Inside a warehouse

Do you manage large warehouse facilities, or design, inspect or insure them? Help us define the elevated walkways in storage warehouses to quantify their impact on sprinkler protection by participating in this questionnaire

Solid and open metal grate walkways are often installed in aisles as part of rack storage in large warehouse facilities. Further, open metal grates are also used as mezzanine levels above storage. Although functional to carry out warehouse operations, there is little information on how these walkway and mezzanine installations impact current storage protection requirements. When is this type of installation considered a problem from a sprinkler protection standpoint? At what point do walkways interfere with prewetting of adjacent arrays?

To answer these questions, the Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) initiated a multi-phase research program, through the support of FPRF’s Property Insurance Research Group, which aimed to develop guidance on the protection of storage when solid or open metal grate walkways are present in storage warehouses.  FPRF, in collaboration with Fire & Risk Alliance, is currently on Phase II of the project which is focused on filling the knowledge gaps identified in Phase I and implementing the research and testing plan to provide guidance back to the NFPA 13 technical committee on walkway/sprinkler interface criteria that is well founded in sprinkler performance. For more information, a summary of this project is available here.

A fundamental element of success for this study is to collect information on current warehouse configurations to gain insight into the status quo characteristics of elevated walkways/mezzanines and how storage protection may be changing. Thus, we invite facility owners, AHJ’s, insurers, engineers, and other relevant parties to participate in this international questionnaire conducted as part of this study by the Fire Protection Research Foundation. The questions seek to identify and categorize the types and non-proprietary characteristics of elevated walkways in storage warehouses, specifically focused on storage configurations, stored commodities, details of mezzanine/walkways, sprinkler system details, loss history (if any), and photographs or drawings. This information will be used to ensure our analysis of sprinkler interaction with or disruption by elevated walkways is representative of real-world warehouse configurations.

Your participation in this research questionnaire is voluntary. You may skip any question that you are not able to answer. Any information provided through this survey is completely anonymous.

If you design, work in, inspect, or insure warehouses with elevated walkway installations, we ask that you participate in this survey. It is estimated that the survey will take approximately 10 minutes or less to complete.

The deadline to complete the questionnaire is August 31, 2022.

Thank you in advance for your participation!

Sign up for the NFPA Network Newsletter
Victoria Hutchison
Research Project Manager, passionate about the advancement of fire protection, life safety and emerging technologies through the development of research at FPRF.

Related Articles