Fire Prevention Storage Tanks and Industry Standards Discussed in Detail

It is common to find water tanks in several industrial and commercial facilities. These tanks are used for domestic, consumptive & commercial purposes. You can also find water tanks utilized for fire prevention. Now, you may enquire how these tanks differ from regular water storage tanks? The main answer lies in their design, mounting, and industry standards followed during their construction. All these aspects are briefly covered in this post.

Types of Water Storage Tanks Used for Fire Prevention

The following are a few common types of water storage tanks used for fire prevention.

    • Underground Fiberglass Storage Tanks:As the name indicates, these tanks are usually buried under the ground. They are designed in compact sizes, they consume less space and remain relatively safer than the above ground tanks. Fiberglass is a non-corrosive material, and ensures durability and reliability as any regular steel tank. These tanks can also be used for holding storm water, potable water, and so on.
    • Aboveground Fiberglass Storage Tanks and Stainless Steel Tanks: The above ground tanks made of fiberglass or stainless steel material are used for holding caustic water. These tanks may be built as dual purpose tanks, where the tank may be used for purposes such as storing potable water, rainwater harvesting, and so on, as well as fire extinguishing. Of these two types, stainless steel tanks are recommended by fire departments. Although plastic tanks are approved in many jurisdictions, they are mainly used for temporary fire protection during the construction phase.
    • Carbon Welded Steel Tanks: These tanks are made of carbon steel and are welded to improve their strength and durability. Unlike concrete tanks, carbon welded steel tanks do not experience Lyme leeching. Along with fire protection, these tanks are also used for storing wastewater, potable water, and so on.
    • ASME Water Tanks:These water storage tanks are designed for use in environmental conditions where they may be exposed to high temperature or pressure. They are built to ASME specifications using materials like type 315, 304, and SA516 GR70 carbon steel.
    • Corrugated Steel Tanks:Made of corrugated steel, these tanks are available in any size and can store hundred gallons to million.

Important Fire Protection Standards for Manufacturing and Installation of Water Storage Tanks for Fire Prevention

Most water storage tanks for fire prevention are designed according to the following industry standards:

    • NFPA 22: This standard is regulated by NFPA, thus the name. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is an organization that develops and disseminates consensus standards that helps minimize fire risks. NFPA 22 is the standard that specifically sets guidelines for the construction of water tanks used for fire protection. This standard does not recommend the use of tanks made of polyethylene or corrugated steel tanks fitted with removable plastic liners. However, many jurisdictions allow these tanks because they are cost effective. Having said that it doesn’t mean that these tanks cannot be used or that they neglect the NFPA standards. They must be used with precautions to avoid any chances of mishaps. This standard does not cover water tanks used for drafting into a fire truck. NFPA 22 also covers standards pertaining to fabrication and installation of dual service tanks, which are used for water protection as well as other purposes. These tanks must be built such that there is always adequate water supply to fight a fire. NFPA 22 also recommends the use of separate plumbing systems for residential use as well as fire protection.
    • NFPA 13 D and 13 R: This is the standard for the installation of sprinkler systems. Of these, NFPA 13D covers the installation of sprinkler systems in manufactured homes and one- to two-family dwellings. However, NFPA 13R covers installation of sprinkler systems in residential homes up to 4 stories.
    • Fire Department Standards: This standard covers the fire protection tanks used in residences. These tanks are usually referred to as drafting connection or even FDC or Fire Department Connection. Although the tanks may be built following the NFPA standards, here the connections are made according to the local fire department standards. Most Fire Department Standards recommend property owners to use 4″ pipe systems from the water tank. The pipe connection must be equipped with a shut off gate valve. The drafting connection specifications could be found out from your local fire department. Typically, National Hose Thread connections are used for the purpose.
    • ASME: The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is an organization that develops standards and codes covering engineering, installation, and maintenance of pressure vessels and boiler tanks. ASME water tanks are designed in adherence to ASME Code, Section VIII, Division 1 guidelines. The welding is made to ASME Section IX guidelines.

As the roles played by water storage tanks in fire prevention are well introduced here, it is important that you source them from a trusted supplier. BEPeterson is one of the leading manufacturers of water storage tanks for fire prevention. The company also provides ASME pressure vessels, which can easily meet fire codes in various industrial, commercial, and residential applications.