In an effort to help reduce the ease and costs associated with installing new or retrofit sprinklers in light hazard occupancies, FM Approvals, a nationally recognized testing laboratory, has introduced Approval Standard 1636, "Fire-Resistant Barriers for Use with CPVC Pipe and Fittings in Light Hazard Occupancies."
Recently enacted local, state and federal legislation requires enhanced fire protection (e.g., fire sprinklers) in light hazard occupancies, which include but are not limited to, assisted living and nursing care facilities, dormitories, hotels, theaters, and nightclubs. As the number of building owners installing fire protection systems has grown, so too has the need to find a less hazardous, more cost-effective alternative to steel sprinkler systems.
To earn FM approval according to Approval Standard 1636, fire-barrier products must pass a stringent series of five fire tests representing typical sprinkler pipe and sprinklerhead installation configurations of the kind typically found in light hazard occupancies. These tests are conducted using both pendent and sidewall quick-response extended-coverage light hazard (QRECLH) sprinklers, and with quick-response pendent residential sprinklers. Wood "cribs" that each generate approximately 300 kW of heat are used as the fuel source in every test.
Following sprinkler operation and control of the fire, the fire barrier and chlorinated polyvinyl chloride sprinkler piping system must show no signs of damage or deformation that might impair the operation of the sprinkler or sprinkler system. The CPVC sprinkler piping system is then pressurized to 175 psi for two minutes to ensure that it does not leak.
Copies of Approval Standards are available for free download at www.fmglobal.com/approvals.