It takes a lot more water to put out a fire in a warehouse. The fire load created by the stored material can create a large heat output of the fire. If a warehouse fire were to develop, even firefighters may not have the manpower and resources to put it out. The installation of sprinkler system is suitable for larger warehouses and is often required by the insurance company or investor.
Sprinkler heads with standard or quick response and sizes K115, K160, (K200) are suitable for lower storage heights. The flow rate for which the sprinkler system is designed increases considerably with storage height and thus the tank size and pump capacity. The extinguishing area over which sprinklers are triggered in an intense fire can be quite large, as the hot smoke will open sprinklers far from the area of fire. Bigger sprinkler heads or 141°C high-temperature sprinklers can reduce the water flow for extinguishing because the sprinklers are only triggered where they are needed, i.e. above the fire.
The ESFR is designed to extinguish fires quickly with large quantities of water. ESFR warehouse sprinklers react faster and are larger. Suspended ESFR sprinklers are more suitable as they spray water downwards, allowing droplets to penetrate the smoke column more easily. Because ESFR sprinklers react quickly and the large flow of water extinguishes the fire and cools the smoke, a smaller area and extinguishing time can be used. The water spray should not be impeded by any major obstructions to prevent the fire from spreading sideways. Storage conditions and racking clearances should be observed.
Shelf protection is a traditional and reliable extinguishing technology. The disadvantage is that sometimes the sprinkler can be triggered when handling goods. Shelf sprinklers are essential for non-open-frame racks and for non-standard storage methods. Large sprinklers of the ESFR type can now also be designed into racks. Ceiling sprinklers can be rated for lower intensity.