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I thought I was almost home after the hour or so detour, getting a quick reminder of why I didn’t opt for advanced chemistry classes in college. He has been in the fire sprinkler industry over 15 years. I was thinking the maximum needed would have been six fed from an overhead system, a couple of days of service work, and easy money! We ended up with four more sprinklers in the tunnel and one sprinkler at the top of the filter box. With some quick math, we determined that each sprinkler was going to discharge at least 30 gpm with a grand total of at least 540 gpm without hose demand. This tiny little paint booth … I learned a few things through this research but I figured I better look into NFPA 33 to see what that was all about. I continued digging through NFPA 13 to find out exactly which ductwork needed coverage. They had indicated that a “plastic” bag of no more than 0.003 inches thick (0.076 mm) could be used to cover and protect a fire sprinkler head in a room where overspray would be a problem. With such large filter boxes taking up about 25 percent of the ceiling space, and the abundance of lights placed pretty much everywhere else in the ceiling, finding spots to install pendent sprinklers was extremely difficult, especially with the 100-ft2 maximum spacing requirement. I looked it up and came to find out that there is an entire standard for these things! Intake ductwork? But, hopefully, some of our lessons learned and code references will help properly prepare you for those conversations. I continued my NFPA 13 research and determined the sprinklers installed in these areas would need to be readily accessible, and if they were exposed to freezing conditions, needed to be dry- type sprinklers per the subsequent subsections. Hard part over, back to my paint booth! As a result, moisture can permeate it (unlike plastic), and it is typically weaker than plastic as well. The remaining high point I needed to cover was what ductwork needed coverage. I had very limited time to price it, and often times had no knowledge about the paint booth that was getting purchased. With some quick math, we determined that each sprinkler was going to discharge at least 30 gpm with a grand total of at least 540 gpm without hose demand. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jared Van Gammeren is the fire protection director at Midwestern Mechanical Inc. Other … For professional assistance to ensure your facility is safe, the experts at Koorsen Fire & Security are here for you. The tunnel under the booth was 24-in. We also discussed that there was a potential for this ductwork to be cold, so we determined dry sprinklers would be best in this area. He is the Registered Managing Employee in Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska; is an NFPA 33 committee member; and a volunteer fire fighter for his home town fire department in Inwood, Iowa. All sprinklers also needed to be protected from overspray by paper or cellophane bags. At the time, to be honest, it seemed a bit ridiculous to be installing sprinklers in a cement tunnel under the booth, but it did at least make sense due the nature of the use of the booth. From looking back to Section 22.4.2.1, I determined at least three sprinklers would be required due to the minimum spacing requirement of 12 feet between sprinklers. I asked each of them where exactly they got this information, and the response from each was very similar and something in line with, “Heck I don’t know man, that’s just what you do!” usually followed by, “You ask too many questions!”. Tags Codes and Standards Combustible Materials design Flammable liquid NFPA 13 NFPA 33, Application and Pitfalls When reviewing a set of contract documents, I often find myself gravitating …, 12750 Merit Drive, Suite 350 Further, when ducts are subject to freezing, manually operated open-head systems, as well as non-freeze or dry-type automatic sprinklers, are an option (9.6.6.2). Due to these issues, the booth itself had eight sprinklers! When I decided to write this article, my thought process led me to a fear of making sure that anything I wrote was 100 percent correct and accurate. It turns out that if you find an MSDS sheet (or now what’s called an SDS sheet) on the product, the “scientific name” is usually listed. In working with the owner, we determined that installing piping in the plenum space would work as there were large banks of removable filter boxes that would prove to provide access to installing the piping after the booth was erected. I figured the next step would be to check NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, for some answers, as normally a little code reading would at least point me in the right direction. Fortunately, in both NFPA 25 and NFPA 33, this specific situation is addressed. Paint Booth Fire Suppression. The first challenge I faced was with the entire 20 ft x 30 ft ceiling space being essentially a large duct plenum that was 18 inches deep. When under testing by the NFPA, lightweight cellophane bags caused no adverse effects on the function of fire sprinklers. This is a good reminder to myself of some of the questions I wanted to help clear up when I was appointed to the NFPA 33 committee last year, representing the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA). By this time, I’m sure I was beating my head on my desk as whatever else I had planned for the rest of my day was clearly not getting done. After a call to the GC, I was pointed to the owner as the paint booth was an “owner-supplied piece of equipment” so I would need to contact them. Both also require paint booths to have a separate, approved sprinkler system, a fire rating of at least two hours and be built according to certain construction standards. Upon reading more in this section it seemed that NFPA 33, Standard for Spray Application Using Flammable or Combustible Materials, was referenced quite often so I had better figure out what the heck that was. All Rights Reserved, AFSA Names Outstanding Chapter of the Year, Strategies for Making a Difference as a Next Gen. 134, © Copyright 2020, American Fire Sprinkler Association. One common area that there are often questions is what about fire suppression and paint booths, this article will cover the pertinent things you need to know about fire suppression and paint booths. I decided at that time to make some calls again to the people I talked to early in the game about the flammable liquid definition to try to get this thing moving again. Protective coverings for fire sprinklers must be replaced regularly to avoid build up of residue which could hinder sprinkler function. While the rules now are quite clear, applying them in your building may still seem difficult. The user of this article or the product(s) is responsible for verifying the information's accuracy from all available sources, including the product manufacturer. The dilemma: to not cover the sprinkler to protect it from overspray will result in the sprinkler’s failure to function properly when needed due to being coated in too much paint or residue. It seemed to be a reprint of what I had found in NFPA 13. If a fire is ignited, the automatic sprinklers will turn on to put out the flames. I had a paint booth to try to sprinkler after coming up with my overall scheme of how I thought this needed to be done. NFPA 33 is intended for fire control for large-scale, indoor spray paint applications such as industrial spray paint booths. Buying a Paint Booth can seem like there are a lot of requirements that you need to meet from NPFA 33, to OSHA, and then you have permitting required by organizations like the EPA. (214) 349-5965 ext. Getting piping into this tunnel proved to be another challenge, as we determined we would need to penetrate the side of the booth’s HVAC equipment near the filter box to get piping into the tunnel in order to install our sprinklers there. Therefore, manufacturers who use a non-flammable coating are not required to abide by the standard. IMPORTANT NOTICE: The article and its content is not a Formal Interpretation issued pursuant to NFPA Regulations. It should be noted that specifically cellophane or thin paper are the only materials approved as coverings, and the cellophane must be the appropriate thickness. In these instances, overspray from paint or resin could gradually coat the fire sprinkler and prevent it from functioning properly or at all. It also appeared that sprinklers needed to be installed in ductwork per Section 22.4.2.1, but which ductwork was still a mystery to me. Fortunately, as a result of further study, in the more recent editions, the NFPA updated their language to be very specific about the acceptable materials for fire sprinkler coverings. My thought at the time was: “It’s just a little 20 ft x 30 ft box on a floor plan that says ‘paint booth here’ – it can’t be too hard, right?” I found out several hours later this was not the case and my thought became, “Man, I’m glad I didn’t just slap six sprinklers in this thing off the overhead system and send it out!”. For powder coating booths that include automation, this section covers the requirements for emergency shutdown protocols, ventilation systems, automatic sprinkler systems, and the need for portable fire extinguishers. After all of this, we priced up the work the way I originally determined. On a side note, I did learn later in my career that finding these crazy scientific terms wasn’t as hard as it appeared at the time I first read them. I was expecting hours of reading, but to my surprise, it was short – and upon looking through it – I found that there was very little information there regarding installing sprinklers in a paint booth. Another thing we needed to determine was where this intake air was coming from, after reminding myself of the section I read about protecting the sprinklers from freezing conditions. I also discussed access to these sprinklers with the HVAC contractor, to which I was told, “He had never heard of such a thing” followed very closely by “Who’s paying for that, not me I hope?!”. The ductwork on this project was to go up to the deck above, which was about 20-ft tall and offset out the adjacent wall about 10-ft away. (214) 349-5965 ext. I’m very glad I didn’t learn a very expensive lesson on that project and did the extra code research that day before sending a price out the door. I still needed pricing for the sprinkler system installation within it. They were at least helpful in cutting out some time in the research process by telling me that if it’s a commercial paint booth, it’s probably a safe bet that it is a flammable liquid being sprayed and pointed me to the next section, 22.4, which classified paint booths as extra hazard (Group 2). Assume the booth is located inside the room of a building. In all, we had eight sprinklers in the booth: two sprinklers in the paint mixing room, five sprinklers in the tunnel, and three dry sprinklers in the exhaust duct – with a grand total of 18 sprinklers for a 600 ft2 room. The first thought I had was: “How do I determine if this is indeed ‘flammable liquid’ that they are spraying inside this booth? Wow, that’s a lot of water! After digging through the plans, it became apparent that no plans existed of this “mystery booth” in the plan set I received. Don’t take any unnecessary risks – give the experts at Koorsen a call today. Each spray booth shall have an independent exhaust duct system discharging to the exterior of the building, except that multiple cabinet spray booths in which identical spray finishing material is used with a combined frontal area of not more than 18 square feet may have a common exhaust. Next, we moved on to protecting the tunnel under the booth. 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