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Report on Fire Suppression Research for High-Density Storage Facilities Roberta Pilette Director, Preservation Department Yale University Library Hosted.

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Presentation on theme: "Report on Fire Suppression Research for High-Density Storage Facilities Roberta Pilette Director, Preservation Department Yale University Library Hosted."— Presentation transcript:

1 Report on Fire Suppression Research for High-Density Storage Facilities Roberta Pilette Director, Preservation Department Yale University Library Hosted by ALCTS The Association for Library Collections and Technical Services

2 HD Library Facility vs Warehouse HD Library Facility Solid shelves spaced apart Narrow aisles due to size of materials being retrieved Long-term, homogeneous collections Warehouse Open rack shelving Large, open aisles to facilitate palletized delivery & retrieval Short-term, ever- changing materials

3 HD Library Facility vs Warehouse

4 Project Development June 2005 ­Informal gathering of preservation librarians to determine next steps Columbia UniversityHarvard University Library of CongressUniversity of Chicago University of Michigan Yale University University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign ­The informal gathering became an informal consortium

5 Survey Results –Identified 51 institutions with high density facilities –Survey conducted February 2006; 51% responded –Questions asked regarding: Type of facility Environmental conditions Age of facility Construction details regarding the roof, exterior & interior walls and overall size with regards to length, height, width Tier/shelving configuration What materials are stored in the facility and how stored Sprinkler/fire suppression systems

6 Survey Results What is stored and how –Bound items directly on shelf 68% –Mss & archival collections, non-plastic containers 88% –Analog audio disks, mechanical recordings, non-plastic containers 54% –Microfilm/fiche, non-plastic containers 47% –Magnetic media in trays on shelf 67% –Oversize maps & drawings in flat files & shelves 56%

7 Survey Results Storage within the a module –Interfile format types within a module 54% –Mixed formats within a section of shelving, the shelf, or within the range/aisle >33% Fire Suppression systems –In-rack sprinklers 50% –No in-rack sprinklers 50%

8 Project Timeline July 2006 –Survey results in –Meeting at Yale to establish goals and expected outcomes May 2007 –FMGlobal approves project –Project and testing design begins; research engineer assigned Feb 2008 – Update on first set of tests –Lessons learned & reaffirmation of goals March 2010 –All testing complete –Preliminary results & recommendations presented to consortium June 2011 – Final Report

9 Project Goals Provide fire protection options for a typical high-bay, high-density storage arrangement Develop loss mitigation methods to reduce non-thermal damage If necessary, make recommendations for the future design of high density storage modules

10 Terminology & Test Array Longitudinal flue Aisle Rack Sprinkler heads Transverse flue Overhead view of the shelving arrangement for tests.

11 The Tests Test #1 –In-rack sprinklers at 10 & 19 ft level at each transverse & longitudinal intersection –Ceiling sprinklers –Books in trays on shelves Test #2 –Sprinklers same as #1 –Books in trays & Archive boxes on shelves Test #3 –Sprinklers same as #1 BUT add face sprinklers at 10 & 19 ft level –Books in trays & Archive boxes on shelves

12 Results & Conclusions Smoke detectors in all tests went off prior to the first sprinkler head release. The combination of in-rack and ceiling sprinklers provides adequate fire protection. –Additionally, in-rack sprinklers are effective in reducing the temperature of the racks thereby limiting the possibility of rack collapse. By adding face sprinklers it is estimated that there is 50% less damage to materials due to fire and water.

13 Other Findings Along the Way Narrow aisles make fire fighting difficult Amount of material affected even in a small incident is largeremember this is high-density

14 Slides from FM Global tests

15 Other Findings Along the Way Cardboard trays failed quickly -Create falling book hazard -Front of tray with barcode info is lost -Weakened trays could not be used to pull books off shelf

16 Final Recommendations Early detection devices mean faster response and less damage In-rack & ceiling sprinklers are good but adding face sprinklers provides the best protection Local fire department needs to be familiar with facility and its potential challenges and hazards Response & recovery plan are necessary Considering replacing corrugated trays with something that is non-combustible and will not fail when wet

17 Many thanks to David Fuller, Kristin Jamison & Mary Breighner at FMGlobal; Tom Gaitley at Copper Harbor Consulting, Inc; and fellow consortium members on this project. For copies of the FM Global report contact: David Fuller Thank you


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