Laser and Welding Fire sprinklers
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  1. #1
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    Default Laser and Welding Fire sprinklers

    We recently had an incident where the flame retardant filters in a laser dust collector smoldered and ended up a fire call. We have other similar dust collectors that have a sprinkler head built in, but never plumbed to a water source. Is it OK to just hook the water up or since it is a sprinkler head, does it involve any special plumbing? It would be easy and simple to just run the line to it. If I do that and we have an insurance inspection, I don't want to get called out on it and have to redo it. I also don't want to stir everyone up by asking too many questions locally. There are no sprinklers in the rest of the building.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jc1967 View Post
    We recently had an incident where the flame retardant filters in a laser dust collector smoldered and ended up a fire call. We have other similar dust collectors that have a sprinkler head built in, but never plumbed to a water source. Is it OK to just hook the water up or since it is a sprinkler head, does it involve any special plumbing? It would be easy and simple to just run the line to it. If I do that and we have an insurance inspection, I don't want to get called out on it and have to redo it. I also don't want to stir everyone up by asking too many questions locally. There are no sprinklers in the rest of the building.
    What would you tell the fire department and insurer if you have call on the other filters? The built in sprinkler would tell them that the manufacturer knew or expected fire to be an issue. At a minimum I would install a sprinkler to the one that caught fire and also to the others. If nothing else, this is for your own protection. What would you have done if the fire broke out when no one was around?

    Tom

    Tom

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    Sprinkler lines have anti-backflow valves, flow alarms, and fire connections. There are nuisance trips that make you want to install a flow alarm. Is this an always heated area, or will you have to have a dry line with an air charge? Sprinklers can be a life and property saver, but they require maintenance.

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    Seen a fire in a large plasma cutters outside filter bank, It was akin to a blast furnace in but seconds do to the air flow. Hitting the extractor isolators and staveing it of air flow made it die down nearly instantly, but despite outside, do to wind it filled the whole building in smoke!

    Yeah fit a good water line! Equally when you replace the filters don't go cheap and get the glass - flame resistant ones! Saves having to repaint the top half of the extractor because trust me it will be red hot in under a minute! Its probably were most the smoke came from in the fire i saw, to date thats still the only real fire alarm i have had whilst at work involving real flame!

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    Sprinklers and vent panels are fitted to dust extractors for very good reasons.
    Your insurance will want to see that the sprinklers have been connected to a system specified by an approved fire engineer. If you can't or won't do that, ask them how far away from the building the system needs to be located.
    Otherwise you are paying insurance for nothing. They simply won't pay out.


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