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Controlling Corrosion in Fire Protection Systems Protecting Cultural Resources

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Controlling Corrosion in Fire Protection Systems Protecting Cultural Resources White Paper (195 kb)

Providing fire protection systems for cultural resources (museums, libraries and antiquities) poses several interesting dilemmas when it comes to sprinkler design considerations. Although it seems quite prudent to install fire sprinklers to mitigate the risk that fire might damage or destroy the cultural resources, there are real and quantifiable risks associated with the act of placing water filled piping above these invaluable collections or invaluable facilities. Accidental water discharge and leaking pipes can pose intolerable risks.

Protecting cultural resources from corrosion related leaks in fire sprinkler systems is of paramount importance. Taking steps to mitigate risks can only be done with a complete understanding of the root causes of the corrosion and the proper means for prevention. Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion (MIC) is not the root cause of corrosion related leaks in fire sprinkler systems. Oxygen corrosion is the primary cause of corrosion related failures in all water based fire sprinkler systems. Using galvanized steel piping without a means for eliminating oxygen from the fire sprinkler system is not a viable solution.