Flagship Fire feels the question/answer format is counterproductive to our clients. Listed below are the topics that frequently asked questions commonly address.
Each section provides in-depth and complete information that should answer those frequently asked questions. If there is a question outside of this page's scope please contact us, and we will provide an answer.
sealed properly, it is important to take the fan pressurization testing results into consideration. A room sealed too tightly can have disastrous ramifications. This is why we recommend that rooms with retention times of 18 minutes and above be reviewed by the architect or engineer. A simple barometric damper could be installed and solve the problem. The attached white paper, obtained from fire.nist.gov, will provide a clearer understanding of construction requirements.
Clean Extinguishing Agent
- Novec 1230
Detection & Control
Optical Flame Detection
- Fire Sentry
These are items that are forgotten during the design of areas being protected by gaseous extinguishing agents and should be incorporated into the project specifications.
The fire control panel and pre-action compressors will require a dedicated 120 VAC power source from the electrician. The electrician is responsible for conduit, wire, 20-amp breaker and installation from the electrical panel.
Dampers for air conditioning shutdown will require a dedicated 120 AC Power source from the electrician. The damper power wiring will need to be brought back through the control panel first. The electrician is responsible for conduit, wire, 20-amp breaker and installation from the electrical panel.
An Air conditioning and fan shutdown are to be provided by the electrician. This will require 2 pairs of wires from each air conditioning unit back to the gaseous extinguishing agent control panel. The electrician is responsible for conduit, wire and installation.
Wiring from the gaseous extinguishing agent control panel to the building fire alarm control panel is to be provided by the electrical contractor or the building fire alarm contractor. This contractor is responsible for all conduit, wire, boxes, hangers. The building fire alarm contractor will need to make the terminations and programming changes and provide any modules to the building fire alarm control panel. The fire suppression contractor will make terminations into his/her panel.
Duct detectors are the be mounted by the Mechanical Contractor.
The Mechanical contractor is responsible for all dampers, 120 VAC damper motors and installation. Dampers are required if the room air source is located outside the protected area to maintain the room integrity. Zero airflow smoke fire dampers are required (standard fire dampers will not work).
As a rule of thumb air conditioning ductwork that penetrates a zone or entire protected area must have an electrically activated damper at the wall.
Passing a door Fan Pressurization or discharge test for any gaseous suppression agent can be aggravating and very costly once the protected area is completed. By incorporating the information on this page costly modifications and delays can be averted.
In the late 1980's enclosure integrity testing became the standard acceptance procedure for approving new clean agent installations in lieu of a discharge test. Integrity testing generally involves the use of a door fan and computer to predict the retention time of the enclosure. NFPA 2001 declares, "a discharge test is generally not recommended..." and establishes a complete procedure for non-discharge approval testing in Appendix C of the standard. Confirmation of the area's integrity is one aspect of the complete procedure. This requires the protected area to be sealed during the construction phase. Through a past history of failures we have found the following areas to be the most common reasons for test failure. Please review and conform to the following information prior to requesting a Door Fan Test.
The enclosure-testing requirement is to locate and effectively seal any significant air leaks that might result in a failure of the enclosure to hold the agent concentration for the required amount of time. One benefit of room integrity testing is the ease of periodic re-testing to determine if adverse changes have occurred in the protected space - a common occurrence particularly in electronic and data facilities.
Although passing the door fan test is required by the local authority (a 10 minute retention time) it is important that we do not take things to the extreme. It has been proven that some rooms may substantially exceed this retention time, specifically concrete and concrete block rooms. These areas may require additional "pressure venting" to allow the added pressure in the room a way to relieve itself. Once the fan test is performed we will let you know if pressure relief dampers are required. If dampers are required a simple barometric damper is acceptable. These dampers open automatically with the increase of pressure and close automatically without the use of electrical or mechanical actuators.
Additional information on integrity testing procedures and equipment can be found at the Retrotec website. Retrotec manufactures fan units and software for performing integrity tests.
Enclosure integrity requirements and procedures for evaluating enclosure integrity are detailed in:
- NFPA 2001 Standard for Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems, 2008 Edition, Annex C
- ISO Standard 14520-1, Gaseous Fire Extinguishing Systems - Physical Properties and System Design - Part 1: General Requirements, Annex E.
- Pressure Dynamics of Clean Agent Discharges - White paper obtained from fire.nist.gov
General Sealing Information:
The drywall of the perimeter walls should be extended from floor slab to the ceiling slab. All seams should be taped from the floor to the ceiling inside and outside of the room. Floor and ceiling joints should be caulked inside and outside of the room to stop leakage through outlets and wall switches. The protected area should be as close too airtight as possible. If these sealing requirements are not met a test failure could occur.
Leak Location Check List:
The following is a partial list of leakage areas, which are often found in FM-200 / FE-227, protected areas. Please pay close attention to the areas listed below.
- Floor Drains (Are they primed).
- Unsealed holes cored through the floor slab.
- Holes around condensate drain pipes or chiller lines going through the slab or walls.
- Cables going through floor slab.
- Wall / Floor slab joints at the base of the wall (Caulk under base rail is preferred).
- Conduits, pipes, cables and wires going the raised floor walls.
- Door frames and drywall
- Door tops, bottoms, and sides (Door sweeps & weather stripping).
- Around and through conduits.
- Behind plywood fastening walls in telephone rooms.
- "Pass through" mail, door, and pigeonholes.
- Porous block walls (Paint is necessary).
Above Ceiling Leaks:
- Unsealed holes cored through the ceiling slab.
- Around Ducts (especially on the top side)
- Cables going through ceiling slab.
- Wall / ceiling slab joints at the top of the wall (Caulk under base rail is preferred).
- Conduits, pipes, cables and wires going from one room to the next.
- Around and behind columns and beams.
Note: Ceiling tiles should be clipped down at least around the nozzles. This is good practice, for some turbulence will exist if a discharge occurs.
Any HVAC ductwork that penetrates the perimeter of the gaseous extinguishing agent protected area should be equipped with a Zero airflow damper. Damper and air-conditioning units should be interconnected to the fire suppression system for shutdown.