With more than 5,700 fires in U.S. healthcare facilities each year, the choice of materials for fire sprinkler systems in hospitals and other settings is an important consideration. While steel pipe has been the traditional choice, there has been growing adoption of BlazeMaster® Fire Protection Systems to meet the unique fire protection challenges experienced in the healthcare industry. BlazeMaster is UL listed and FM approved for all light hazard applications as defined by NFPA 13, which includes a vast range of healthcare facilities like hospitals, medical offices, nursing facilities, outpatient surgical centers, imaging and radiology centers, care homes, and many more.
BlazeMaster CPVC fire sprinkler systems have been protecting people and property for nearly 40 years. Many of the systems constructed as far back as 1984, when BlazeMaster Fire Protection Systems was launched, are still in service. Because of CPVC’s long life expectancy, these older systems can perform just as well as newer ones.
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It’s widely known that resistance to heat and flame is a primary advantage of CPVC over other thermoplastics. BlazeMaster maintains its structure and continues to hold internal water pressure when directly exposed to a flame to ensure sprinkler water will reach and extinguish a fire. But did you ever wonder why BlazeMaster has these qualities? Let’s explore some of the science on this important topic.
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You know how to use solvent cement, but are your solvent cement skills ready for the cold weather in the months ahead? BlazeMaster solvent cement is tested and listed for use down to 0°F (-17°C), but it’s important to follow best practices when solvent welding in colder temperatures. Remember, you aren’t “gluing” CPVC. Solvent cement welding is a fast, easy installation process that uses solvents and CPVC resin to chemically fuse the pipe and fittings together at the molecular level. Unlike glue, solvent cement doesn’t just adhere two pieces together – it creates one continuous piece of plastic that becomes the strongest part of a piping system.
Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) play a critical role in our industry by reviewing plans, issuing permits, and conducting inspections that ensure a fire protection system will work as designed to protect people and property. An AHJ inspection is always a moment of truth for a contractor and is typically the culmination of an ongoing dialogue and a positive working relationship.
Concrete construction is a popular technique for ceilings and walls in a wide range of applications, such as schools, office buildings, apartments, warehouses, factories, and residential homes. Embedding a CPVC fire sprinkler system in the concrete surfaces offers a variety of advantages over steel pipe – and BlazeMaster® Fire Protection Systems offers the industry’s only UL® listing for this purpose.
Easy installation is one of the top advantages BlazeMaster Fire Protection Systems offer over traditional steel types. CPVC is installed with a quick, simple joining process that allows one person to cover an area using basic hand tools along with a quick, one-step solvent cement welding process.
Like other piping materials, BlazeMaster CPVC expands as temperatures rise and contracts as temperatures fall. That means that the pipe will get longer in warm temperatures and shorter when it’s colder, which creates stress on the pipe that can lead to premature reliability issues. For example, a pipe constrained at both ends will be stressed as it expands when temperatures rise. Eventually, the pipe may crack or break, creating a leak. Expansion and contraction is mainly a concern in unconditioned spaces, such as attics. In conditioned spaces, there is minimal change in temperature and as a result little expansion and contraction. But it is important to keep expansion and contraction in mind when installing in very hot or cold weather before the HVAC system is operational. In these situations, there will be an initial expansion or contraction of the system.
Market conditions and best practices are constantly evolving in the fire protection industry, and that’s certainly been true so far in 2021. To help you stay current, we looked into recent developments that can help contractors and installers secure new projects and ensure quality installations. Here are our top six trends:
Fire sprinkler installers play a critical role in ensuring BlazeMaster® Fire Protection Systems are effective in protecting people and property. Every foot of pipe and every sprinkler head an installer puts in place may save the life of a building occupant or first responder. That’s why we offer a variety of training options to help installers stay current on best practices and credentialing. While in-person trainings are on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions, we offer live and self-paced online training programs that cover all the essential information.