We regularly get asked if the pallet rack systems we provide will be compatible with an existing fire protection system. Well, this can be a loaded question. There are several types of fire sprinkler systems that would be in a typical warehouse. The first thing to do is to find out the basic class of the system. From this, you can typically use some general rules about storage density and allowable storage heights. Now, when considering push-back racks, drive-in racks, narrow aisles, or any type of automated storage system, it would be a good idea to get a professional involved at the beginning of the design phase. In addition, if you are storing materials such as plastic or rubber, the situation can change dramatically.
More rack fire protection info.
In Rack Sprinklers-
Most people we have dealt with want to avoid in-rack sprinklers like “The Plague”. Well, it is not that bad. Typically, it is more cost-effective to have a dual system (conventional overhead sprinkler + in-rack) than to upgrade the entire overhead system to an ESFR or other type of system. In addition, you are only adding additional protection as you add a rack to your building. Another benefit of in-rack sprinklers is that they can allow the usage of solid shelves. In other words, you can potentially use particle board or other material that best suits your product.
Protect your Flue Space! (and I am not talking about the Swine! )
Flue space is the area in your rack designed to allow the sprinkler system water to travel to the lower levels of the rack system. The longitudinal flue space is the distance between rows of pallet racks. It is generally 6 inches between loads, not from rack to rack. Since most pallet rack systems are designed with pallet overhang and possibly additional product overhang, it is very important to design the system and flue space properly. The transverse flue space is the distance from left to right between loads. This minimum requirement is usually 3 inches. Keeping these spaces clear will keep your warehouse safe and your insurance company happy.
If you are looking for more information on Pallet Rack Sprinkler Systems or standard warehouse fire protection call us at 800-722-5908