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FIRE! FIRE! #121288 07/01/05 08:43 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
iwire Offline OP
I have been working at a place that tests fire sprinklers.

They mock up different types of buildings or warehouses and light em up.

I can not show you any pictures of the tests but here is a shot of an inside wall of the large burn room.

What is the proper wiring method in a burn room? [Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Here is an outside shot, the building is about 65' high and the duct work you see sucks out the smoke from the fires.

Four fans each powered by 500 hp motors get the air moving.

[Linked Image]


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Tools for Electricians:
Re: FIRE! FIRE! #121289 07/01/05 10:17 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,373
Trumpy Offline
That's cool Bob.
I've always wondered what these buildings looked like on the inside.
I'd imagine you'd need pretty good waterproofing on all the fittings too.

Re: FIRE! FIRE! #121290 07/01/05 10:22 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Interesting question...

I've been in the "burn rooms" at UL, Northbrook, and I recall:
Temporary test rooms had no electric whatever; construction was done with extension cords and halogen lights;
The main test room, where pallets were burned, had all electric in pipe. The receptacles were well below the level of the fire (fire was raised maybe ten feet up). The lights were well to the side of the test ares, with an exhaust directly above the fire.

Oddly enough, the major issue seemed to be corrosion, rather than heat. Some materials, when burned, create very acidic fumes and ashes. This was not a problem for the electrical, however- soot from countless fires had well sealed every inch of pipe!

Re: FIRE! FIRE! #121291 07/02/05 04:47 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
iwire Offline OP
This building is apparently much different then the one Reno was in.

Here is a better look at the size.

[Linked Image]

The building is a big empty box about 200' wide, 500' long and 50' clear height inside.

Above 15' there is very little electrical, below 15' it is packed with electrical panels, computer input panels, fire control piping, and strangely enough heptane and propane dispensers.

Here are a set of propane and heptane dispensers. These are located in quite few places to provide a source of fuel.

[Linked Image]

Almost one half of the building has a moving ceiling about 100' x 150' that can be positioned anywhere between 10' and 50' above the floor.

As you can imagine the facility has many large water storage tanks (also a large pond) and diesel pumps to supply fire fighting water.

There are 3 separate water systems, one to supply the sprinklers under test, one to supply normal building sprinklers and one that is the 'oh no' things are out of control deluge system.

Here is a shot of a remote controlled water cannon, there are many of these and they can be run from many different locations from behind the safety of glass.

[Linked Image]

It may not look large in the photo but that pipe feeding it is 6" or 8" in diameter. The building column is about 24" across.

I have really want to run the water canon and see what damage it can do. [Linked Image]


[This message has been edited by iwire (edited 07-02-2005).]

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Re: FIRE! FIRE! #121292 07/02/05 05:42 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 20
screwi Offline
That looks well interesting - I was about to say cool> but there is no way it would be cool in there for long [Linked Image]

Re: FIRE! FIRE! #121293 07/03/05 06:57 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,373
Trumpy Offline
Thanks for the pics, mate!.
Sure makes for interesting viewing.
I would post a few pics of the inside of our smoke tower, but there is no "Electric" inside of it.
Darned shame about that.
The results of the walls are the same though.
If those walls could talk.

Re: FIRE! FIRE! #121294 07/03/05 08:45 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,374
Ryan_J Offline
[Linked Image from]

Too funny. As soon as I saw the title of the thread I knew it was from Bob, after he and I had talked about this job a couple of times.

Thats a great question about the wiring methods. I would think you would need NEMA 6 for the hosedown, but I don't know about the fire! Circuit integrity cables????

Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City
Re: FIRE! FIRE! #121295 07/03/05 10:33 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
iwire Offline OP
Down below 15' (or so) the wiring methods are standard RMC, FS boxes, NEMA 12X enclosures and THWN.

Many times there are people are out on the floor during a burn.

My guess is that the high ceiling with massive exhaust vents and the ground level fresh air supplies that the heat goes up and does not effect the wiring systems down low.

I did take pictures of the room itself but all it looks like is a black hole in the pictures.

Everything is the same black soot color.

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Re: FIRE! FIRE! #121296 07/03/05 08:30 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 123
mvpmaintman Offline
I'd be more worried about the heptane and the propane if I was walking around in that place while a fire was burning!!


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