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Classification of occupancies firefighting

Er. Parbhakar Dwivedi


Any designer who designs firefighting measures for a building need to know the applications for which a building will be used, the kind of hazard fire may impose, the hydraulic parameters and thus calculate the number of sprinklers and pipe sizes.

Light Hazard Occupancies

Light hazard occupancies are those where the quantity and combustibility of contents is low and fires with relatively low rates of heat release are expected. These include.

i. Clubs.

ii. Educational institutions.

ii. Hospitals.

iv. Libraries except large stack rooms.

v. Museums.

vi. Offices including data processing.

vii. Residential.

Viii. Restaurants.

ix. Theaters and auditoriums.

Sprinkler systems designed to protect against light hazard occupancies, therefore, have less demanding water supply requirements. Additionally, more design flexibility is possible.

Ordinary Hazard Occupancies

These occupancies are classified in two groups, viz. Groups I and II.

Group I. These are the occupancies where combustibility is low, quantity of combustibles is moderate, stockpiles of combustibles do not exceed 2.4 m and fires with moderate rates of heat release are expected. These include.

i. Automobile parking and showrooms.

ii. Bakeries.

ii. Beverage manufacturing

iv. Canneries

v. Dairy products manufacturing and processing

vi. Glass and glass products manufacturing

Vii. Restaurant service area.

Group II. These are the occupancies where the quantity and combustibility of contents is moderate to high, stockpiles do not exceed 3.7 m and fires with moderate to high rates of heat release are expected. These include.

i. Cereal mills.

ii. Chemical plants ordinary.

iii. Distilleries.

iv. Drycleaners.

V. Leather goods manufacturing.

vi. Libraries with large stack room areas.

vii. Wood machining.

vii. Tyre manufacturing.

Extra Hazard Occupancies

These occupancies are classified into two groups again, i.e. Groups I and II.

Group I. These occupancies include those with hydraulic machinery or systems with flammable or combustible hydraulic fluids under pressure so that ruptures or leaks in piping or fittings would result in fine spray discharge of such liquids, causing intense fires.

These are the occupancies where quantity and combustibility of contents is very high and dust, lint, or other materials are present causing rapid fires with high rates of heat release but with little or no combustible or flammable liquids. These include.

i. Aircraft hangers.

ii. Die casting.

iii. Metal extruding.

iv. Printing.

v. Plywood and particle wood manufacturing.

vi. Saw mills.

vii. Upholstering with plastic foams.

Group II. These include occupancies with moderate to substantial amounts of flammable or combustible liquids, usually in open systems where rapid evaporation can occur when these liquids are subjected to high temperatures. These include.

i. Asphalt saturating.

ii. Flammable liquid spraying.

iii. Open oil quenching.

iv. Plastics processing.

v. Varnish and paint dipping.

The scope of this book is limited to design of sprinkler systems for building particularly commercial building. Thus, this chapter will be limiting itself to design of light and moderate hazard applications.


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