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Subject: Fire suppression systems

Fire suppression systems

From: Jeremy Wells <wellsj>
Date: Thursday, February 5, 2004
Thomas H. Teper <tteper [at] uiuc__edu> writes

>UIUC is in the very early stages of planning for the installation of
>sprinklers throughout non-sprinkled portions of our stacks. The
>first portion of this space was built in 1927 and the last was
>completed in the mid-1960s. Although its exact form differs
>throughout the additions, all of the shelving is of the hanging,
>open stack variety. Ceilings are so low in some areas that light
>bulbs present a hazard, so there is concern about creating another
>series of head-knockers throughout the space. Additionally, there is
>some early concern about the possibility of requiring pipes and
>sprinkler heads that run down the length of every aisle in order to
>get adequate coverage in the event of a fire.
>I would be interested in hearing from others with (1) active or
>passive involvement in the planning or designing of sprinkler
>systems and renovations including sprinklers for this type of space,
>(2) experience at institutions with sprinklers in this type of
>space, or (3) experience with disasters in sprinkled, open stacks
>that could help inform our planning.

I would recommend that you look into high pressure water mist
systems. They require much smaller pipe diameters. Many of these
systems use a type of flexible hose used in hydraulic systems.
There's also the additional benefit of less damage to collections if
the system is activated (water mist systems use about 10% of the
water volume as traditional mist systems).

In addition, if there is a void in the ceiling above the stacks,
recessed sprinkler heads can be installed that will pop down into
position when activated.

For more information, I'd recommend these sources:

    Alderson, Caroline and Nick Artim.
    "Fire-Safety Retrofitting: Innovative Solutions for Ornamental
    Building Interiors." APT Bulletin, vol. 31, no. 2-3 (2000):

    Artim, Nick.
    "Cultural Heritage Fire Suppression Systems: Alternatives to
    Halon 1301." WAAC Newsletter, Volume 15, Number 2 (May 1993):

    NFPA 909: Code for the Protection of Cultural Resources. Quincy,
    MA: National Fire Protection Association, 2001.

    NFPA 914: Recommended Practice for Fire Protection in Historic
    Structures. Quincy, MA: National Fire Protection Association,

    Mawhinney, Jack and Christian Dubay.
    "Water Mist: What Is It?" NFPA Journal (Jul/Aug 1999): 26-30.

    Watts, John, Jr.
    "Rehabilitating Existing Buildings." Fire Protection
    Engineering, no. 2 (Spring 1999): 6-14.

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                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:54
               Distributed: Wednesday, February 18, 2004
                       Message Id: cdl-17-54-006
Received on Thursday, 5 February, 2004

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