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(-25 Degree F) Sprinkler Protection

(-25 Degree F) Sprinkler Protection

(-25 Degree F) Sprinkler Protection

Been a while since visiting the forum and glad it’s still top notch.

The issue I’m facing is a 21,300 (-25 degree F) quick chill area devised by (3) insulated metal paneling bays. The ceiling of this area is the walkable flooring of an interstitial space above which will be fully sprinkled. The freezer bays will have large equipment obstructions preventing any overhead sprinkler coverage from reaching the floor 23’ below. The equipment obstructions are evaporators and conveying equipment transporting animal carcasses for processing. Installing sprinklers under the equipment obstruction that spans 80% of the bay area would be impractical. The questions I have are:

1. Can the area be considered noncombustible due to contents being (-25 degrees F) and all noncombustible equipment and closed systems being in a (-25 degree F) atmosphere by using IBC [903. #4]?

2. Will a ceiling system with a pre-action/heat wire suffice, as meeting sprinkled since sprinkler protection under the obstructions are not an option from an operation effectiveness and maintenance standpoint?

3. Does the area have to be sprinkled?


"Fire suppression is a failure in prevention"

RE: (-25 Degree F) Sprinkler Protection

Normally yes it has to have protection. Saw a Hagen Daz deep freezer sprinkled

How high is the storage ???

Normally when combustibles are stored inside, it makes it combustible.

Sounds like a meeting with the ahj, to see what they will accept.

RE: (-25 Degree F) Sprinkler Protection

I am the AHJ and there will be no storage in this area of operation. The area can be sprinkled by OH heads however it can not meet the obstruction criteria of NFPA 13 hence these questions. This arrangement appears to be beyond anything in the 13 2016 handbook and NFPA says it's up to us as AHJ.

"Fire suppression is a failure in prevention"

RE: (-25 Degree F) Sprinkler Protection

Since you are under the IFC, you can require a technical report, at the cost to the owner.

You might require the owner to have a fire protection engineer, of your approval, evaluate the entire process, building, sprinkler system, etc and see what comes of it.

So about a 150x150 room?

RE: (-25 Degree F) Sprinkler Protection


It sounds like you are wanting to consider this as a Group F-2 under the IBC. That is an option for eliminating the sprinklers but I suspect that this area is a smaller part of a much larger food processing plant that could be classified as a Group S-1/F-1 and is sprinklered. Throwing an F-2 classification in screws up the unlimited area provisions in the IBC. Plus, there are many ways to solve obstructed sprinkler problems - they just cost money.

As a fellow AHJ, my strategy is that if you bring the hazard to my jurisdiction, neither myself or the applicant can determine how to protect it, and protection is required, seek a Technical Report and Opinion from a licensed fire protection engineer.

RE: (-25 Degree F) Sprinkler Protection


Well, well, well. Yes, I have explored all options A-Z and had F,P,and E was probably after C and mentioned after seeing what difficulties we faced. I asked the questions to exhaust all available resources for the customer(s). I had to fish these waters since my old info was out dated. I was glad to learn you are back with the service. I still want to get you to Michigan for a program. I'll call tomorrow to additional information.


"Fire suppression is a failure in prevention"

RE: (-25 Degree F) Sprinkler Protection

Thanks Cda,

We are all speaking the same language.

"Fire suppression is a failure in prevention"

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