Preventive Fire

Paint / Spray Booths

Paint/Spray Booth

Spray Booths and Spray Rooms Fire Suppression

Preventive Fire installs, services, recharges, and repairs ALL paint/spray booth fire suppression systems. We also provide 24 hour emergency service.


Spray booths exist in a large variety of businesses anywhere from small auto paint shops to large manufacturers. All spray rooms and spray booths are inherently hazardous because of the flammable paint fumes and the related solvents. Fire and explosion hazards are the biggest concern when it comes to spray booths or spray rooms.


There are a number of governing agencies for spray rooms and booths. When it comes to construction and installation the regulating agencies are the National Electric Code (NEC 516), the Uniform Fire Code (UFC 4500), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) #33, and the Uniform Mechanical Code (UMV 1107.) Keep in mind that there are a variety of state and local agencies with codes and statutes as well.


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the enforcement agency on the national level using CFR 1910.107, Spray Finishing Using Flammable and Combustible Materials standard.

Spray Room or Spray Booth?

Even though a spray room must meet the same criteria as a spray booth, it is often more difficult to make a spray room compliant with the applicable codes because a pre-designed spray booth isolates the hazardous area.

Fire and Explosion Prevention and Protection

A spray booth is intended to protect other people against fires and explosions by providing containment, fire prevention, and fire suppression systems. Booths also protect the environment by keeping contaminants from being released into the environment. With recently designed booths, you can add equipment that can clean the air adequately for re-circulation.

Spray Booth Fire Prevention

Paints that are typically used in spray booths are flammable and explosive solvent-based paints. When spray booths are properly constructed, they keep sparks away from both the spray equipment and spray environment. A widespread problem (especially with homemade spray booths) is that the fan is not “spark proof” and is improperly connected to the electrical service.

Important Spray Booth Requirements:

  • All electrical equipment must be UL listed and be manufactured for class 1 division 1 atmospheres and be located greater than three (3) feet from the doors of the booth including electric or radio powered radios.
  • Ventilation equipment must be able to keep the atmosphere of fumes, from the spraying operations, 25% below the “lower explosion limit”- (LEL)
  • The fan must be a non-ferrous (not containing iron) blade in a steel housing, and the motor must be an induction type (no brushes), sealed, UL listed and connected with explosion proof wiring.

Fire Containment

There are a couple of ways to contain a fire in a spray booth.

Within a UL Listed booth there are switched interlocks on all doors. If any door opens, the spray gun is automatically shut off. These switches are also connected to the fire extinguisher circuit so that if an automatic extinguisher goes off, the fan and spray gun are shut off, preventing more fuel being added to the fire.

The second part of fire containment within a Paint / Spray Booths is the fire rating of the booth itself. It must be constructed of one-hour firewalls of either steel or concrete. Fire rated drywall is not an satisfactory option as it is easily broken down, exposing the rest of the room and building to flammable fumes and vapor penetration.

Fire Suppression

The intention of a fire suppression system is to stop a fire when it first starts. There are a range of suppression agents that can be used and include wet-chemical, dry chemical and water. There need to be an appropriate number of extinguisher “heads” in the Paint / Spray Booths, stack and plenum to achieve the initial knock down. If you use a variety of different types of paints and solvents, you need to install the suppression agent that matches the most dangerous possibility. Preventive Fire representatives can consult you on the best fire suppression agent to use.

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