Presenters: Daniel Gottuk, Hughes Associates, Inc.
Automatic sprinklers are the traditional fire protection system in warehouses; their major purpose is to control and suppress fire. However, with an increase in warehouse sizes, limitations in water supply and changes in firefighting strategies by fire departments, the effectiveness of current sprinkler protection strategies for warehouses has been questioned. In 2009 and 2010, the Fire Protection Research Foundation conducted two workshops to address fire safety concerns in modern warehouses, which involved warehouse users, insurance companies, fire engineering firms, researchers, fire protection system manufacturers, and code and standard writers. At these workshops, the application of fire detection for early fire warning, fire location identification and monitoring in warehouses was explored, as were the potential benefits of quicker response of suppression systems, reducing water supply requirements, and minimizing the involvement of fire departments. However, currently there is little research available or guidance on the utilization of fire detection technologies of various types in warehouse environments. This FPRF project assesses the potential role for detection systems in this environment and develops a proposed research plan to implement the goal.