Fire accident is the nearest disaster that may happen the most often because of human negligence or by unforeseen incidents that will cause destructive to lives and assets. In Thailand, fire statistics from 1989 to 2015 reported that there were over 50,000 fire accidents resulted in a damage of over Thirty Billion Baht.
To prevent fire accident that can cause loss to assets and lives of residents, law was enforced to control construction of buildings where it states that there must be several types of fire extinguishers according to sizes of buildings and fuel used in premises in order to control fire completely.
In this article, one will be knowledgeable on fire extinguisher by water that is operated by human manually in case of fire and will point out importance of installing kinds of fire extinguisher systems in buildings according to the law.
Law on Installing Fire Extinguisher Cabinets in Buildings
Refer to Building Control Act, B.E. 2522 (1979), Ministerial Regulation 33, Category 2 where the importance is focused on Fire and Safety Prevention System. In all floors of the buildings, there must be equipped with fire alarms, ventilation systems, smoke detectors that work together as a complete system in case of fire.
Fire Prevention System by water comprises of fire standpipes (main vertical pipes) to carry water that can take pressure no less than 175 pounds per square inch. Water storage and Fire Hose Cabinet in all floors must be placed on every 64 metres. In the fire extinguisher cabinet, it must include 1-inch fire hose, length of 30 metres, and 2.5-inch fast fire hose valve.
Fire hydrants outside building must be able to carry water to fire standpipes that deliver no less than 30 litres per second and no less than 15 litres per second in the next fire standpipes. It must be able to use for at least 30 minutes consecutively.
Apart from having sprinkler systems, manual fire extinguishers are also crucial. Buildings must equip with at least 1 unit per 1,000 square metres, on every 45 metres, at 1.50 metres in height at maximum or in coupled with automatic fire extinguishers such as sprinklers or other equivalent systems for buildings at height over 23 metres or in large premises that comprised of 10,000 square metres when combined all floors.
Fire Standpipes and Fire Extinguisher Cabinets
Refer to NFPA 14, fire standpipes that cover buildings of 2 stories or more are considered as fire standpipe system. Design and installation of fire standpipe system must be connected to hose valves and fire hose reels. All must be able to pull to the nearest fire. The location must be easily seen and easy access by fire fighters such as around fire escapes or in front of lifts.
Types of Fire Standpipes
Mechanic of fire standpipes are completed when connected all systems to water delivery system such as water storage and water pumps. Fire standpipes are categorised into 3 types according to EIT (Engineering Institute of Thailand).
Comprises of hose valve in 65 millimetres (2.5 inch), water flow rate of 15 litres per second (250 gpm). It is used by firefighters and trained personnel in case of fire accident.
A fire stand pipe in 25 millimetres (1 inch) and is mostly connected to fire hose reel. Water flow rate is 2.5 litres per second (20 – 40 gpm) where mechanics can use in case of fire accident.
A combination of Type 1 and 2. It is a fire stand pipe in 25 millimetres (1 inch) or 40 millimetres (1.5 inch) for mechanics in house. Hose valve is 65 millimetres (2.5 inch) for fire fighters or trained technicians.
Installing Fire Standpipe
Fire standpipes must be installed in a correct position where pipes should be protected from damage mechanically and from fire. In case using pipes underground or installing in erosive environment, there must be a protection for pipes on surface with erosive protection material.
In all fire standpipes, there must be valves to control water flow rate and connect with water supply. The valves are an indication type valve and must be installed near water supply such as water storage or water pumps for fire extinguisher.
Each fire stand pipe should not be installed more than 60 metres apart and should use more than one fire hose. Therefore, water pumps for fire extinguisher should have water flow rate of 30 litres per second (500 gpm) at minimum.
Fire Extinguisher Cabinets
A fire extinguisher cabinet is a container of tools used for fire extinguisher by water that need human to operate manually. It comprises of a fire hose reel not exceed 30 metres, radius of 25 millimetres (1 inch) and fast fire hose valve in 65 millimetres radius (2.5 inch), a handheld fire extinguisher in specific type and must be ready for use along with a cover or cabinet door to protect all equipment. Fire extinguisher cabinets must be placed side by side in 64 metres distance apart at maximum.
Suitability of Installation in Buildings
In installing fire extinguisher by water, the following aspects should be considered namely height of building, space of building, types of building eg. townhouse, commercial building, twin houses, dormitory, business entity, commercial buildings.
Buildings are varied in terms of usage and purposes depends on owners and residents. Areas inside buildings are categorised into hazard areas ranging from extra to light in order to help with the design and install proper Fire and Safety Prevention System to handle with the fire accident effectively. Hazard areas and amount of reserve water are divided as follow:
1. Light hazard occupancies
These are general areas inside buildings, which do not contain flammable hazard objects, such as residents, offices, dining area in restaurants, cinemas, schools, and hospitals.
2. Ordinary hazard occupancies
These are areas that contain flammable substances but non-hazard, that can lead to explosion, such as car parks, consumer products factories, bakery shops, laundry shops, food processing factories, shops, and ports.
3. Extra Hazard Occupancies
These are areas in buildings that store flammable objects and other flammable materials such as foundries, engine repair garages, printing industry, rubber industry, refinery plants, and areas contain flammable sprays.
Fire extinguisher cabinets in buildings must be installed in open space that are widely seen. Water supply system must connect with fire extinguisher cabinets where water supply is carried through fire standpipes, control valves, and hose valves. Water from water reserve areas must become available once need so that in fire accident, damage can be contained instantly and cause less disasters.
If you have inquiries about Fire and Safety Prevention System for buildings, you are more than welcomed to contact our technicians directly here. We await to service you.
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