US 3738429 A
A fire extinguishing system in which branch conduit means branching off from main conduit means near the ceiling of a building, e.g., a warehouse, are in their ineffective position retracted and stored near the ceiling of the respective storage room or the like, and are released in case of fire in the vicinity thereof so as to freely hang downwardly to a plane near the floor of the building while control means normally preventing fluid connection between said main and branch-off conduit means establish such fluid connection.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ilnited States Patent [191 Heller et al.
[ June 12, 1973 FIRE EXTINGUISHING SYSTEM  Inventors: Karl Heinz Heller, Northen; Hans Joachim Fischer, Berenbostel, both of Germany  Assignee: Continental Gummi-Werke Aktiengesellschaft, Hannover, Germany  Filed: Mar. 4, 1971  Appl. No.: 121,068
 Foreign Application Priority Data Sept. 10, 1970 Germany P 20 44 731.8
 US. Cl. 169/2 R, 169/16  Int. Cl. A62c 3/00  Field of Search 169/16,17,13,10,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 409,796 8/1889 Magaldi 169/16 1,826,072 10/1931 Hamilton 169/16 3,539,108 10/1970 Lillibridge et a1. 169/16 X 3,626,487 12/1971 Seiz 169/2 R X Primary Examiner-M. Henson Wood, Jr. Assistant Examiner-John J. Love Attorney-Walter Becker [5 7] ABSTRACT A fire extinguishing system in which branch conduit means branching off from main conduit means near the ceiling ofa building, e.g., a warehouse, are in their ineffective position retracted and stored near the ceiling of the respective storage room or the like, and are released in case of fire in the vicinity thereof so as to freely hang downwardly to a plane near the floor of the building while control means normally preventing fluid connection between said main and branch-off conduit means establish such fluid connection.
7 Claims, 1 Drawing Figure FIRE EXTINGUISHING SYSTEM The present invention relates to a fire extinguishing system for warehouses, supply and assembly halls, and similar buildings, in the form of a flexible hose of rubber or synthetic material which is suspended below the ceiling of the building and is connectable to a source of a fire extinguishing medium while being provided with lateral spray openings.
An arrangement of this type has been described in assignees copending application Ser. No. 121,067 filed Mar. 4, 1971 and entitled Stationary Fire Extinguishing System. The said system represents a stationary fire protection which in view of the vertical location of the hoses for dispensing the fire extinguishing medium is particularly well suited for buildings with high ceilings and high piles of goods or shelves and for this type of storage is superior to heretofore known sprinkler systems. In spite of these obvious advantages, the employment of such fire protective installations was not feasible in buildings with traveling cranes or overhead cranes or other hoisting means moving near the ceiling and serving for the transport of the goods because the freely downwardly hanging hoses impede the movability of such cranes and hoists. In such instances it was heretofore necessary to resort to sprinkler systems, and the extra costs of such systems had to be put up with.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to widen the field of application of the fire protective system referred to above and described in the above mentioned assignees copending application, and to make the employment of such installations independent of the structural and operational particulars of the respective buildings to be protected against fire hazards.
This object and other objects and advantages of the invention will appear more clearly from the following specification in connection with the accompanying drawing diagrammatically illustrating a tire protective system according to the present invention, while one side of the drawing shows the system in its inactive condition and the other side of the drawing shows the system in its active condition.
The fire extinguishing system according to the present invention is characterized primarily in that the downwardly hanging hoses, when in their inactive condition, are folded together to a fraction of their length or in rolled-up condition are detachably supported by the ceiling of the warehouse.
The hoses are expediently released from their inactive to their active position. simultaneously with the supply ofa fire extinguishing medium to the hoses. The practical design for the holding means for the hoses may vary. Thus, the holding means may consist ofa bag or sack of a foil of synthetic material which sack or bag has one side seam adapted to be torn open. The bag or sack which receives the folded together or rolled-up hose is connected to the ceiling structure or to the pipe line system for supplying the fire extinguishing medium, or to any other suitable stationary structural element.
According to a modification, instead of the bag or sack referred to above, a band of elastic material may be employed which is looped around the hose windings and which either has a preformed or prepared breaking area or which can be detached without being destroyed so that it can be used anew.
Referring now to the drawing in detail, the invention is shown by way of example as a fire protective system for a warehouse. Piles of goods 2 are located on the floor 1 of the warehouse. Each pair of piles of goods 2 has associated therewith a fire extinguishing system. Such system comprises in all instances a flexible hose 3 which by means ofa screw connection 4 is connected to a rigidly and stationarily mounted conduit 6 for furnishing the fire extinguishing medium. Hose 3 is connected to the underside of the ceiling 5 by means of clamps 6a. The hoses 3 have their lower free ends closed by blind couplings 7. The hoses 3 are over the major portion of their length provided with spray openings 8 through which the fire extinguishing medium or fluid can radially pass in all direction. For purposes of controlling the feeding of fire extinguishing medium into the conduit 6, there is provided an electromagnetic shut-off valve 9 which normally blocks the passage of fire extinguishing medium therethrough, and only in response to the energization of its actuating magnet by a source 10 of current as a result ofa control pulse initiated by a smoke detector 1 1 will said valve 9 permit the passage of fire extinguishing medium into the hoses 3.
In the space above the piles of goods 2 there is arranged a travelling crane 12 which is movable on rails 13 over the entire length of the warehouse and which is provided with lifting means not shown for receiving the piled up goods. In order to assure the freedom of movement necessary for an economic transport and movement of the piled up goods, the hoses 3 of the fire extinguishing system are, in conformity with the showing on the left-hand portion of the drawing, folded to a flat bundle and are within the region of the screw connection 4, by means of relatively thin foil strips 14 of a thermoplastic synthetic material, suspended on the conduit 6. The foil strips 14, while being able to hold the weight of the empty bundles of hoses, are not strong enough to hold the hoses when the latter receive the tire extinguishing medium, for instance, water. Moreover, the strength of the foil strips is also reduced by the increased temperature caused by the fire. Consequently, if as a result ofa fire the shut-off valve 9 opens, the holding strips 14 will at a desired predetermined area, which may be determined either by a weakened section in the material or by a restriction, break so that the hoses drop down freely between the piles of goods 2. After the emergency is over, the fire extinguishing system can be restored to its previous condition by folding the hoses 3 and suspending them again on the conduit 6 by means of new holding strips 14 so that the hoses are again held above the travelling crane 12.
As will be evident from the above, the tire extinguishing system according to the present invention does not impede the horizontal movement of cranes and the like and thus does notimpede the transport of the goods while at the same time it does not affect the efficiency of the fire protective system in case of an emergency. The holding means for the suspended hoses are so designed that they will reliably support the weight of the hoses in the inactive condition of the tire protective system but will quickly release the hoses in case of an emergency. No special mechanical actuating means are required to convert the system from its inactive to its active condition so that failures in the performance of the system are practically impossible.
It is, of course, to be understood that the present invention is, by no means, limited to the particular showing in the drawing but also comprises any modifications within the scope of the appended claims.
What we claim is:
1. In combination with a building, especially warehouse, having a ceiling and a floor, a stationary fire extinguishing system, which includes: main conduit means extending near and approximately parallel to said ceiling and adapted to be connected to a source of fire extinguishing medium, a plurality of branch conduit means comprising perforated flexible hoses branching off from and in communication with said main conduit means and movable from a retracted position near said main conduit means to an effective position in which said branch conduit means freely hang downwardly from said main conduit means to a plane near the floor of. said building, holding means arranged near the ceiling of said building and adapted to hold said branch conduit means in said retracted position, said holding means being adapted in case of a fire occurring in the vicinity thereof to release said branch conduit means so as to cause the latter to move automatically to said effective position, and control means normally preventing the flow of a tire extinguishing medium from said main conduit means into said branch conduit means, but operable automatically in response to the outbreak of a fire in the vicinity of said branch conduit means to establish flow of fire extinguishing medium to said branch conduit means.
2. An arrangement in combination according to claim 1, in which said holding means is adapted to release said branch conduit means in response to a fire extinguishing medium from said main conduit means filling a fractional portion of said branch conduit extensively deformable means.
3. An arrangement in combination according to claim 2, in which said holding means contains a weakened portion in the form of a tear line.
4. An arrangement in combination according to claim 1, in which said holding means are in the form of bags having at least one section formed by foil means of synthetic material detachably connected to each other.
5. An arrangement in combination according to claim 1, in which said holding means are formed by a strip of elastic material.
6. An arrangement in combination according to claim 5, in which said strip has a weakened tear section.
7. An arrangement in combination according to claim S, in which said strip has a disconnectable connecting section.