PROTECTION OF INDUSTRIAL PLANTS

PROTECTION OF INDUSTRIAL PLANTS

Recent instances of the destruction of industrial plants by fire can be accounted for by the fact that the water supply, which should have aided the fire apparatus or been furnished to the sprinklers, was inadequate. If that were not the case, then either the fire department was not up to the mark, or, as very often happens, the building was not fire-resistant. A fire-resistant building at Coney Island was fully described in FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING of August 14. That, however, was only one surrounded bv frame buildings. There are now in the United States many groups of buildings, institutional or industrial, which are rendered as safe as they possibly can be against the ravages of fire, and sufficiently adapted to prevent its spread—-something essentially necessary when they stand on isolated sites, or where they are subjected to the exposurehazard. One plant, that of the Allis-Chalmers company, of Milwaukee, Wis., illustrating this article, is particularly noticeable. The group comprises nine principal structures, with an aggregate tloor-space, in the shops alone, equivalent to thirty-eight and one-half acres. Each building is of steel skeleton construction, with end and curtain walls of brick. The roofs are covered with asbestos fireproof roofing. The patternstorage building, in which patterns are kept, is built with every possible view to the protection of its valuable contents from danger of fire. All steel columns are incased in concrete. The floors consist of concrete arches turned between steel beams and inclosing beams. Fire-walls divide its length into relatively small units, and communication between these may be shut off at any time by means of automatic fire-doors. The elevators and stairways are inclosed in brick walls. The doors and windows have steel lintels resting on brick walls. The windows are fitted with wireglass and automatic closing devices. The water supply for all purposes is obtained from artesian wells located on the works’ property and pumped automatically by motor-driven, deep-well pumps through 8-in. pipes to four cisterns built of concrete, each of 100,000 gals, capacity. A pressure of too lbs. is kept on the mains at all times, and it can be raised to 140 lbs. if necessary. The an tcmatic sprinkler system is installed throughout the plant in conformity with the established mod ern practice. The source of water supply for this system is provided in the 100.000-gal. steel tank shown in the accompanying illustration, which was built for the company by the Chicago Bridge & Iron Works, of One hundred and fifth and Throop streets. Chicago. This tank is 22 ft. in diameter by 28 ft. high and stands 164 ft. in the air supported by standards which are set in a square, each side of which is 27 1/2 ft. It is only one of many such tanks built by the Chicago Bridge & Iron Works. They are to be found in forty-four States and Territories in the United States, and they not only furnish a uniform static pressure in the water pipes, thereby reducing the cost of pumping to a minimum, but. also, furnish a reserve supply for tire protection which is altogether independent of the successful operation of pumps or other machinery. They are, therefore, what everyone would expect to see erected for the use of a fireproof plant such as the one described in this article. It mav be added that, in order that there may he no scarcity of water for fire protection, when the Allis-Chaliriers works were extended recently, two new artesian wells were sunk to augment the former supplv. The new wells were driven to a depth of 1.000 ft. and the old wells were likewise deepened.

Fire Protection of Industrial Plants. Elevated Tank Constructed by The Chicago Bridge and Iron Work.

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