteria are the requirements to which
the sprinkler system design is based
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Water Density
Coverage per Sprinkler
Spacing per Sprinkler
Remote Area
Water Density= Gallons per minute (GPM) per
sq. ft. covered by the sprinkler
Light hazard= .10 gpm per sq. ft.
Ordinary hazard
Group 1= .15 gpm per sq. ft.
Group 2 =.20 gpm per sq. ft.
Extra Hazard
Group 1 = .30 gpm per sq. ft.
Group 2 = .40 gpm per sq. ft
Coverage per Sprinkler (max. square footage)
Light hazard= 225 sq. ft.
Ordinary hazard= 130 sq. ft.
Extra Hazard= 100 sq. ft.
Spacing for a Standard Sprinkler (max.)
Light hazard= 15’-0”
Ordinary hazard= 15’-0”
Extra Hazard= 12’-0”
Remote Area- The area that must be proven,
by hydraulic calculations, that if all sprinklers
activate, the piping and supply can provide
the required pressure and gpm
Light Hazard- minimum of 1500 sq. ft
Ordinary Hazard- minimum of 1500 sq. ft
Extra Hazard- minimum of 2500 sq. ft.

Construction of Building Effects Design of
Sprinkler System
◦ Sloped Ceilings
 Impact reaction time of sprinklers thus requiring an
increase in remote area size by 30%.
 1500 sq ft. +30% (450 sq. ft.) = 1950 sq. ft.
◦ Unconditioned Spaces
 Dry System required for unconditioned spaces
 Dry Systems impact reaction time of sprinklers thus
requiring and increase in remote area size by 30%.
 1500 sq ft. +30% (450 sq. ft.) = 1950 sq. ft.

Example: seasonal restaurant seating area
◦ Heated flat ceiling
 1500 sq ft remote area
◦ Unheated flat ceiling
 1500 sq ft. +30% (450 sq. ft.) = 1950 sq. ft. remote
area
◦ Unheated sloped ceiling
 1500 sq ft. +30% (450 sq. ft.) = 1950 sq. ft. +30%
(585 sq. ft.) = 2535 sq. ft. remote area
Thank you for allowing me to give this brief
presentation on Basics of Fire Sprinkler Design
Sincerely,
K.S. “Buck” Collier
February 5, 2014

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