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joeblow3 (Industrial) (OP)
13 Nov 07 9:43
What does the nfpa code state for storage height of plastic containers in a warehouse with a wet automatic fire protection system.  This building is also used as a manufacturing faciltiy.
TravisMack (Mechanical)
13 Nov 07 9:52
That is a very open ended question?  You should likely get an FPE or a competent fire sprinkler contractor on board to go over that.  There are many variables? Are the containers empty or full?  How big are they?  What is stored in them?  Are they stored in racks or solid piled? etc......

stookeyfpe (Specifier/Regulator)
13 Nov 07 10:17
Adding to Travis's comments:

-- What's the contents of the plastic containers
-- What is the material of construction? We know its plastic - which resin was selected?
-- Are the containers used as bin boxes, as defined in NFPA 13?
-- What is the ceiling height and storage height?

As Travis stated you need professional design assistance, especially if you have never considered this before. Your insurance carrier may (or may not) have there own requirements.
joeblow3 (Industrial) (OP)
13 Nov 07 10:40
These are automotive "knockdown" containers 48"x45" which are the industry standard for automotive parts coming and going from supplier to supplier.. We have both full and empty containers stored about 15 feet high and a ceiling height of 20 feet. The sprinkler system is installed right to the bottom of the ceiling decking above the roof struss.
stookeyfpe (Specifier/Regulator)
13 Nov 07 14:30

1) Are the knockdown containers equipped with a cover or are they open to the atmosphere? What's the approximate height of a knockdown container?

2) Do the containers stack on top of one another or are they stored in racks?

3) Given the name of the container, is it collapsable? If it is, are these containers collapsed and stacked on pallets for shipment back to the supplier? If so, how high are the collapsed containers stacked?

4) Are the stored commodities inside the knockdown container the gamut of anything one needs for an automobile to operate? Or are they specific commodities constructed of metal, plastic or a combination of both?
FFP1 (Mechanical)
13 Nov 07 17:58
As stated above, there are too many variables to consider for this question to be answered on this forum. There is no magic maximum storage height provided by NFPA for plastic containers. Specific information regarding the material, shape/orientation of the containers, storage arrangement, storage height, ceiling height, sprinkler system design, capabilities of the water supply, etc. would be needed to properly answer the question.

I suggest you contact your insurance carrier and ask them to answer the question.......if they are not capable or willing, you will need to contact a FPE or qualified sprinkler contractor.

Good Luck!
LCREP (Specifier/Regulator)
13 Nov 07 21:18
"What does the nfpa code state for storage height of plastic containers in a warehouse with a wet automatic fire protection system.  This building is also used as a manufacturing faciltiy."

NFPA 13 says if storage is higher then five feet, which you say it is, then it must be designed for the hazard. Which others have pointed out, "it depends" on a lot of stuff. Unless the sprinkler system was designed for this hazard to begin with, most likely, the sprinkler protection will not be adequate.

So with this brief information you now know you have a potential problem. How to fix it may not be easy, cheap, or fast. AND for sure we can not help without looking at the sprinkler piping, water supply, etc, etc.

Time to hire a professional to start the process. As others have mentioned your insurance carrier MAY be able to help. if they have in-house engineering staff. They can at least give you a more educated guess then we can, and may be able to suggest changes. As an insurance professional I do evaluation of buildings and sprinkler protection everyday, so ask your carrier you maybe surprised at what service they can offer, many times at no cost to you. BUT once they do the engineering they will want you to spend the $$$ to upgrade, IF it possible to do so.

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