When designing a new building or an addition, an understanding of the code mandated site fire protection features is of critical importance. PDI’s staff are experts in the design of site fire protection features including site access, fire department access road layout and extent of coverage, proximity to buildings, fire hydrant location and spacing, and fire department connection location. Additionally, PDI conducts water supply testing and analysis in-house and can explain the results of a fire flow test and how it will impact the project.
Fire Protection Site Plan
Utilizing drawings provided by the architect or civil engineer, PDI creates a fire protection site plan illustrating all property lines, identifying all easements on the property, highlighting new and existing fire lanes, demonstrating compliance for dead-end turn-arounds, providing dimensions (width, turning radii, overhead obstruction clearances, etc.) for all fire lanes, locating all fences, gates, walls, streams, and other obstructions to firefighter access, showing locations of Knox Box for gate keys or location of gate operator panel, identifying size (diameter and length) and locations of all fire main piping (existing and proposed) including pressure class and type of new piping to be installed, identifying the location, type, and size of the backflow prevention device when installed on fire main piping. This plan plays a critical role in the fire department’s pre-planning activities and enables them to better serve the property in an emergency event.
Fire Hydrant Flow Test
PDI researches the site location and identifies the fire hydrants and water mains that will serve the property. PDI conducts a fire flow test to determine the fire flow and pressure of those hydrants, and then compares those results to the requirements of the applicable fire code/standard to determine if the available water supply is sufficient for the project.
Water Supply Analysis (Hydraulic Calculations)
When on-site fire hydrants and water mains are proposed for a project, PDI inputs the results of the fire flow test into a software based hydraulic modeling program to create a model of the piping network. After determining the required fire flow for the project, PDI exhibits the characteristics of the system, including a demonstration of the theoretical flow and pressure available at the hydraulically most remote area of the system. With this information, the design team and authority having jurisdiction can be confident in the available water supply, pipe size, and pipe routing for the project.