Large scale fire tests on sprinklered cars in underground car park

Why now?

Fire Safety regulations in underground car parks are changing. Since 1st of january a new guideline (soon becoming federal regulation) is being applied both in Flanders and Brussels.

The new guideline is much stricter but allows more choices. In many cases the choice between smoke control and sprinkler is possible. From certain parking surfaces, both systems are mandatory.

What is the goal of the research project?

A fire brigade intervention model is being developed by FESG, allowing to determine for each car park what is the most suitable combination of fire safety measures. This can range from smoke extraction, sprinkler, compartmentation or combinations of these, but also to "light" solutions such as a sprinkler connected to the water main or smoke extraction using mobile fans.

What is the role of the fire tests in the research project?

The large-scale fire tests are part of obtaining crucial information to feed the fire brigade intervention model at three levels.

  1. Fire brigade intervention is influenced, among other things, by the time required for the fire service to intervene through smoke. In the fire tests, unique data is collected on the use of thermal imaging cameras in sprinklered parking garages.
  2. Efficiency of different types of sprinklersis examined in detail.
    1. What is the advantage of quick response to standard response sprinklers in underground car parks? 
    2. Which water density is required to avoid fire spread?
    3. What is the heat releas rate after sprinkler activation?
  3. Mutual influence of the different systems on each other:
    1. How does a ventilation system influence the number of sprinkler heads that open?
    2. How does the oxygen influence the burning capacity after activation of the sprinkler?

These crucial questions are answered through the extensive series of tests.

Partners in the project?

The partners in this research project are Cegelec Fire Solutions and Ghent University. The project is partially being funded by the "Vlaams Agentschap voor Innovatie en Ondernemerschap".

Real applications in your building projects?

How can this add value to your construction project? We regularly give infosessions with practical examples of underground car parks where tailor-made solutions provide the most reliable and cost-effective solution. It is not uncommon to save between 40 and 50% on installation and maintenance cost by making the righ combinations. Want to know more? send an email to

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