Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2003 08:49:05 -0400
Reply-To: List Moderator <approval1**At_Symbol_Here**>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: List Moderator <approval1**At_Symbol_Here**>
Subject: Re: laboratory sprinkler systems

From: "Janet Baum" 
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2003 14:19:36 -0500
Organization: HERA, Inc

Dear Mary, Yes, state building codes require sprinklers in many
laboratory buildings. It depends on the fire resistive construction of
the building, the occupancy of the building and other zoning and
building adjacency considerations. Please contact a fire protection
engineer to evaluate your laboratory and the building in which it is
located. Good luck.
Janet Baum, Laboratory Architect
From: "Zipf, Jr. Karl (DelDOT)" 
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2003 15:36:26 -0400

Your local zoning board will dictate the fire codes.  They usually rely on
BOCA and NFPA 45 codes.  Your architect should know the codes since a lot of
it depends on the size of the lab and the amount of flammable solvents in

Karl Zipf
From: "Skarda, Jay" 
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2003 13:47:22 -0600

Obviously, the building/fire codes for new construction should be your
guide, which are dependant on what type of occupancy this will be.  But from
a practical standpoint, putting in sprinklers changes everything (for the
better) when it comes to your requirements for fire code issues, not to
mention insurance costs.

Jay T. Skarda
Manager of Safety
National Jewish Medical & Research Center
1400 Jackson St.
Denver, CO  80206
303 398-1028
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2003 15:55:48 -0400
From: "Novodoff, Jack" 


Local and State building codes will probably insist on the installation
of a sprinkler system, especially in a new lab.  Normally any renovated
or new construction is required to meet the current building codes which
include a fire protection.  Thanks


Jack Novodoff, PhD                            Phone: (734) 764-7316
Director of Laboratories and Facilities  Fax:     (734) 647-4865
University of Michigan
Department of Chemistry
930 N. University
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1055
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2003 16:02:22 -0400
From: ILPI 

NFPA 13 addresses sprinkler systems.  See

Check with your local or state fire marshal's office.  Local and
state codes may have different requirements than NFPA or federal

If your concern is instrumentation protection (I saw the aftermath of
a severe fire on a top floor of Case Western's chemistry
building...the entire place flooded clear down to the basement and
soaked their NMR laboratory), there are all kinds of non-water based
extinguishing systems (Halon equivalents, CO2 etc.).  These have
additional special precautions and codes to prevent, for example,
asphyxiation of the occupants.

A study conducted by NIST for NIH modeled laboratory fire situations
with and without water sprinklers.  It concluded "Both standard and
quick response sprinklers were effective in controlling the fires,
reducing temperatures and reducing carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide
levels.  The conditions in the laboratory without sprinklers would be
considered lethal, while the conditions away from the immediate fire
area, in laboratories with sprinklers would generally be considered
nonlethal...these test have provided some limited evidence that
sprinklers can substantially improve life safety and property
protection in chemical laboratories as compared to laboratories
without sprinklers."  See

As life safety should be the primary concern, the short answer is
install them whether they are required or not.  Besides, it is a lot
easier (cheaper) to install them in new construction than in a

Rob Toreki
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2003 15:16:18 -0500
From: "Ashbrook, Peter" 

If you are building a new lab, you should have an architect. The
architect should be familiar with code requirements. Code requirements
and code interpretations are not usually handled well via the internet.
You might also consider asking your local Fire Department.

Peter Ashbrook
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2003 13:45:57 -0700 (PDT)
From: sean riley 
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] laboratory sprinkler systems

Start with NFPA regulations and then contact you insurane carrier.
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2003 19:18:15 -0500
From: Harry Elston 


You need to speak with a qualified architect that knows the building
codes in your area.  I can hardly believe that any new construction
would be without sprinklers, but that is left to the building code
where you are located.

Good luck!

From: CIHSHOO**At_Symbol_Here**
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2003 03:55:31 EDT


Suggest you check the National Fire Protection Association
(NFPA) Life Safety Code, specifically NFPA 13 Fire Sprinkler Code.

There are lots of different sprinkler types designed for specific
fire threats and environmental conditions.

Fire suppression systems can dispense a variety of suppression agents
examples are:
Dry Chemical as in cooking hoods, Carbon Dioxide as in computer
rooms, Halon (rare now but still available) aqueous film forming
foam, deluge systems and high pressure fog as well as plain old water.

The suppression system should be designed by an experienced Fire
Safety Engineer who is familiar with all types of suppression system,
their abilities and limitations, the fire threat in the area to be
protected, and life safety code.

The selection and design of an appropriate system will save lives and property.

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