482: Warehouse Fire Suppression Systems with Telgian

482: Warehouse Fire Suppression Systems with Telgian

Welcome to another fiery episode of The New Warehouse Podcast! Today, we’re joined by Ralph Bless, Executive Vice President at Telgian, a company with a 39-year legacy in engineering fire protection systems. In this episode, Ralph unpacks the complexities of fire safety in warehousing, emphasizing the challenges introduced by modern automated systems such as ASRS and the struggle to keep fire codes current and warehouse fire suppression systems effective.

Fundamentals of Warehouse Fire Suppression Systems

Ralph clarifies the basic types of fire suppression systems found in warehouses: “There are two basic types that are most common in these warehousing environments. One is a wet pipe fire sprinkler system, and another one is a dry pipe fire sprinkler system.” He debunks a common myth, explaining, “A lot of people have the perception that sprinklers are like what you see in the movies, where one activates; they all activate. That’s just not the case.”

Keeping Pace with Automation

Discussing the intersection of automation and fire safety, Ralph notes, “The real challenges with these new automation systems, particularly the ASRS, is they’re evolving so fast.” He details the rigorous testing needed as “traditional sprinkler setups may not suffice” for these dense configurations. Ralph highlights regulatory hurdles: “when a jurisdiction is using an older set of the codes…they’re really looking and working off technology that is 10, 15 years old…we are not keeping up with that necessarily.”

Anticipating Changes in Fire Safety Norms

As warehousing technologies evolve, Ralph anticipates ongoing adjustments in fire safety approaches, “What we are seeing…is this focus on testing because that way we know we’ve got the proper protection.” Ralph expects a continued emphasis on testing. Pointing out, “most people thing that sprinklers put fires out, but they really don’t. In most cases, they either control the fire so the firefighters can show up and extinguish them.” It’s imperative to consider how small changes, such as narrowing distances between aisles, can impact how the sprinklers operate and their performance capabilities.

Key Takeaways on Warehouse Fire Suppression Systems

  • Automated warehousing systems like ASRS introduce complex fire safety challenges that require innovative testing and adaptation.
  • Future fire safety standards will increasingly rely on dynamic testing to align with rapid technological advances in warehousing.
  • Sprinklers don’t put fires out in most cases but control the fire until firefighters arrive to put it out. 

Listen to the episode below and leave your thoughts in the comments.

Guest Information

For more information on Telgian, click here.

To connect with Ralph on LinkedIn, click here.

For more information about warehouse safety, check out the podcasts below.

461: HeroWear Exosuits Enhance Warehouse Safety and Productivity

395: Fostering Psychological Safety in the Warehousing Industry

388: Enhancing Safety and Sustainability With Nucor Warehouse Systems

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© The New Warehouse.
All rights reserved.