Background: ESFR sprinklers are often installed in warehouses to avoid installation of in‐rack sprinklers. However, since the discharge pattern of ESFR sprinklers is different from standard-spray sprinklers, obstructions near the sprinkler heads can greatly affect the distribution of water. NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, generally allows the following obstructions in Sections 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124, and 126.96.36.199:
Two methods are available in NFPA 13 to resolve obstructions that do not fall into the categories above: eliminating the obstruction or adding sprinklers underneath the obstruction. However, there have been some successful tests that have been conducted with obstructions that are not allowable by NFPA 13 without taking these measures. The information from these tests as well as information gathered from further testing could help inform revisions to the NFPA 13 requirements.
Research Goal: The overall goal of the project is to develop a tool that can be used for providing reliable analysis of the impact of obstructions on ESFR sprinklers based on existing data and develop technical basis to the NFPA 13 Technical Committees for new requirements and guidance. The objective of this Phase 2 project is to implement the test plan developed in Phase 1 to fill the knowledge gaps identified.
Download the project summary. (PDF, 137 KB)