Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 26
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    193

    Cool Sometimes sprinklers AREN'T good!

    Found this on MSNBC.com. One more thing for the pre-plan!

    www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6828635/]


  2. #2
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Maryland (DC Suburb)
    Posts
    5,738

    Default

    Whoopsies.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    868

    Default

    We had a chemical manufacturer that made water reactive chemicals, and they had a sprinkler system installed in their factory from the previous occupiers.

    This place had about 80,000 gallons being manufactured at a time, most of it in huge open mixing vessels. When we were on an inspection and we enquired about whether they had a response team they replied "No" because they thought we would be there real quick and would save the day We enlightened them slightly by saying that our response time to there was about 10 minutes, and that each truck carried one drychem extinguisher - which wasn't going to do diddly or squat against a fire going in one of their containers. Nearest bulk dry agent is an hour away, by which time this place was going to be a big smoky black hole in the ground we figured.
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

    ...and before you ask - YES I have done a Bloody SEARCH!

  4. #4
    Forum Member spearsm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Lowndes, MS USA
    Posts
    742

    Default

    Why does the phrase, "hey ya'll, watch this" come to mind?
    18 months prior, they were warned to cap the sprinklers. I would have to think that the fire officials warned them of the time bomb they had overhead.(Surely somebody there knew of the hazard?)
    Maybe the facilities Risk assessment was skewed?
    JSA'S not completed?
    One of those things that make you go Hmmmmmm.
    Maybe there is more than meets the eyes.
    YGBSM!
    Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

    If all you have is a hammer, then your problems start to look like nails.
    ___________________

    IACOJ
    Southern Division.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default

    From the news articles:

    Officials are trying to determine why the Advanced Magnesium Alloys Corp. plant had a working sprinkler system in the same area where the metal is stored.

    Although I realize that it was not the intent of the first poster to do this, I would like to remind everyone that a fire service professionl should never speak badly about sprinklers. We should be the largest advocate group for the proper installation of sprinkler systems. They save lives and property when properly installed and maintained.

    We do not have a failure of sprinklers here. We have a failure of the fire department code enforcement people. If they told them 18 mos. ago to cap them, why weren't they back 17 mos. ago to follow up? And 16 mos. ago to issue a violation? There may be more to this story (I hope there is), but right now it looks like somebody fumbled the ball.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Wheaton IL
    Posts
    1,765

    Default

    Well put, sprinklers are the single most valuable tool for saving lives and property. So valuable that in the home I am building for my family I am having a 13D system put in. (non mandatory)
    Their shouldn't be any debate, this was a case of poor enforcement.

  7. #7
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,582

    Default

    George is correct.

    An alternative would have been to lock out/tag out the sprinkler controls for that zone.

    Either way, there was a fumble..and everyone lost.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  8. #8
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6,413

    Default

    George is right on target as usual.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Gator Country
    Posts
    4,157

    Default

    We do not have a failure of sprinklers here. We have a failure of the fire department code enforcement people. If they told them 18 mos. ago to cap them, why weren't they back 17 mos. ago to follow up? And 16 mos. ago to issue a violation? There may be more to this story (I hope there is), but right now it looks like somebody fumbled the ball.
    As an inspector myself, thats the first thing that came to mind

    Dave
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
    Posts
    10,557

    Default

    Sprinklers are always good !!!!!!!!!!!

    What we have here is a failure to use them in the correct enviroment. There is always a danger with a sprinkler system in a building that is NOT being used as first built of a problem. Not only can the sprinklers be inapproiatte for the new contents, as in this case, but you can also run into the situation where the system was not designed, in terms of flows and/or head placement, to handle the new contents. In these cases the fire will not be supressed because of the lack of an adequate flow, and in most cases, the building will be lost, or at least heavily damaged. That is why the fire department (or muncipal) inspection process and FOLLOW-UP is so important whenever a sprinklered property changes hands and occupancy type. The follow-up seemed to be the failure in this case, as has been mentioned several times in this thread.

    It's important that we stress this as those who oppose sprinklers in commercial buildings, and oppose communties attempting to develop new sprinkler ordinances, will try to use these types of events against them. We must always point out the saves, both in terms of lives and property,that sprinkler systems have made over the years, both locally and nationally. In these cases, if they are brought up by the opponents, we must stress that it was not a sprinkler system failure ... but instead, as George stated in an earlier post, it was a review or enforcement system failure.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 01-18-2005 at 03:19 PM.

  11. #11
    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Washington, DC/Northern Virginia
    Posts
    3,717

    Default

    Originally posted by LaFireEducator
    Sprinklers are always good !!!!!!!!!!!

    ......It's important that we stress this as those who oppose sprinklers in commercial buildings, and oppose communties attempting to develop new sprinkler ordinances,
    Who opposes sprinklers? The cost to retrofit yes, but the sprinklers themselves? Never heard of true opposition to them.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
    Posts
    10,557

    Default

    Dennis .. from experience I can tell you that if you ever tried to get an ordiance passed in your community you would find the the Builders are a very strong opponent of sprinklers, especially if you are trying to get them into residental properties. They fear the increased cost, which actually is marginal ($1000-1500 on a 2000 square foot home), even if you propose construction/code trade-offs. They also fear that the homes/apartmets may not be bought or rented as easily as the public has several misconceptions about sprinkler systems (accidental discharges flooding the whole house, etc).
    It can become quite a battle, especially in areas that have little experience with sprinkler system requirements beyond commercial properties.

  13. #13
    Forum Member SpartanGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    489

    Default

    Dennis:

    As a combined Fire/Building Services department in our township with constant construction high occupancy residential, mutli-family dwellings, and commercial structures, it is a CONSTANT battle for basic things as smoke detectors, automatic fire alarms, and the like. Much less sprinklers. Our township's building code is actually stricter than the state mandated BOCA code on fire protection, and we've won every time someone's opposed us, but we've had some LOOOONG drawn out battles over this kind of stuff. Builders hate it. They claim it raises costs, etc. etc.

    We solved the issue, though. First(or next) time they come to oppose you in a planners meeting, do we what did. We brought in three(a family) body bags with two adult mannequins and a child, all in the appropriate sized bags. The plan review council(and everyone in the audience) looked at us with shock and we laid out that we explained that we wanted a strict fire code so we don't have to put any of them or their families into one.

    Dramatic? Yes. Overly? Perhaps. Did it work? We haven't lost a plan review yet. And we've had literally hundreds.

    Our chief building inspector has a body bag on his office wall with a sign on it that says "Install Sprinkler Systems: NONE OF THIS".
    Last edited by SpartanGuy; 01-18-2005 at 04:22 PM.
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

    Safety is no accident.

  14. #14
    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Washington, DC/Northern Virginia
    Posts
    3,717

    Default

    Never had heard of the accidentaly flooding the house arguement, but makes sence, not sure if it has not caught my ear or what. Guys it is just as the folks that still are afraid that their seatbelt will trap them in a fire.
    Intersting and nice to learn. But I still say the builders are against the cost, not the sprinklers themselves.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  15. #15
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
    Posts
    10,557

    Default

    In most cases, yes, it is the COST they oppose, not the sprinkler system itself. But the cost is the they main reason they oppose most of the other firesafety requirements such as alarm systems, standpipes and additional exits. Some of them oppose them because of the hassle of "one more contractor we have to deal with", "one more thing that can slow down or stop the project", or "one more thing that needs to be inspected". And some of the oppisistion is just because it's another requirement they have to deal with.

  16. #16
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Gator Country
    Posts
    4,157

    Default

    Yes, builders can be a pain in the a**.

    I had a sprinkler fight over a new townhouse project about 8 years ago. In Fla. any multi unit, 3 stories or higher require sprinklers.

    First they said they were sold as single units and didnt fall under that code. I said there were 3 units per building and it did. I won.

    Then they said that you only count the "living" area (they were 2 living floors over a garage). I said the fire code starts at grade. I won that one as well.

    Then they came to me and asked what kind of "trade off" I would accept. I took a copy of the site plan, and proceded to draw a 2 hour rated fire wall, with a 4' high throuh the roof extension, which of course ruined the "look" of the building.

    They ended up with sprinklers

    Dave
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

  17. #17
    Forum Member spearsm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Lowndes, MS USA
    Posts
    742

    Default

    I work in an Industrial environment which houses the common wet system and dry systems. Last year, we began having problems with a dry pipe during the trip test. Not only that, but it was a real MONSTER to reset these buggers! The valves were really in dire need to be changed! Rebuilding could have been done (and had been), but it was like pouring money into the turlet. Let's just say that a loss at this facility would not be able to be made up somewhere else. It is the only one like it. (gives you a sense of urgency, at least it does me.)
    Long story short (or shorter) researched and priced new valves, gongs, to make reliable. The powers to be said, and I quote, "we have not had a need. it has never tripped(nusence{sp}). Why change it?" Serious cringe here. I belive a poster has touched on this, but some managers do not see the need to put money into something that has no immediate return/gain. It's the bottom line that matters. If you don't have an incident that rocks the very foundation of the facility, then it may not get the attention. I was fortunate in selling them the idea, and explaining what the benefits would be..

    Now I am not saying that is the case here, but that is a background in my world of Industry.

    Sprinklers: #1 in my book. But in this case, they should have listened. Wonder if the facility manager is squirming in his/her seat?
    YGBSM!
    Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

    If all you have is a hammer, then your problems start to look like nails.
    ___________________

    IACOJ
    Southern Division.

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default

    When you have a manager in an industrial seeting that has a problem with this type of thing, remind him that your insurance company (if it is industry, it is probably a large insurer) has something called a Loss Control Department that frowns on malfunctioning sprinkler systems. Perhaps a strategically placed telephone call would convince this short-sighted manager that this would be money well-spent.

  19. #19
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,582

    Default

    George...you may be intersted in the following..

    Not too long ago, I answered the Deputy's phone line becuase he was busy with going over permit information with a contractor at the window.

    The person on the other end of the line was a plant engineer for a computer component manufacturer in town, who was appraoched by the company's Chief Financial Officer to look at ways to save money.

    The CFO noticed that the the sprinkler company came out quarterly to run a test on the system. The question he wanted answered was
    "can we do a sprinkler test on a biannual basis instead of quarterly? It would conserve water and save the company money".

    I asked the plant engineer if the CFO was available to talk to, and he said that he could connect me with him. My Deputy came back into his office, I filled him in about the request for information. I looked up the information in NFPA 13 pertaining to testing systems, then I was connected with the CFO. I put the phone on "speaker" so the Deputy and I could both hear it.

    I asked him the total value of the building, the contents, the machinery used in the manufacture of the components and the amount of raw materials and finished product on hand on any given day.

    He gave me a ball park figure of anywhwere between $15 and $20 million. I then asked him the ballpark cost of the the sprinkler company's contract to test and maintain the system per year. He estimated about $2K.

    I then asked him how he would explain to the CEO and the stockholders of the company why the building suffered a loss from fire because the sprinkler system did not work properly because it hadn't been tested according to the NFPA 13 standard all to save a fraction of 1% on the bottom line....

    You could hear the "doh!" as plain as day!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default

    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo
    George...you may be intersted in the following..

    Not too long ago, I answered the Deputy's phone line becuase he was busy with going over permit information with a contractor at the window.

    The person on the other end of the line was a plant engineer for a computer component manufacturer in town, who was appraoched by the company's Chief Financial Officer to look at ways to save money.

    The CFO noticed that the the sprinkler company came out quarterly to run a test on the system. The question he wanted answered was
    "can we do a sprinkler test on a biannual basis instead of quarterly? It would conserve water and save the company money".

    I asked the plant engineer if the CFO was available to talk to, and he said that he could connect me with him. My Deputy came back into his office, I filled him in about the request for information. I looked up the information in NFPA 13 pertaining to testing systems, then I was connected with the CFO. I put the phone on "speaker" so the Deputy and I could both hear it.

    I asked him the total value of the building, the contents, the machinery used in the manufacture of the components and the amount of raw materials and finished product on hand on any given day.

    He gave me a ball park figure of anywhwere between $15 and $20 million. I then asked him the ballpark cost of the the sprinkler company's contract to test and maintain the system per year. He estimated about $2K.

    I then asked him how he would explain to the CEO and the stockholders of the company why the building suffered a loss from fire because the sprinkler system did not work properly because it hadn't been tested according to the NFPA 13 standard all to save a fraction of 1% on the bottom line....

    You could hear the "doh!" as plain as day!
    Cool. Some people are so smart they are downright dumb.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts