BYU Library Tom Perry Special Collections
- Fire Suppression
- Improved Safety
In 1957, Brigham Young University (BYU) founded the L. Tom Perry Special Collections to preserve and house the university’s most cherished historic texts, artifacts and film. Decades later, L. Tom Perry Special Collections holds more than 300,000 volumes of history’s rarest books, 11,000 manuscript collections and 2.5 million photographs.
BYU needed a fire suppression system that would not damage the precious texts and films when discharged — something the university experienced previously in a different department. Contractor AAA Fire Safety & Alarm of Layton, Utah, recommended installing a Victaulic Vortex™ Hybrid Fire Extinguishing System because of its efficiency in extinguishing fires without using large amounts of water, chemicals or high-pressure discharge. Victaulic Vortex™ Hybrid Fire Extinguishing Systems utilizes nitrogen and atomized water particles that are below 10 microns in size. The homogeneous suspension causes nearly zero surface wetting and does not lower oxygen levels to suppress fires, making it safe for people as well as the delicate texts and film in the space.
L. Tom Perry Special Collections keeps many of its texts inside vaults below the Herald B. Lee Library. Independent Victaulic Vortex™ Hybrid Fire Extinguishing Systems with separate control panels were installed in the three vaults. Each room included four emitters, as well as eight dedicated nitrogen cylinders and a small water tank located in underground tunnels. Additionally, a Victualic Vortex™ Hybrid Fire Extinguishing System protects the Special Collections’ photo and film archive, including a transitionary room where film is brought to room temperature. These rooms use nine nitrogen cylinders and a small water tank, which are also located in BYU’s underground tunnel system. Placing tanks in a different location from the hazard provided another safeguard and recharge costs and time was significantly lower than chemical systems.
By recommending the Victaulic Vortex™ Hybrid Fire Extinguishing System, AAA Fire Safety & Alarm was able to deliver a solution to BYU Special Collections that protects its irreplaceable documents and films against fire while ensuring they are not damaged by water or chemicals in the process. After experiencing the performance and quality of Victaulic’s product, BYU has since installed Victaulic Vortex™ Hybrid Fire Extinguishing Systems in other special hazard areas on campus, including server rooms and chemical storage areas.