Paint Spray Booths
In a new or existing building, certain words trigger an ominous condition in the eyes and ears of a fire protection engineer. Words such as: rubber tires, plastics, petroleum, inks, nitrocellulose film, aerosols, process vessel, oxygen tank, roll paper, propane, acetylene, foam rubber, dust accumulation, or polyethylene. This short list consists solely of hazardous commodities. Other words that jump out at fire protection engineers concern places where certain commodities may be found, that is, throughout rack storage, behind theatrical stages, in engine rooms, or within paint spray booths. The term “spray booth” is just what the name implies: it refers to a self-contained boxlike “booth” that physically surrounds paint spray operations. The most popular version is the “open front” arrangement that has a ventilation system used to control airflow to ensure that flammable vapors are removed to a safe location. Spray booths are large and awkward-looking metal contraptions, power-ventilated structures that have an innocent appearance about them that hides a very real fire threat.