Seeking input on ignition sources in warehouses for Fire Protection Research Foundation project

Oxygen reduction (or hypoxic) systems (ORS) are being used in warehouse facilities as an alternative to sprinkler protection. The basic principle of operation is to displace the ambient oxygen in an enclosed environment with one or more nitrogen generators. 

Recently, the Fire Protection Research Foundation completed a project to review literature on the topic and identify research needs

The research revealed that the test methods may not be sufficient for real-scale scenarios and may result in oxygen concentrations too high to prevent ignition. More research is needed on ORS test methods with a specific focus on:

  • Data on real-world scenarios with the systems including information on reliability and maintenance issues
  • Full- or real-scale validation of test methods that considers multiple types of ignition sources such as radiative and electrical high energy arc
  • Data on ignition potential based on material type and storage arrangement for different O2 concentrations.
  • Further research on the required oxygen concentration for specific fuels and applications.

Therefore, the Foundation is conducting a second phase of "Review of Oxygen Reduction Systems for Warehouse Storage Applications" to develop both a prescriptive and performance-based design approach to select design oxygen concentrations for oxygen reduction system installations in warehouse applications. To do so, the project team is investigating ignition sources present in warehouses in order to evaluate and propose test methods for determining required oxygen levels for fire prevention purposes.

As part of that effort, we have a questionnaire about ignition sources in warehouses to gather input from experts and stakeholders in the field. If you have any incident insights that you can share, please fill in the survey here. Information is collected anonymously unless you opt to provide contact information.

Thank you in advance for your participation! 

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Amanda Kimball
Executive Director, Fire Protection Research Foundation

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