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.
While BlazeMaster can be used in any light hazard setting, it is ideal for healthcare facilities for key reasons:
Dependable When It Matters Most
Steel pipe is prone to corrosion – and corrosion has dangerous and costly consequences. Just like the buildup of plaque in an artery reduces blood flow, corrosion in sprinkler systems causes buildup that slows, and sometimes even blocks, the flow of water through the pipe, leaving people and property inadequately protected from fire. Additionally, corrosion causes leaks, which can not only damage expensive equipment, but can also require costly repairs like the replacement of piping, fittings, heads, or even the entire system.
By comparison, BlazeMaster naturally resists corrosion, eliminating the safety and maintenance issues that plague steel systems. Using BlazeMaster instead of steel significantly reduces maintenance costs and extends the life of the system.
Perfect for MRI Rooms
Radiology departments with MRI equipment pose specific fire protection challenges. The sensitive MRI equipment must be protected from electrical and magnetic interference, so non-ferrous materials must be used – even in the fire sprinkler system. Compared to other non-ferrous piping options like copper, brass and stainless steel, BlazeMaster offers a more cost-effective, easier-to-install solution, especially when used with Tyco’s non-magnetic sprinkler head or Viking’s non-ferrous sprinkler head, which are both specifically designed for use in MRI rooms.
A growing body of research shows green buildings are good for the health and well-being of patients and staff. To promote health and safety, many healthcare organizations are setting sustainability goals and adopting green building practices. BlazeMaster can make a valuable contribution to these practices because it offers significant environmental advantages over steel pipe. An ISO-compliant lifecycle assessment found that BlazeMaster is much less harmful to produce and has half the climate change impact of steel pipe. In fact, BlazeMaster outperformed steel in 12 out of 13 categories, including human toxicity and many others.
Ensuring a Healing Environment During Retrofits and Additions
Remodels and additions are common in healthcare, and often the facility must continue to operate during the construction. BlazeMaster is ideal for these situations, as its installation is much easier, cleaner, and quieter than steel pipe. One installer can complete an entire area by himself or herself using simple hand tools without disrupting patients and staff. By comparison, steel piping requires a crew of several people and the use of torches, loud threading machines, and messy cutting oils to fabricate and join the system. In fact, building occupants usually have the vacate the premises – a difficult challenge in a hospital full of patients or a busy medical office.