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Water mist fire protection in offices: Experimental testing and development of a test protocol

Water mist fire protection in offices: Experimental testing and development of a test protocol

by K Annable, L Jackman (06-May-2011)


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Book Description

This report provides research information and data to assist with understanding the mechanisms for successful water mist fire protection systems in offices.

Water mist systems are increasingly being used in the UK for to protect buildings, including commercial premises such as hotels, offices and retail units, from fire by limiting the extent of fire damage and waste of resources, time, salvage and re-instatement operations. However, acceptability of water mist systems is often unproven, the limits of their effectiveness are largely unknown and acceptance criteria are not well established. Successful performance can only be achieved by carefully engineered designs to meet particular applications. This study:

• characterises the mechanisms and factors that govern their effectiveness

• defines a fire test protocol for evaluating systems for commercial offices

• addresses some of the gaps in knowledge.

It is only with this knowledge and understanding that fixed water mist suppression systems can be assessed and confidence given that they will be effective in protecting property and life.


1. Introduction

Selection of commercial office application. Description of water mist. Water mist standards. Water mist research, testing and literature. Commercial office survey

2. Description of the project

Test programme. Performance assessment

3. Fuel load scoping study

Crib development tests

4. Experimental testing: Parameter testing in open conditions

Low pressure water mist system. Test set-up. The effect of: nozzle spacing, ‘reduced’ water flow, shielding, ceiling height, ceiling height, four nozzles and automatic operation, ventilation, on water mist system performance

5. Experimental testing: Parameter testing in a compartment

Demonstration of compartment influence in retaining heat

Compartment influence with a fully shielded fire, and with a ‘reduced’ water flow rate. Influence of a sealed compart­ment. Compartment influence with ventilation, and with stylised office fuel load, system type and ventilation

6. Experimental fire testing: Development of a full scale fire test protocol for open plan office spaces

CEN office fuel package fire testing. First and second BRE Global developed stylised office scenario fire test

7. Experimental testing: water mist systems with the full scale fire test protocol for open plan office spaces

Sprinkler test SP1. System provider A low pressure test SP2 and SP3. System provider B high pressure test SP4, SP5, SP6 and SP7

8. Discussion of test findings

Assumptions. Summary of findings

9. Conclusions

10. Acknowledgements

11. References

Appendices: Summary tables of experimental results; Fire test protocol for commercial office areas



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