Home to nearly 67,000 American and British antiques and works of art, Colonial Williamsburg has prioritized the preservation of its historical treasures; nearly 50 buildings within the site's 300-acre Historic Area, for example, are protected by sprinkler systems.
When it was discovered that some of the building's dry-pipe sprinkler systems were corroding and subsequently leaking, a Colonial Williamsburg employee unveiled a similar problem at other cultural institutions around the world, and turned to an NFPA code for help. NFPA Journal recently chatted with Danny McDaniel, Colonial Williamsburg's director of security, safety, and transportation about new provisions in NFPA 909, Protection of Cultural Resource Properties--Museums, Libraries, and Places of Worship, that address the corrosion issue.
"We added language to the body of the code that includes protocols for dealing with corrosion if your water supply or your environmental conditions indicate that you’ll have an abnormal corrosion problem in a dry- or wet-pipe system," says McDaniel, an alternate member of NFPA's Technical Committee on Cultural Resources and a member of NFPA’s Standards Council. "As a requirement, if you’re going to put in a wet-pipe or preaction system, you have to assume you have those conditions and you need a plan to address them."
Read the latest edition of NFPA Journal for more insight from McDaniel.