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ChrisConley (Mechanical) (OP)
25 Oct 06 16:05
We have specified a 'Sapphire' Clean Agent fire suppression system for a server room application. The system will conform to NFPA 2001.

The building in which the server is located is sprinklered throughout (conforming to NFPA 13).

NFPA 75 seems a little ambiguous if gas systems are able to 'replace' sprinkler systems.

Are we required to provide wet sprinklers in the server room that is already protected by the clean agent system? I know we could incorporate a pre-action valve to limit accidental release, but the client would really prefer not to have wet sprinklers over their multi-million dollar servers.
cdafd (Specifier/Regulator)
25 Oct 06 16:24
You need to ask the question to the local authority.


We would look at each case and require them or not require. them. Some cities allow a two hour fire wall to eleiminate them. Some argue that if sprinklers are required for the building and an area is not sprinkled than you would not get credit for a fully sprinkled building.
under the international code it does allow the fire code offical to make the decision.
rbulsara (Electrical)
25 Oct 06 17:35
Insurance carrier will have the biggest say in this. Our experience has been that insurance carrier's requirement exceeds that of Code or the fire marshals.



LCREP (Specifier/Regulator)
25 Oct 06 19:01
Chris,

You need to do a better job of selling the sprinkler system, LOL. The pre-action system is NOT a wet system. If the pre-action system is installed as a double interlocked system you will need TWO actions to occur BEFORE water enters the pipe. The first is the fire detection system detecting the fire, the Second is the sprinkler head must fuse BEFORE water enters the pipe. If you set up the smoke detection system so two smoke heads have to pick up the fire, then that reduces false alarms. If it gets hot enough to fuse a 165F sprinkler head you have one heck of a fire. You would also monitor the pipe with supervisory air, meaning if the air leaks out you get a trouble alarm.  

From an insurance carrier point of view (I work for a large US insurance carrier) we require BOTH gas and pre-action when we have values over $20 million or so. The $20 million is the total cost of equipment, hardware, software and the loss of business (BI) if the computer went down. BI many times is the biggest $$$. Also from an insurance point of view any building has to be at least 85% sprinklered to receive sprinkler credit, anything less it is written as a non-sprinklered building.

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