HDPE Pipe: The Superior Material for Fire Prevention

By Logan Bridges

Fire sprinkler systems are highly effective at controlling fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In an NFPA study from 2010-2014, the agency found that sprinklers operated in 92% of fires that were large enough to trigger the sprinklers, and effectively controlled the fires in 96% of those situations.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a key component of many fire suppression systems, forming a pipe network for fire hydrants and fire sprinkler systems. Safety and reliability are critical for fire suppression systems and polyethylene pipe fits the bill. HDPE pipes are durable, flexible and nearly maintenance-free.

Residential and industrial fire suppression systems  

Fire suppression systems are used to extinguish, control or prevent fires. Underground fire loops are mains that supply water for industrial fire protection systems, like fire hydrants, sprinkler systems and standpipes. The fire loops connect to city or municipal water mains to transport water to the fire protection systems.

Fire protection systems are used in residential, commercial and industrial settings. Residential settings include apartments, homes, condos and hotels. Sprinkler systems have proven to be highly effective at saving lives and many jurisdictions require them to be installed in new residences.

Industrial fire protection systems include those in manufacturing facilities, power plants, fuel storage facilities, refineries, petrochemical plants, warehouses and onshore and offshore oil and gas facilities. Fire protection systems are especially critical for industrial facilities involving volatile chemicals and fire-prone materials.

Fire protection system safety is governed by the NFPA, an international non-profit organization that has developed more than 300 codes and standards for fire protection systems. The FM Global Group certifies fire protection equipment, including the HDPE pipe used in fire suppression systems. United Poly Systems recently received FM approval to manufacture PE4710, Alathon L4940LS and Alathon L5008HP polyethylene pipe in 2–24 inch diameters.

Why is HDPE pipe ideal for firewater systems?

HDPE pipe has many qualities that set it apart from copper and iron pipe.

  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Requires little maintenance
  • Flexible
  • Lightweight and easy to install
  • Resistant to chemicals, corrosion, bacterial growth
  • Leak-proof
  • High strength and stiffness to withstand pressure at high flow velocities
  • Withstands corrosive soils and resists seismic activity

United Poly Systems HDPE pipe for underground fire loops

Products in the United Poly Systems’ Water-Line suite are ideal for fire protection systems. These products are FM Approved and are manufactured in 4-24 in. diameters, SDR 11 (200 psi), SDR 9 (250 psi) and SDR 7 (335 psi).

About United Poly Systems

United Poly Systems produces quality HDPE pipe in diameters from ¾-in. to 26-in. IPS, 4-in. to 24-in. DIPS and ¾-in. to 2-in. CTS for use in multiple markets, including energy, power and communications, renewables and water infrastructure. The demand for HDPE pipe continues to expand as initiatives to improve, repair and expand the country’s infrastructure are implemented. 

Our off-the-shelf HDPE pipe is available in a variety of sizes, colors, dimensions and lengths, with or without stripes. We also offer fully customizable HDPE conduit options. In addition, piping can be customized with a ribbed interior (to maximize the distance cable may be pulled or jetted), pull tape, or a lubricated interior (for easier installation).  

Success at UPS can be attributed to our vast experience, extensive client relationships and state-of-the-art manufacturing and quality processes. Our agile business model allows us to quickly meet customers’ needs without the overhead expenses incurred by many of the larger producers in the industry. 

All UPS products are manufactured in the United States at our facilities in Springfield, Missouri, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. We are compliant with the Buy American Act requiring U.S. Federal Agencies to purchase materials and products that are sourced domestically. Our centralized locations allow us to quickly deliver to most of the U.S. 

Tags: Water, Pressure, General News