I've been told that memorizing the ANSI and ARCH drawing sizes along with architectural scales & their scale factors is a part of the first day of any drafting program. I've also been told that anyone who drafts regularly should undoubtedly have the standard sheet sizes and scale factors for different architectural scales memorized.
Consider me the dumb exception who never learned how to draft.
Despite being told I have a large head (I think they're talking about my physically awkward-sized head and not my bloated ego), I can't seem to allocate much space in there to remember the essentials of life like knowing that ANSI D translates to a 22 x 34 sheet size.
And for that, I've created a drafting cheatsheet -
Normally only important images get a caption below it, but in this case even a very basic table that just shows architectural scales and names for drawing sheet sizes gets a caption too. What a day.
Now, if you're from a part of the planet that uses an intuitive, logical, consensus-driven, and straightforward method of measuring using the SI system, then you can largely ignore the above tool and write us English-traditionalists off as keeping our head buried in the sand.
Despite even the original developers of the English system of measurement overhauling their system twice (the British adapted to the imperial system in 1824 and the metric system in the 1960s) and ditching the foot-pound world, us westerners just can't seem to let some things go.
This shouldn't be the sword I choose to fall on, so I'll leave the dead horse for someone else to beat. For those who use the "US Customary Units of Measure" and also can't seem to recall how to scale a 3/32" = 1'-0" background properly (it's a scale factor of 128), this cheatsheet is for you too.
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This week we're covering a basic riser manifold configuration for wet-pipe fire sprinkler systems. This is not for a shotgun-style single riser, nor for a wet riser using an alarm check valve (we'll explore both of those later).
If you haven't checked it out, there are great ongoing discussions (some of which covered these topics) on the MeyerFire Daily page here.
Wet-pipe systems form the backbone of traditional fire sprinkler system design, comprising the most popular and most economical system type available. Here's the major components that go into a wet-pipe fire sprinkler assembly:
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Hope your 2019 is off to a great start! Here's the big industry impacts I'm excited to be following in the upcoming year.
Tyco's UL Certified Antifreeze Solution
Tyco (Johnson Controls) debuted a big industry shakeup over the end of 2018 with their new UL Certified pre-mixed antifreeze solution.
A tragic apartment kitchen fire in 2010 activated a nearby sprinkler as part of an antifreeze solution with too high of a glycerin concentration, resulting in an "explosion" when contacting the flame. This and two other incidents quickly prompted an investigation by NFPA and its Fire Protection Research Foundation, which resulted in TIAs (Tenative Interim Amendments) to limit the use of antifreeze in new sprinkler systems. These TIAs required that antifreeze solutions must be listed for use in sprinkler systems.
Until now (eight years later), no such listed solution was available on the market.
This new antifreeze solution offers an alternative to dry systems for temperatures as low as -10 deg F (-23.3 deg C), and are listed for use with CPVC.
Upcoming PE Exam Changes
While the 2019 Fire Protection PE Exam doesn't appear to hold any major changes from the 2018 version, this is the last year that is planned to be a pencil and paper, all-resources-allowed version of the PE Exam. In 2020, NCEES (with SFPE's support) is planning to move the exam to be computer-based and potentially only permit portions of reference material to be available via PDFs.
These changes might not seem big on the surface, but with them the exam experience will change fairly dramatically - going from a personalized collection of customized notes, examples and self-made binders to more of a standardized approach similar to NICET exams.
Because of the uncertainty around the 2020 exam, I suspect there will be a good handful of PE candidates that if eligibile would opt to take the 2019 exam over being the "guinea-pig" on the new 2020 exam format. There's plenty more to be discussed and released by both NCEES and SFPE concerning the new computerized exam format, but it'll certainly be something I'll be tracking around here in the coming year.
MeyerFire in 2019
Thanks to the high level of interest and feedback for this site, everything is full-steam around here. The past year was phenomenal around here and I saw a major uptick in interest for the 2018 PE Prep Guide (two-thirds of examinees had it when they took the exam), the Weekly Exam Series, and the launch of the Toolkit.
In 2019 I hope to continue to improve upon the weekly blog series with highly-visual and hopefully helpful content, release a 2019 edition of the PE Prep Guide, and work towards a long-awaited fire protection reference guide - basically a book of helpful charts, graphs, and visuals for inspectors, designers, and engineers.
Why This Site Exists
This site was built to start the conversation.
I really would like to emphasize that I am not an end-all expert in the field. Much of what I've posted here as it relates to my own experience or industry guidance is already available.
What makes the emphasis of this site different is that it's all about bringing together experts in different fire protection factions to discuss and share best practices. It's about improving your workflow and your knowledge with resources and ideas, and giving a medium for you to share your expertise for other's gain as well.
If you're new to the blog or the website - welcome! We're well suited for a great year.
What's not to like about a Top 10 list? If you know someone who may enjoy reading about this, please consider forwarding to a friend.
Here's the top ten most popular articles and posts in this past year:
I hope you've had a great 2018 and are looking as forward to the coming year as I am.
If you've found any of this helpful, consider sending this to a friend or encouraging them to sign up for these weekly articles here. Thanks in advance and have a great holiday and happy new year!
It's hard to believe we're getting ready to wrap up the year. If I could say any one thing to you as a reader of this blog, it would be a big THANK YOU for helping build and share this platform for fire protection tools & articles.
In only a few years this site has grown from just one voice with small tips on system design to a platform for high-caliber regular discussions on the Daily page, a top PE Exam prep community, and a means to which I've spoken with many incredible people about tools and ideas to build and help us collaborate better as an industry going forward.
I won't bore you with all the details, but the stats around this site astound me. I started with no real expectation of readership, and in such a short time this outlet has grown well past my wildest hopes. Just since December 2017, readership for these articles has increased nearly 5X, and there is now regularly over 400 different professionals using the tools and discussing daily questions here each day. In 2018 there's been over half a million pageviews, and many of them coming from around the world.
Thank you for your support and encouragement in helping build something special here.
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Joseph Meyer, PE, is a Fire Protection Engineer in St. Louis, Missouri. See bio on About page.