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By: Paul Roque, PME

The purpose of Fire flow requirements and Hydrant system is to

provide general knowledge on Fire Protection System in regards to
Private and Public fire mains or yard mains, water supply
requirement and fire hydrant design in compliance to the
International Codes and Standards (National Fire Protection
Association and International Fire Code). This subject
presentation will focus on the required fire flow rate of a specific
area, type of building construction, and area size of the building.
Fire flow requirements will dictate the required flow for each
sprinklered or unsprinklered building in case of fire.
The required water supply will vary to the type of
construction. Fire hydrant quantity and flow requirements
will also determined by the simplified recommendation
table of fire flow by the International Codes and Standards
(NFPA and IFC). This subject presentation will benefit the
authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) and its stakeholders
that the requirements of Fire Hydrant and Water Supply
has parameters to follow and the systems shall meet the
minimum requirements based on International Code and
 Authority Having Jurisdiction
 Designer
 Certifier
 Risk Assessor
 Insurance Provider
 Owner’s Representative
 Fire Brigade
Indicates a mandatory requirement.

Indicates a recommendation or that which is advised but not

Equipment, materials, or services included in a list published
by an organization that is acceptable to the authority having

Acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction.
1895 – NFPA
 Refineries, Chemical Plants and Distilleries
(Chapter 3 Flammable and Combustible Liquids Sec.

 Open Yard Storage

(Division 11 Lumber Yards, Wood Processing and
Woodworking Facilities Sec.

 Organic Coating
(Division 15 Organic Coatings Sec.

 Water and Waste Water Treatment Plants

(Division 15 WWTP Sec.

 Urban and Rural Planning

(Division 7 Urban and Rural Planning Sec.
 Failure
to provide the following safety
construction protective and warning systems
as required in Section 7, paragraph (d) of
Republic Act No. 9514.
The basic method for controlling building fires by fire
departments is through the use of water, which is typically applied
with manual hose lines or water monitors. This water can come
from a municipal water supply, a private water supply, or from the
fire department itself (i.e., water tenders). In order to effectively
fight a fire, the water supply available must be adequate for the
threat from the building and contents. The water requirements
for firefighting include the rate of flow, the residual pressure
required at that flow, the flow duration, and the total quantity of
water required.
There are a number of methods currently used to
calculate required water flow rates for sprinklered
and non-sprinklered properties. These methods are, in
general, based on decades-old criteria derived using
data from actual fires. Over the years, building
construction methods, building contents, and fire
suppression equipment and tactics have changed. The
overall objective of this study is to assess the
appropriateness of currently available fire flow
 Existing Flow Methodologies
 ISO Method
 International Fire Code (IFC) and NFPA 1 Methods
 IWUIC Method
 Ontario Building Code Method
 FIERAsystem Water Requirements Model
 New Zealand SFPE Method TP 2004/1 and TP 2005/2
 New Zealand Fire Engineering Design Guide Method (FEDG)
 SNZ PAS 4509 Methods
 French D9 Technical Document Method
 UK National Guidance Document on the Provision of
Water for Firefighting Method .
 Iowa State University Method (ISU)
 Särdqvist, Thomas, and Baldwin Methods
 Illinois Institute of Technology Method (IIT)
The ISO method, contained in ISO PPC3001 [3], has been
developed as an aid in estimating the amount of water that should
be available for municipal fire protection, otherwise known as the
needed fire flow (NFF). ISO uses the needed fire flow at various
buildings within a community in order to evaluate the adequacy of
the water supply and delivery system for the purpose of
establishing insurance premiums. In addition, the needed fire
flows within the community are used to determine the firefighting
apparatus, size of apparatus fire pumps, and special firefighting
equipment needed in the community.
 This method is only applicable to non-residential, non-
sprinklered buildings and residential buildings which are
sprinklered or non-sprinklered. The ISO method considers
building construction, occupancy, adjacent exposed
buildings, and fire communication paths between
buildings. The basic ISO formula is:
𝑁𝐹𝐹𝑖 =(𝐶𝑖)(𝑂𝑖)[1+(𝑋 + 𝑃)𝑖]
NFFi is the needed fire flow for the subject building (gpm)
Ci is a construction factor that depends on the construction
of the building (gpm)
Oi is an occupancy factor that depends on the combustibility
of the occupancy
X is a factor related to the exposure buildings
P is a factor related to the communication between buildings
A storage of furniture (2655 sq.ft.) made of
wood frame building construction with class-
A Fire Door facing the adjacent workshop
with a distance of 25 feet to the storage
building. Calculate the needed Fire Flow for
storage building.
 CLASS (A) -3 hour approved for doors in
dividing fire walls with openings not
exceeding 1,200 sq. ft. in area.
 CLASS (B) -1.5 hour approved for doors, in
vertical shall openings not exceeding 1,200
sq. ft. in area.
 CLASS (C) -0.75 hour approved for doors in
corridor or room-partition opening not
exceeding 1,200 sq. ft. in area.
 CLASS (D) -1 .5 hour approved for doors in
exterior wall opening not exceeding 1,200
sq. ft. in area.
ISO's Guide For Determination of Needed Fire Flow,
Edition 05-2006.
The effective area shall be total area(sq. ft.)
of the largest floor in the building plus
following percentage of the total area of the
other floors.

1) Buildings Classified Construction Classes 1-

4: 50% of all floors
2) Buildings classified as Construction Classes 5 or 6

a)If all Vertical Openings in the building are

protected, 25% of not exceeding the two other
largest floors

b) If one or more vertical openings are unprotected,

50% of the area not exceeding 8 other floors with
unprotected openings
Group C—Group habitation. Buildings primarily
used or designed for the purpose of habitation by
four or more persons shall be classified as Group
C—Group Habitation. Group C is divided into the
following divisions:

C-1. Health care institutions include buildings that

provide sleeping facilities for four or more
persons who are mostly incapable of self-
preservation because of physical or mental
illness or disease, or persons convalescing from
physical or mental illness or disease. Hospitals,
sanitariums, nursing homes, etc.
Division C-2. This division applies to a building,
or a part thereof, where the occupants are in
group habitation and are not included under
Division C-1, C-3, C-4 or C-5. Hotels,
apartment buildings, multiple dwellings,
dormitories, lodging houses, orphanages,
children’s residential institutions, large
personal care homes, group homes, group
foster homes, and the like, shall be in this
Division C-3. This division applies to a building
which only has a single living unit where four
through eight residents are in group
habitation. Small personal care homes,
dormitories, lodging houses, orphanages,
children’s residential institutions, group
homes, group foster homes, and the like
having four through eight residents shall be
in this classification.
Division C-4. This division applies to apartment
units which qualify for a single means of

Division C-5. This division applies to a building,

or a part thereof, where the occupants are in
group habitation, and are mostly incapable
of self-preservation, because they are under
restraint. Prisons, jails, reformatories,
houses of correction and the like shall be in
this classification.
 Noncombustible (C-1) = No active fuel loads such
as storage of asbestos, clay, glass, marble,
stone, or metal products.

 Limited - Combustible (C-2) = Limited fuel loads

such as airports, apartments, art studios, auto
repair, auto showroom, aviaries, banks, barber
shops, beauty shops, churches, clubs, cold
storage warehouses, health clubs, hospitals,
jails, libraries, medical labs, motels, museums,
nursing homes, offices, radio stations, recreation
centers, and rooming houses
 Combustible (C-3) = Moderate fuel loads such
as auto part stores, auto repair training
center, bakery, bookstores, bowling centers,
casinos, commercial laundries, contractor
equipment storage, dry cleaners with no
flammable fluids, leather processing,
municipal storage buildings, nursery sales
stores, pavilions, pet shops, photographic
supplies, printers, restaurants, shoe repair,
supermarkets, theaters, vacant buildings,
and most wholesale & retail sales
 Free-Burning(C-4) = Active fuel loads such as
aircraft hangers, cabinet making,
combustible metals, dry cleaners using
flammable fluids, feed stores, furniture
stores, kennels, lumber, packaging and
crating, paper products manufacturing,
petroleum bulk distribution centers, tire
manufacturers, tire recapping or retreading,
wax products, and wood working shops.
 Rapid-Burning (C-5) = Contents that burn
with great intensity, spontaneously ignite,
have flammable or explosive vapors, or large
quantities of dust such as ammunition, feed
mills, fireworks, flammable compressed
gases, flammable liquids, flour mills, highly
flammable solids, matches, mattress
factories, nitrocellulose-based products, rag
storage, upholstery shops, & waste paper
International Fire Code (IFC)
and NFPA 1 Methods
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Fire Code, contain
very similar methods for determining the required fire
flow. Both codes use tabulated values of the needed fire
flow which were based on a simplified ISO method. The IFC
fire flow calculation procedure is contained in Appendix B
of the code and is not a requirement unless specifically
adopted by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). The
procedure in NFPA 1 is a requirement contained in the
main body of the code. Both codes intend for the fire flow
methodology to be used with new building construction
and/or relocated buildings.
 Decreases. Fire flow requirements
shall be permitted to be decreased by the AHJ
for isolated buildings or a group of buildings in
rural areas or suburban areas where the
development of full fire flow requirements is
impractical as determined by the AHJ.

 The AHJ shall be authorized to

establish conditions on fire flow reductions
approved in accordance with including,
but not limited to, fire sprinkler protection, type
of construction of the building, occupancy, and
 Increases. Fire flow shall be
permitted to be increased by theAHJ where
conditions indicate an unusual susceptibility
to group fires or conflagrations. An upward
modification shall not be more than twice
that required for the building under
 18.4.4 Fire Flow Area.
 General. The fire flow area shall
be the total floor area of all floor levels of a
building except as modified in

 Type I (443), Type I (332), and

Type II (222) Construction. The fire flow
area of a building constructed of Type I
(443), Type I (332), and Type II (222)
construction shall be the area of the three
largest successive floors.
 Multiple classification or interconnected
construction types Fire protection considerations
are based upon fire resistance or combustibility of
the greatest hazard.
-Example: Wood frame has less fire resistance than
A Type II (noncombustible) building connected to a
Type V (wood-frame) building without a protected
and fire-resistance-rated fire separation between
them would have the fire-flow requirements
calculated as one building.
Fire-flow requirements would be calculated
for one area (Type II and Type V combined),
since there is no fire separation between the
two buildings.

A severe fire communication problem

between adjoining structures could develop
when firewalls or fire separations are left
open or have been compromised.
(diameter) (2.5)
 Ps (Static) = 140 psi
 Pr (residual) = 125 psi
 Pp (Pitot pressure) = 120
 Cd (coefficient) (.9)
 D (diameter) (2.5)
 Qr=29.83*Cd*D2*Sqrt(Pp)
 Qr = Actual Flow (gpm) Flow hydrant
 Cd = Coefficient (found on the diffuser)
 D = Diameter (opening in inches)
 Pp = Pitot Pressure (from flow hydrant)
 Qr = 29.83 x .9 x (2.5)2 x sq root of 120
 Qr = 29.83 x .9 x 6.25 x 10.95

 Qr = 1837 gpm
 Qf = Qr x {(Ps – 20)/(Ps – Pr)}
(Raise to the 0.54 power)
 Qf = Fire flow in gpm at 20 psi
 Qr = Actual flow in gpm from
previous equation
 Ps = Static
 Pr = Residual
f = 1837 x 3.07375
 Qf = 1837 x {(140-20)/(140-125)}
(Raise to the 0.54 power)
 Qf = 1837 x (120/15) (Raise to the 0.54
 Qf = 1837 x (8) (Raise to the 0.54
 Qf = 1837 x 3.07375

 Qf = 5647 gpm flow at 20 psi

Thank you.