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Using Rainwater for Fire Protection According to NFPA

 

 

Fire Protection Water Solutions

Pioneer Water Tanks America exhibited and spoke at the 2019 National Fire Protection Association Conference & Expo. We provide residential and commercial water storage solutions with NFPA compliant fire protection options.

 

Pioneer Water Tanks America presented Using Rainwater for Fire Protection, with regards to NFPA 13 A.23.21.

 

Rainwater has become a sustainable water source for many applications. NFPA 13 A.23.21 stipulates that recycled or reclaimed water that has been properly analyzed for quality, is adequate for fire protection use. We will present successful past projects and general steps to implementing rainwater for fire protection.

Presentation Resources:

 

1. NFPA 13 Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems

https://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/all-codes-and-standards/list-of-codes-and-standards/detail?code=13

 

2. NFPA Dynamics of Wildfire: Where is there available water?

https://www.nfpa.org/assets/gallery/firewise/operationWater/step2_4.htm

 

3. Minnesota Stormwater Manual: Stormwater and rainwater harvest and use/reuse combined

https://stormwater.pca.state.mn.us/index.php?title=Stormwater_and_rainwater_harvest_and_use/reuse_combined

 

4. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Rainwater Harvesting for Fire Protection

https://rainwaterharvesting.tamu.edu/fire-protection/

 

5. The Jefferson Monticello Historical Preservation: Cisterns

https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/cisterns

Using Rainwater for Fire Protection, NFPA 13 A.23.21. by Pioneer Water Tanks America

Pioneer Water Tanks are compliant with NFPA National Fire Protection Association standards for fire protection applications. Fire protection packages come with a complete set of engineer-approved drawings with an option to add an engineer-stamped cover letter specifically for the project.

 

 

We offer a wide variety of water-storage options with capacities ranging from 3,000 to 1,000,000 Gallons. Pioneer Water Tanks are backed by our industry-leading warranty, so you can rest easy knowing you have a fire-protection solution that will last.

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Fire Protection Water Tanks

Pioneer Water Tanks comply with NFPA 22 standards for fire protection water tanks. The tank body and roof are made of Zincalume® Steel, proven to withstand fire immersion. Our full lines of firefighting adapters and nozzles are compatible with fire hoses across North America.

 

Pioneer Water Tanks can be configured for cyclonic and seismic conditions, as well as heavy industrial zones. Additional accessories are available for different compliance needs. Outfit your tank with anti-vortex fittings and firefighting adapters for quick access during a fire emergency.

 

Commercial and residential properties that do not have an adequate water supply for local authority requirements can be supplied with a water storage tank for a building permit. We offer optional engineering packages for the permit process when needed. Our engineering packages are based on for the project and application.

Why Choose Pioneer Water Tanks for Fire Protection?

 

1. Pioneer Water Tanks are used for fire protection as the longest-lasting water storage that can double as a drinking water source. Our fire protection water tanks work well with local fire code authority requirements and our optional engineering packages make the permit process easier.

2. Pioneer fire-protection tanks are designed to exceed NFPA National Fire Protection Association standards, as required by the American Fire Code, for fire-water storage. Fire protection packages come with a complete set of engineer-approved drawings.

3. Pioneer offers a wide variety of water-storage options with capacities ranging from 3,000 to 1,000,000 Gallons. Pioneer Water Tanks are backed by our industry-leading warranty, so you can rest easy knowing you have a fire-protection solution that will last.

4. Pioneer Water Tanks are made of Zincalume® steel that has been proven to withstand fire immersion and resist corrosion, ensuring the safety of your water supply in even the worst emergencies. Our full line of anti-vortex and fire-fighting adapters ensure water is always available for quick access during a fire emergency.

5. Pioneer Water Tanks’ 30-Year dedication to providing the longest-lasting water storage that is always ready, works well for the rough environment and for commercial applications. Our tanks are used as a water source for firefighting for properties without any other water source and as a water source for fire departments. Our standard capacities and accessories are quoted to the project requirements to get you the best price possible.

 

Go to Fire Protection Water Tanks Website

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Ready to Supply Water in an Emergency or For Everyday

The Harris County Fire Code requires enough water supply/pressure, called fire flow, in case of fire emergencies.

 

507.1 Required water supply. An approved water supply capable of supplying the required fire flow for fire protection shall be provided to premises upon which facilities, buildings or portions of buildings are hereafter constructed or moved into or within the jurisdiction.

 

All New Fire Alarm and Fire Sprinkler Systems require permits and plan submittals in Harris County. New residential and commercial buildings also require permits, with some projects needing a supplemented water supply for fire flow requirements.

Pioneer Water Tanks America offers supplemental and complete water storage systems that comply with NFPA 22 Standards for Water Tanks for Private Fire Protection‎. Our standard range of capacities 5,000-Gallons to 1,000,000-Gallons. We can also provide custom capacities, sizes and for different application requirements.

 

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See the Technical Specifications of the Tank Models

 

Our complete engineering submittal packages provide detailed drawings, engineering calculations, and Texas engineer stamped foundation designs for easier permit submission. Pioneer Water Tanks have full lines of commercial accessories to fulfill local authority requirements to make your tank multifunctional.

 

We support a nationwide dealer and installation network that can provide an efficient, onsite, accredited installation without the use of heavy machinery. Pioneer Water Tanks are installed with our proprietary jacking system for larger industrial projects within a week.

 

Pioneer Water Tanks are proven to be a reliable water source that can include fire hose hookups as well as firefighting nozzles. The cost-effective capacity can also double as an emergency water source since the tank liner is NSF 61 certified for drinking water.

 

This is one example of a 65,000-Gallon fire protection water tank in Houston, Texas. This project was provided by Rainwater Equipment, RainwaterEquipment.com

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Providing Harris County with Water Storage for Fire Protection

Harris County requires permits and plan submittals for new fire alarm and fire sprinkler systems to include providing the required water supply, the fire flow, for the building.

 

FIRE-FLOW: The flow rate of a water supply, measured at 20 pounds per square inch (psi) (138 kPa) residual pressure, that is available for fire fighting.

 

FIRE-FLOW CALCULATION AREA: The floor area, in square feet (m2) used to determine the required fire flow.

 

Link to Harris County Fire Flow worksheet:

The Harris County Fire Flow worksheet is based off of the National Fire Academy (NFA) method of calculating fire flow.

 

Needed fire flow = [(length x width) ÷ 3] x percent of involvement

 

Example: For a 30' x 50' building that’s 25 percent involved, the flow would be 30 x 50 = 1,500 square feet, divided by 3 = 500 x 0.25 = 125 GPM.

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Houston Fire Code as Relevant to Fire Flow

 

507.1 Required water supply. An approved water supply capable of supplying the required fire flow for fire protection shall be provided to premises upon which facilities, buildings or portions of buildings are hereafter constructed or moved into or within the jurisdiction.

 

508.1 Required water supply. An approved water supply capable of supplying the required fire flow for fire protection shall be provided to premises upon which facilities, buildings or portions of buildings are hereafter constructed or moved into or within the jurisdiction. A water supply as otherwise required by this section will not be required if the responsible emergency services district or fire department provides a letter stating they can provide sufficient fire flow for the specific project.

 

2808.18 Fire protection response plan: • Local fire department is a participant in the plan • Local fire department has a copy of the fire prevention response plan 32 • Employees are trained and can perform their role in an emergency • Heavy equipment with trained operators to separate and work piles is on site or immediately available • Adequate water supply: fixed hydrants, portable tanks, ponds, other sources • Adequate pressure and flow rate at all locations on site (minimum of 250 GPM at 60 PSI)

Link to the City of Houston Fire Code: Link

One fire sprinkler can use on average eight gallons-per-minute (GPM). Most home fire sprinkler systems accommodate two simultaneous flowing sprinklers, with a minimum need of 16 GPM to supply them with water. The size of a house, local building requirements and the water source may require more sprinklers or be required at a higher pump rate. One or two sprinklers must flow for a minimum of 7-10 minutes, which can be provided by a well tank or a rainwater tank when sprinklers are not supplied by a water distribution system. Fire sprinkler systems that aren’t supplied enough by a utility water source, need an on hand water supply of at least 15% of the total required fire flow (but exact percentage is based on local authority requirements).

Additional water storage ensures that your property has water on hand for emergencies, typically with its own pump system that won’t go down in case of electricity failure. This becomes even more important, if not required, based on how rural the property location is.

 

Rural water distribution systems that are found to be inadequate to supply 16 GPM for fire sprinklers, would probably fall short of the minimum code-required plumbing demand, and it would surely fall far short of the 1,000+ GPM needed from fire hydrants to support a fire department extinguishing a fire in a home without a sprinkler system.

In order to figure out the exact fire flow requirements, refer to the local Fire and Building Codes, as well as refer to the local pre-inspection requirements. If fire flow must be measured in regards to the local Fire Code, the ICC International Code Council provides a chart to show fire flow requirements based on the of building construction and square footage. The ICC Construction Types that determine the fire flow, are listed in the drop-down below. The calculation uses the ICC minimum required fire-flow and flow duration for buildings.

TYPE I-A--Fire Resistive Non-combustible (Commonly found in high-rise buildings and Group I occupancies).

    • 3 Hr. Exterior Walls*
    • 3 Hr. Structural Frame
    • 2 Hr. Floor/Ceiling Assembly
    • 1 ½ Hr. Roof Protection

 

TYPE I-B--Fire Resistive Non-Combustible (Commonly found in mid-rise office & Group R buildings).

  • 2 Hr. Exterior Walls*
  • 2 Hr. Structural Frame
  • 2 Hr. Ceiling/Floor Separation
  • 1 Hr. Ceiling/Roof Assembly

 

TYPE II-A--Protected Non-Combustible (Commonly found in newer school buildings).

  • 1 Hr. Exterior Walls
  • 1 Hr. Structural Frame
  • 1 Hr. Floor/Ceiling/Roof Protection

 


 

TYPE II-B--Unprotected Non-Combustible (the Most common type of non-combustible construction used in
commercial buildings).

  • Building constructed of non-combustible materials but these materials have no fire resistance.

 

TYPE III-A--Protected Combustible (Also known as "ordinary" construction with brick or block walls and a
wooden roof or floor assembly which is 1-hour fire protected).

  • 2 Hr. Exterior Walls*
  • 1 Hr. Structural Frame
  • 1 Hr. Floor/Ceiling/Roof Protection

 

TYPE III-B--Unprotected Combustible (Also known as "ordinary" construction; has brick or block walls with a
wooden roof or floor assembly which is not protected against fire. These buildings are frequently found in
"warehouse" districts in older cities.)

  • 2 Hr. Exterior Walls*
  • No fire resistance for structural frame, floors, ceilings, or roofs.

 


 

TYPE IV--Heavy Timber (also known as "mill" construction; to qualify all wooden members must have a
minimum nominal dimension of 8 inches.)

  • 2 Hr. Exterior Walls*
  • 1 Hr. Structural Frame or Heavy Timber
  • Heavy Timber Floor/Ceiling/Roof Assemblies

 

TYPE V-A--Protected Wood Frame (Commonly used in the construction of newer apartment buildings; there is
no exposed wood visible.)

  • 1 Hr. Exterior Walls
  • 1 Hr. Structural Frame
  • 1 Hr. Floor/Ceiling/Roof

 

TYPE V-B--Unprotected Wood Frame (Examples of Type V-N construction are single-family homes and
garages. They often have exposed wood so there is no fire resistance.)

The following calculation uses the ICC Fire Flow based on the above construction types of square footage of the building. The chart below reflects the calculation as well.

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We provide water storage for fire protection, with a full line of NFPA compliant firefighting adapter and nozzle options. Get your best price on water storage with Pioneer Water Tanks America localized dealer and installation network.

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05

 

 

Water Storage for Fire Protection Solutions

This year’s NFPA Conference and Expo focused on persistent fire and life safety challenges that are faced for residential and commercial applications. We were able to network across the industry about Pioneer Water Tanks fire protection solutions.

 

 

Sales Manager, Richard Dunfield, met with many of our dealers there including Tanks Alot, GEI Works, and APROMSA all the way from Durango, Mexico. Learn more about our established dealers:

Tanks Alot logo

We offer required water storage solutions.

 

The Pioneer Water Tank network provides water storage backed with 30-years of experience.

 

  • Outfit your tank with anti-vortex fittings and firefighting adapters for quick access during a fire emergency.

  • Pioneer Water Tanks can be configured for cyclonic and seismic conditions, as well as heavy industrial zones.

  • Fire Protection Tanks capacity range from 3,170 gallons to 97,744 gallons to accomplish your compliance needs.

Learn more about Pioneer Water Tanks Fire Protection

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