ES&H Manual

Fire Protection Supplement

Chapter 11:

Combustible Loading


1.0            Purpose


To establish a method to actively control the accumulation of transient combustible material in the Jefferson Lab experimental halls. Combustible materials that are required for the conduct of Physics experiments are carefully evaluated. Appropriate fire detection and suppression features are installed to mitigate the hazard of these combustibles. Transient combustibles materials, generally associated with the delivery of new apparatus and materials to and experimental hall must be controlled to prevent an unacceptable accumulation.The accumulation of combustible materials in the experimental halls requires careful regulation because of the fire suppression plan in these areas necessitated by the unusual configuration of the halls and experimental apparatus.


2.0            Scope


Transient combustible materials in the experimental hall is unavoidable, however, those materials must not accumulate to become significant fuel packages that would damage the unique scientific apparatus and electronics in the hall if ignited. This document provides the requirements for the inspection of the experimental halls for the presence of combustible materials and the disposition of unacceptable accumulation.


3.0            Responsibilities


3.1              Building Managers and Safety Wardens

·         Conduct regularly scheduled walkthroughs of all spaces

·         Document the walk through and findings.


3.2              Fire Protection Engineer (FPE)

·         Conducts unannounced walkthrough inspections of buildings

·         Notifies Building Manager/Safety Coordinators of findings.

·         Maintains records of inspections and evaluations.

·         Assist the Experimental Hall Work Coordinators to manage the combustible load in their areas.


4.0            General Information


4.1       Combustible Loading:

·         Experimental Halls A, B, and C were constructed without overhead water based fire suppression systems installed. This was done because of the unusual shape of these halls and the ineffectiveness of sprinkler heads installed high above the floor level.  Reference 6.4 provides a detailed analysis of the experimental hall dome sprinkler analysis.


·         To comply with the requirements of the experimental hall sprinkler exemption the following actions are necessary:

o   Combustible materials planned to be introduced into the experimental halls is carefully evaluated to ensure a fire protection plan is implemented for each fuel package.

o   Combustible materials are managed or removed to ensure fire suppression capabilities exist at all times.

o   Transient Packing materials that are easily ignited and would burn rapidly are limited to 20 pounds in each Hall.

o   Welding gasses and other compressed flammable gas are removed from the hall when not in use or stored and used in accordance with an approved experimental review.


5.0            Process Steps


5.1              Combustible Loading:


5.1.1        Combustible Materials and Compressed Flammable Gas that are a component of an experiment are planned and reviewed through an experimental review process. Refer to Fire Protection Supplement Chapter 2: Fire Protection Design for an explanation of the experimental review process.


5.1.2        During the first week of a maintenance period and weekly thereafter for the duration of the maintenance period the Fire Protection Engineer inspects each experimental hall for combustible material disposition.


·         Transient Combustible Materials and Welding Gasses are generally material that is not required to be in an experimental hall during the conduct of the current experiment.  These materials are brought into the experimental hall during maintenance periods for the direct support of the existing experimental apparatus or are often being staged for a future experiment. The Fire Protection Engineer evaluates each fuel package and takes the following action:

o   Make arrangements through the Experimental Hall Work Coordinator for moderately combustible fuel packages to be positioned within 10-feet of the experimental hall wall so it is in the vicinity of a ring header sprinkler head. Do not exceed the capacity of the Ordinary Hazard Group 1 sprinkler density provided with the ring header sprinkler heads.

o   Extend the water based fire suppression system to provide sprinkler coverage over a fuel package that cannot be relocated.

o   Removal of the fuel package, such as gas welding carts from the hall when not in use.


·         Packing Materials Wooden pallets and crates, and other packing materials that the commodity has been removed, should be taken out of the experimental hall immediately. All packing material, regardless of weight, is removed at the end of each work period. 


5.1.3        Provide a written report to each Experimental Hall Work Coordinator concerning the observed status and recommended disposition of combustible material in each hall.  Send a copy of each report to the Physics Division Safety Officer


6.0            References


6.1              National Fire Protection Association 5000 Building Construction and Safety Code 2012 Edition

6.2              Equivalency Request to DOE Order 420-1B “Facility Safety” for Jefferson Lab Experimental Halls A, B and C, Approval letter dated 09/27/10.

6.3              Fire Hazard Analysis – CEBAF and Experimental Halls, August 12, 2010.


7.0            Revision Summary


Periodic Review – 06/02/16 – No changes per TPOC

Revision 0.2 – 09/17/13  Qualifying Periodic Review; added clarification for compressed flammable gas and welding gasses

Revision 0.1 – 03/23/11  Added “Fire Hazard Analysis” to References

Revision 0.0 – 02/08/11  Content separated from Chapter 10










Fire Protection Department

Tim Minga





This document is controlled as an on line file.  It may be printed but the print copy is not a controlled document.  It is the user’s responsibility to ensure that the document is the same revision as the current on line file.  This copy was printed on 6/14/2016.