Seismic Protection

$ 29.00

Continuing Education Units (CEU): 0.10

Expected Duration: 1 Hour

The self-paced online course covers basic concepts and requirements for the seismic bracing of sprinkler systems. Protection of piping in areas subject to seismic activity presents requirements that must be met to ensure that fire protection piping is not damaged.

Upon completion you should be able to:

  • Understand how earthquakes have affected the development of bracing requirements
  • Explain key concepts, such as zone of influence, slenderness ratio and frangible construction
  • Explain various requirements, including spacing for lateral and longitudinal braces, branch line restraint and pipe clearances through fire barriers, ceilings platforms and floors
  • Explain the difference between sway braces and riser braces
  • List the components for a properly designed sway brace

Who Will Benefit

Anyone whose job involves designing, reviewing, evaluating or installing fire protection systems, including: designers, installers, engineers, electrical contractors, technicians, project managers, fire marshals, and architects.

Course Summary

  • Seismic activity (earthquakes) presents a significant challenge to the support of fire systems (all building systems, as a matter of fact). Lateral bracing is included to help prevent the movement of piping perpendicular to its installation direction; longitudinal bracing helps brace the pipe from movement parallel to its installation direction, and riser bracing helps to brace pipe from moving in all horizontal directions.
  • Spacing of bracing is based on the loads and pipe size being braced. The listed loads for the braces, including fittings and attachments, must be adequate to support the forces exerted on the sprinkler piping. The loads are determined using the 'zone of influence' method which is a tally of all of the weights of pipe, fittings, and devices acting on a particular brace, laterally for lateral braces, and longitudinally for longitudinal braces.
  • Branch lines are restrained in seismic areas to protect piping and attachments from mechanical damage.
  • Calculations to prove the design of the braces is adequate are required. The size of the braces is derived from the application of calculations from ASCE pamphlet 7.
  • Flexibility is a key requirement in seismic protection design. This can be accomplished by using flexible couplings or clearance around sprinkler piping allowing it to move.