Matthew Klaus

"Fire Control" in NFPA 13

Blog Post created by Matthew Klaus Employee on Jun 14, 2015

Since the inception of the first sprinkler system in the 1870s, the focus of most sprinkler systems has been to control a fire rather than to extinguish it. Although sprinkler systems have extinguished numerous fires, sprinkler systems generally are designed to limit the size of a developing fire and prevent it from growing and spreading beyond its general area of origin. In some cases, fires are shielded from sprinkler system discharge, which makes complete extinguishment difficult. A sprinkler system’s ability to extinguish or suppress a fire has not been widely discussed until fairly recently, because the interaction between sprinkler discharge and a fire had not been sufficiently understood. Phenomena associated with fire growth rates, mass loss of the burning fuel package, and rate of heat release produced by a fire need to be considered. Only within the past two decades have research efforts provided a greater understanding of these phenomena. The result is the development of nontraditional sprinkler devices such as the control mode specific application (CMSA) sprinkler and the early suppression fast-response (ESFR) sprinkler.