Dry Chemical Agent Periodical Inspection, Testing and Maintenance Requirements - November 2020

by Grant Lobdell, General Manager

There are a variety of standards in the fire protection industry that require periodic inspection, testing, and maintenance of dry chemical agents.

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Sprinkler Release Mechanisms and Water Seals - November 2020

By Grant Lobdell, General Manager

The field sprinkler testing report produced by Dyne Fire Protection Labs identifies several attributes of the sprinkler in the sample information section.  The release mechanism and water seal identified are of particular importance as they are the components of the sprinkler directly being evaluated during the periodic testing.  According to A.5.3.1.1 of the current 2020 edition of NFPA 25 Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, sprinklers are to be laboratory tested for sensitivity and functionality.  For the purpose of periodic field service testing, sensitivity refers to the evaluation of the sprinkler’s release mechanism whereas functionality refers to the evaluation of the sprinkler’s water seal.  Because of their importance, some of the more common release mechanisms and water seals are highlighted below.

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How Do I Work with Dyne Fire Protection Labs to Submit Samples and Receive Reports in 5-business Days? - October 2020

By Jennie Novak, Office Manager/Webinar Coordinator

Before your samples arrive, we need to get your company logistics, billing information, and contacts in our systems so there is no delay in processing your samples.  Having it all setup ensures your reports and your invoices go to the right place or person. It also gives us a chance to make sure you have access to our online return forms and send you any testing kits you will need.

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Listed Antifreeze - September 2020

by Grant Lobdell

According to the 2020 edition of National Fire Protection Association 25 Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water Based Fire Protection Systems, “Except as permitted by 5.3.4.4.1 and 5.3.4.4.3, all antifreeze systems shall utilize listed antifreeze solutions.”  The exceptions in 5.3.4.4.1 and 5.3.4.4.3 are for systems installed prior to September 30, 2012, and systems utilizing premixed antifreeze solutions exceeding 30% (by volume) propylene glycol that are listed specifically for use with the installed ESFR sprinklers.  The exception regarding systems installed prior to September 30, 2012 ends September 30,2022.  At that time, any system utilizing premixed antifreeze solutions that are not listed must be drained and installed with a listed alternative.  If a listed antifreeze solution is not available or the listed antifreeze solutions that are available are not sufficient for the application, alternative means of freeze protection, such as dry sprinklers or heat tracing, must be used.

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Making Sense of %, ppm, ppb, and ppt - September 2020

by Grant Lobdell

Dyne Fire Protection recently announced the availability of fluorine analysis for firefighting foam concentrates.  Closely related to PFAS content, fluorine analysis via combustion ion chromatography is capable of recovering PFAS missed by other analytical techniques.  Regulations have already begun to be written with this analysis in mind.  For example, Clean Production Action’s eco-label certification, GreenScreen CertifiedTM, defines a PFAS free foam as having < 1 ppm total organic fluorine as measured by combustion ion chromatography.   In contrast, Aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) typically contains about 1% organic fluorine from fluorinated surfactants.  Given that 1% = 10,000 ppm, AFFF can have as much as 10,000x the amount of organic fluorine than its fluorine free counter parts!

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Synthetic Fluorine Free Foam (SFFF) Expansion Ratio - August 2020

by Grant Lobdell

During the second draft meeting for the upcoming 2021 edition of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard for Low-, Medium- and High-Expansion Foam (NFPA 11), the technical committee approved the addition of the following in Annex A 4.3.1.1(second revision no. 51):

“The foam concentrate proportioning equipment and discharge devices produce finished foam with certain qualities, including expansion ratio and 25 percent drainage time.  The testing conducted by the Fire Protection Research Foundation showed that expansion ratios of 7 to 10 were critical for SFFFs’ ability to extinguish fires.”

The testing conducted by the Fire Protection Research Foundation, which was compiled into a research paper titled Evaluation of the fire protection effectiveness of fluorine free firefighting foams, can be reviewed online for free at nfpa.org.

Why is SFFF expected to have a higher expansion ratio than AFFF?

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Sprinkler Testing Frequency Changes - August 2020

by Grant Lobdell

The 2020 edition of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, has been out for some time now.  While most jurisdictions have yet to adopt this edition, it is still important to recognize and understand the changes made in this revision regarding the frequency of field sprinkler testing.

Dry Sprinklers

In previous editions of NFPA 25, dry sprinklers were expected to be replaced or tested 10 years after installation.  If the sprinklers were tested in lieu of replacement and were found to still have adequate performance, they could be left in service but they would then need to be tested again every 10 years thereafter. 

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Dry Chemical Testing Frequency - July 2020

by Grant Lobdell

The current, 2018 edition of the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) 10 Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers requires dry chemical agent to be thoroughly checked for proper type, contamination, and condition before reuse (7.8.3.4.3).

Is a visual inspection thorough enough?

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PFAS and Firefighting Foam - July 2020

by Grant Lobdell

PFAS is an acronym for a group of man-made per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. While a lot of attention has been given to a couple of molecules within this group such as PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid, Figure 1) and PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, Figure 2), this group of substances consists of thousands of known molecules.

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