Evaluation of Sprinkler Performance in Protecting Gondola Type Shelf Storage

Fire Protection Research Foundation report: "Evaluation of Sprinkler Performance in Protecting Gondola Type Shelf Storage" (PDF, 2 MB)
Author: Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
Date of issue: September 2006 


In 2005 , in response to an issue in front of NFPA Technical Committee on Sprinkler System Discharge Criteria, the Fire Protection Research Foundation undertook a study of automatic sprinkler protection of Class A commodity on solid gondola shelving.

A series of five full scale fire tests was carried out at Underwriters Laboratories to address the issue, varying various aspects of sprinkler characteristics , design criteria , and storage configuration.

The results of the testing program provided valuable feedback to the NFPA 13 Discharge Criteria Technical Committee on the overall performance of sprinkler system protection for shelf storage. Effects such as "shielding" from overhead sprinkler discharge caused by the shelving units and the importance of aisle width in fire spread throughout the test array were evaluated.

The results were presented to the Shelf Storage Task Group of the Discharge Committee for their review and consideration for needed changes to NFPA 13 Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems.

The Research Foundation expresses gratitude to: the report author John Mammoser of UL; the Project Technical Panel: Chris Dubay, Donald Hopkins Chris LaFleur, Rich Pehrson, and William Thomas; and the project sponsors: American Fire Sprinkler Association, GE Global Asset Protection Services, National Fire Sprinkler Association, Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Company, Tyco Fire Products, Victaulic Company of America, and Viking Corporation for their support.

The content, opinions and conclusions contained in this report are solely those of the author.