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New FM Global Fire Protection Guidelines Could Reduce Warehouse Owners’ Costs by Millions

Engineering-Driven Design Standard for ‘In-Rack’ Sprinklers Offers More Protection at Less Cost

LONDON, UK— FM Global, one of the world’s largest commercial and industrial property insurers, today unveiled a new, more effective fire protection approach for warehouses that could reduce businesses’ loss prevention costs by millions. Using current fire protection technology, the solution enables facility owners to use fewer sprinklers and lower-capacity water systems.

The development follows nearly three years of comprehensive research by FM Global consisting of extensive and advanced open-source computer fire modelling, water flow tests and large-scale fire tests at its 1,600-acre (647 hectare) Research Campus in West Glocester, Rhode Island, USA, the premiere centre in the world for property loss-prevention scientific research and product testing.

“Fire is the leading cause of commercial property damage,” noted Ronnie Gibson, vice president and chief engineer with FM Global. “This new in-rack sprinkler design option for warehouses can minimise our clients’ costs as well as their risk and exemplifies FM Global’s unparalleled risk engineering expertise and commitment to the resilience of our policyholders.”

For example, in a 500,000-square foot (46,450-square metre) warehouse with an 80-foot (24-metre) ceiling height, the cost of installing sprinklers, pumps and water tanks could fall from approximately £2.75 million to as little as £1.7 million, according to contractor estimates.

In addition to cost savings, the new design also is more environmentally friendly. It would allow companies to protect their highest-hazard commodities, such as expanded plastic, using less than half the water volume previously needed. Furthermore, in the event of a fire, warehouse owners would likely sustain less water and smoke damage, because the fire would be controlled or suppressed more quickly. Businesses also may see a smaller environmental impact in smoke and water runoff.

FM Global’s detailed engineering guideline, Data Sheet 8-9, “Storage of Class 1, 2, 3, 4 and Plastic Commodities,” is available online at no cost at www.fmglobaldatasheets.com.

About FM Global

Marking 180 years in business, FM Global (www.fmglobal.co.uk) is a US$5.6 billion mutual insurance company whose capital, scientific research capability and engineering expertise are solely dedicated to property risk management and the resilience of its client-owners. FM Global works with many of the world’s largest organisations to develop cost-effective property insurance and engineering solutions to protect their business operations from fire, natural disasters and other types of property risk. In 2015, Global Finance Magazine named FM Global the ‘World’s Best Supply Chain Insurance Provider.’ In the United Kingdom, FM Global is the communicative name for FM Insurance Company Limited.