Sprinkler system damage

The facts

The sprinkler system in the warehouse of a distribution center was activated without reason, completely covering one of the warehouses with extinguishing foam. DPS was appointed by one of the companies whose products were stored in the relevant warehouse to investigate the cause and the damage.

The survey

The detection pipe in the warehouse is filled with air at a pressure between 5 and 10 bar. Pressure losses are inevitable on large pipelines, which is why a back-up compressor is also provided in addition to the main compressor that regulates the air pressure. When the pressure in the pipe drops below 0.5 bar, the sprinkler installation is automatically activated.

Our expert could determine that the main compressor was turned off and hadn’t been restarted after the last preventive maintenance. As a result, the backup compressor had to work continuously at full capacity, and eventually overloaded. The pressure in the detection pipe slowly dropped below the limit value and the sprinkler system was activated. Cause determined.

Our expert made an inventory of all available goods and packaging methods, performed a visual inspection, examined the moisture sensitivity of the products and the water permeability of the packaging. A specialized company took samples to determine the moisture content in the products. The value of the damaged goods and the cost of the cleaning and disposal of the foam where added to the file. Damage determined.

The outcome

Based on our survey report, responsibility for the incident was determined and the claim could be further handled by the insurance companies.