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  1. Cloud Ceiling Panels: Where do the Sprinklers go?

    July 31, 2015 by Total Fire and Safety

    Cloud ceiling panels are a new interior design trend in which a building with a high unfinished ceiling has panels at a lower level with lights attached to them. This creates a kind of ‘faux ceiling’ which draws attention away from the high ceiling. The effect can be modern, artistic, and add texture to a room, but… where do the  indoor sprinkler system heads go?

    For a long time, commercial sprinkler systems had to be installed on both the cloud ceilings and the actual ceiling, but the NFPA has revisited these rules since the cloud ceilings have become more popular. The original thought was that the cloud panels will block water from reaching the floor of the building where the fire would be. Therefore, cloud panels would have fire sprinklers installed on them too so that the sprinklers would be closer to potential fire sources.

    After running certain tests, officials have determined that there are some cloud panel situations that do not require so many sprinklers. By following certain guidelines regarding the size and distance between each cloud panel, sprinklers may only be installed in either the cloud ceiling or the true ceiling. The distance between the true ceiling and the cloud ceiling is also a factor in this rule. In order to be effective, sprinklers must cover a certain range of area in the building, vertically and horizontally. If there is enough space between each cloud panel and they aren’t too far from the ceiling itself, it is safe for sprinklers to only be installed on the ceiling. Likewise, if cloud panels are very close to the actual ceiling, sprinklers would serve better if installed on the panels themselves.

    If your building has cloud ceiling panels and you have questions about where sprinklers should go, make sure to contact a professional at Total Fire and Safety, since the NFPA regulations have been updated. You can reach us at 630-324-0092.