Construction Of Arsenals

The consensus of opinion seems to point to the use of separate one-story units of not more than 10,000-square-feet floor space, with ceiling not less than 10 feet high. These buildings should include a fireproof roof, and the floor should withstand a load of 550 pounds per square foot. Details of the construction of buildings of a somewhat similar type may be found in the Construction Section, Ordnance Department, class 19, division 2, drawing 60, the Standard Prime and Fuse House, type No. 2; the Curtis Ordnance Depot, class 19, drawing 9; the Charleston Depot, job No. 6243, plan No. 49, dated May 22,1918; the Pig Point Ordnance Depot, class 19, division 19, drawing 6.

The composite drawing figure 218 has been made from the above-mentioned drawings, and shows an ideal storage magazine which can be used as a basis for further recommendations on this subject.

Recommendation is made in reference to the construction of these buildings as follows:

Building for storage of pyrotechnics to be not more than 200 by 50 feet, with one floor and ceiling not less than 10 feet high.

Floor to be of concrete, raised from the ground on piles, to avoid ground moisture.

For convenience in loading, the floor or platform to be 3 feet 9 inches above track rail.

Floor must stand a load of 550 pounds per square foot.

Entire building should be fireproof throughout, with walls of hollow tile.

Where partitions are used, they should be hollow tile, extending to the roof and across the entire width, without openings, and with separate outside fireproof doors for each compartment.

Roof should be constructed of gypsum slabs, covered with standard-specification roofing material.

Fire Protection

There seems to be a difference of opinion in regard to an automatic sprinkler equipment, certain of the bureaus recommending that an automatic sprinkler system should be installed. However, the arguments advanced by others indicate that a sprinkler system would not be altogether desirable, particularly in regard to dead storage, with isolated buildings. Certain fire-prevention apparatus, however, is recommended for protection against small fires occurring in the vicinity, which could be put out by hand.

Composite drawing for storage warehouse.

Fig. 218. - Composite drawing for storage warehouse.

They recommend the use of the standard-construction fire-extinguishers and refer particularly to a generous supply of 40-gallon bucket tanks containing calcium-chloride or sodium-chloride solutions, as well as 5-gallon hand-pump tanks. They advise also that the Ordnance Department in its construction section of arsenals use 2 1/2-gallon arctic extinguishers. (These consist of calcium chloride with small carbon-dioxide cylinders.) It is understood that all these extinguishers should be outside the building and accessible for the purpose of renewing the evaporated water at stated intervals.

Recommendations for fire protection are as follows:

Sprinkler system not recommended with the dead storage of pyrotechnic material, due to sprinkler heads not being affected promptly enough, and to the possibility of freezing.

Standard 2 1/2-gallon arctic extinguishers placed at convenient points, both inside and outside of building, with one unit for not more than 2,500 feet of floor space.

A number of 40-gallon bucket tanks containing calcium-chloride or sodium-chloride solution, to be conveniently placed outside of building, easily accessible for the purpose of renewing the evaporated water.

Spark arresters to be used on all locomotives in proximity to all storage houses.