Fire Prevention & Protection

Evaluating warehouse sprinkler systems

Issue 5 and Volume 152.

Evaluating warehouse sprinkler systems “Storage Practices in Warehouses and Distribution Centers,” by Gerard J. Naylis (Industrial Fire Safety, February 1999) is a very good article and one that every fire/building official needs to read. However, it does not address how to evaluate existing sprinkler systems for adequacy based on commodity classification and storage arrangements, something every fire/building official should know how to do. After a building is constructed, commodity classification and storage arrangements may be overlooked, and most tenants/building owners do not know the limits of the sprinkler system. This may also be true in the initial plan review process prior to construction (i.gif>., the design is for a low-hazard commodity to save costs, but the owner knows a more hazardous commodity may someday be stored there). Having been an engineer in the insurance industry, I cannot tell you the number of times I have seen buildings with inadequate sprinkler…

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