by Ron Joseph
Fire Sprinklers for Paint Spray Booths
Q. We operate a small spray booth using water based paints. Usually latexes,
we use a paint by Sherwin William Company (DTM) for all our metal spraying usually
touch up of fill cabinets. We sand down the items and wipe them down with acetone
to clean the surface before spraying. The problem has come up that the fire
marshall said the spray booth does not meet fire codes because there is no sprinkler
system in the area. We do have a 10lb ABC type extinguisher in the room at the
exits which was appropriate for the previous fire marshall. I have looked through
all our local codes and state, OSHA, NFP codes and can not find any reference
other than combustable and flamable references. Could you help and direct me
where to find related items for my situation?
A. Your research is probably accurate. I've looked trough NFPA-33, the bible
on fire protection in spray booths, and it does allow for alternatives to sprinklers;
namely fire extinguishers of various types. Attached is the wording from NFPA-33.
I hope this confirms your position and perhaps you can show it to your fire
marshall and convince him that you are following acceptable practice.