Aviation Industry

Hangar Fire Protection

About Poole Fire Protection

The fire protection engineers at Poole Fire Protection are experts at designing fire protection systems for aircraft hangars, and at understanding the codes and standards that guide their design. With staff members on the NFPA committees for Airport and Helicopter Facilities, we truly understand the intent of the code because we're helping write it. Over the years, our expertise has produced cost and time-saving benefits for our aviation clients, both federal and municipal.

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Foam Fire Suppression in Hangar
Hangar Operators

We Will Solve Your PFAS Problem

Many aircraft hangars are protected by fire with a highly effective firefighting foam containing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS), but soon this product may become illegal to be used in a number of states due to its potential negative environmental impact.

In 2019, an accidental spill of approximately 50,000 gallons of firefighting foam containing PFAS at a Connecticut airport hangar resulted in contamination of the water treatment plant and a nearby river. Local health and environmental authorities issued warnings not to consume fish caught from the river or touch areas of foam along the banks. “The chemical in this firefighting foam…harms people and does not break down,” said Bill Dornbros, executive director of the Farmington River Watershed Association.

Commercial Airports, Fixed Base Operators (FBOs) and Military Bases are all dealing with the question of how to provide adequate, code-compliant fire protection for hangars while not harming the environment.

Poole Fire Protection is ready to provide the risk assessment, code consulting and engineering services required to solve your PFAS problem!

Our Primary Services

Risk Assessment & Code Consulting

  • Risk Assessments - Systematic fire and life safety assessment to identify risks and determine which alternatives to foam, if necessary, would meet the requirements of NFPA 409
  • Code Analysis - Prescriptive and performance-based code reviews to determine conformance with required codes and standards
  • Code Footprints - Technical information regarding a hangar's fire and life safety features conveyed in a simple, narrative format supported by related diagrams
  • Master Planning - Fire safety plans designed to meet code requirements and provide alternative approaches to compliance
  • Fire Modeling - Computer-aided models using scientific projections of fire growth, system activation, exit times and related variables

System Design

  • Design Services - Detailed system design of fire detection, fire alarm, mass notification, automatic sprinklers, and special hazard systems
  • Construction Management - Coordination, oversight and special inspector services of work by contractors
  • System Acceptance, Inspection & Testing - Review of newly installed or existing features
  • 3rd-Party Plan & Drawing Reviews - Assessment of prepared plans and drawings for compliance with required standards, potential alternatives and performance-based designs
NFPA Research Report on Aircraft Hangar Fire Protection Systems

NFPA Research Report

Company Principal Jack Poole, PE collaborated with Jim Milke, Ph.D., PE with the University of Maryland to produce the NFPA Research Foundation's new report on Performance Criteria for Aircraft Hangar Fire Protection Systems. This research project
proposes an evaluation method that can be used to assess the performance of alternative fire protection
systems for aircraft hangar facilities and what additional research is needed to further develop performance
criteria for alternative systems. Click below to access the full report.

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VIDEO: Performance Criteria for Aircraft Hangar Fire Protection Systems

Click the image below to watch Jack Poole, PE, FSFPE and Dr. Jim Milke, PE, FSFPE of the University of Maryland, present the findings from the NFPA Research Foundation research report "Performance Criteria for Aircraft Hangar Fire Protection Systems"

NFPA 409
NFPA 409

What You Need to Know

The 2022 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 409: Standard on Aircraft Hangars incorporates changes proposed and supported by the National Aviation Transportation Association (NATA), providing hangar owners and operators tools to protect against fire without the use of foam fire suppression systems. The revised edition of NFPA 409 contain provisions that:

  1. Create an alternative Performance-Based Design process allowing modification of any part of the NFPA 409 standard
  2. Create a Risk Assessment process that allows businesses to propose alternative fire protection schemes with or without foam
  3. Exempt Group II hangars that prohibit hazardous activities from foam requirements
  4. Approve the use of ignitable liquid floor drainage systems in lieu of foam systems

Prior to this revision, NFPA 409 required most modern general aviation hangars to have automatic foam fire suppression systems installed.

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