Sprinklers in combustible concealed spaces

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1177/104239158900100202
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Journal titleJournal of Fire Protection Engineering
Pages4961; # of pages: 13
Subjectsprinkler systems; joists; ceilings; Sprinklers
AbstractNFPA 13 - Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems requires that all combustible concealed spaces be protected with sprinklers, with certain exceptions. One exception is for combustible wood joist assemblies where the ceiling membrane is within 6 inches (152 mm) of the joists. Two tests were carried out to examine fire spread in such an assembly. Automatic sprinkler protection was included in the tests to determine its effectiveness in containing fire spread in spaces permitted to be unsprinklered by the exception. The present tests indicate that unsprinklered 6 inches (152 mm) concealed spaces between the ceiling membrane and joists represent a major path for fire spread throughout a building. Omitting sprinklers in such a space should only be considered if such spaces are limited in area extent by fire stopping or some other means is used for limiting fire spread. These tests also show that sprinkler protection has limited effectiveness.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number30517
NPARC number20375785
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Record identifier80ea6fc8-8fe1-4466-917b-17dfa49c3788
Record created2012-07-23
Record modified2016-05-09
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