Saturday, June 20, 2015

How to House a Tyrannosaurus Rex

So, Masrani Global, just awarded you the contract to build the world’s greatest theme park, Jurassic World? Aside from knowing the codes for, helipads, sea ports, a state-of-the-art control center, and a massive water tank - the main question you should be asking yourself is, “how do you house a Tyrannosaurus Rex?”

NFPA 150, Standard on Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities provides a five step process for providing a safe environment for both, animals, and the humans that will be visiting them.

Step 1 - Determine the facility class. The first step to applying the code is to determine the facility class. The parks’ draw is the ability for guests to see and experience the prehistoric creatures, so regular public access and interaction with the animal is necessary.  Class 3 facilities are those that house animals with regular general public access.

Step 2 - Determine the animal category. All animals are classified as, either, Category A or Category B. The Tyrannosaurus rex is the largest, existing, meat-eating animal. This creature would “pose a potential risk to the health or safety of rescuers or the general public”, and would be “impossible or impractical to move.”  This classifies the T. rex as a Category A animal.

Step 3 - Determine the enclosure requirements. NFPA 150 requires that enclosures allow enough space for the “animal to express all species-typical postures, social adjustment, behaviors, and movements.”  Furthermore, the animal “shall be able to lie down with limbs extended”, without any obstructions from the enclosure itself. T. rex is 40’ long and 20’ tall.

NFPA 150 does not currently list the T. rex requirements in its minimum areas table in the Annex section of 7.3 (perhaps in the next revision).  However, the tallest animal that is listed, by comparison, is the giraffe.  The minimum enclosure requirements for a giraffe is 225 sq. ft. with 20’ high walls.  The bull elephant is about the equal weight of the T. rex- 15,000 lbs. For the bull elephant, NFPA 150, recommends a horizontal design force of 10,000 lbs., to a height of 8’ (for the giraffe).

Step 4 - Determine the egress requirements. The minimum width of egress openings is required to be “one-and-one-half times the largest average width” of the largest animal using the door.  A fully grown T. rex can be 8-10’ wide, so your minimum egress width will need to be approximately 15’.

Step 5 - Determine the fire protection/special hazard requirements. All facilities housing Category A animals are required to have a fire sprinklers throughout and a smoke control system installed.  A full fire alarm system is required in all Class 3 areas, and fire extinguishers with a rating of at least 2A:10BC is required to be within 50’ of travel.

No matter the animal size, Brachiosaurus to Compsognathus, by following these 5 steps you can protect these creatures from extinction, and ensure that they are with us, far into the future.

provided by, Zoon Solutions