One of the most important responsibilities of building owners or property managers of commercial buildings that house businesses, hospitals, stores, even condos, is to have fire protection engineering companies in their files and choose one of them to call on for installation and maintenance of a commercial fire sprinkler system and fire alarm installation. Installation of these systems is paramount for all commercial buildings; however, maintenance is doubly important. If there is a fire within the facility, those sprinklers must be working, and statistics show that 44% of system failures have been the result of someone dropping the ball when it came to maintenance.
Fire protection engineering companies use both science and engineering knowledge and skills to provide protection against fire and smoke damage. In addition to providing, installing, and maintaining fire alarm systems and sprinkler systems, these company’s services will also include studying how people react to and during a fire, focusing on their behavior as part of the evacuation plan, and how to secure that evacuation plan. Exits, lifts, and any other means of escape must be mapped and made available to all who are present on the property for any length of time. An additional service they provide will be to make sure the fire exits and escape facilities are up to code.
Having early warning systems in commercial buildings as well as sprinkler systems could possibly reduce injuries, damage, and the number of lives lost in a fire by as much as 50%. Unfortunately, a survey done of 119 businesses showed that only 35% have any kind of evacuation plan in place for their employees. A sprinkler system installed in a commercial building is capable of discharging 24 gallons of water every minute. This helps reduce damage within the building as a result of fire. A firefighter’s hose will put out between 80 and 125 gallons of water per minute. With an evacuation plan in place and a fire sprinkler system installed, employees and staff members will have the time they will need to leave the building as safely as possible. As in the case of a hospital, a reliable early warning system is imperative in order for the staff to have the needed time to exit the patients out of the building to safety.
Fire protection engineering companies also provide commercial businesses with fire suppression systems. These systems are put in place for heavy power equipment. A fire suppression system will consist of both wet elements and dry chemicals in order to, just as its name says, suppress fires in heavy equipment. This has become a necessary service for several different types of industries. In suppressing a fire within the equipment, the equipment is saved, which, in turn, saves thousands of dollars for the company. Fire protection engineering companies will provide the heavy equipment with a fire detection system consisting of sensors which will enable detection through heat, wiring, or even manually.
Fire protection engineering companies work with architects and builders in constructing buildings that will contain the systems necessary to provide fire protection and early warning systems when the commercial property is up and running. For buildings that are already buzzing with daily staff, residents, and patients, these companies will inspect any fire safety systems already in place and identify any possible fire hazards. They will then provide solutions to those hazards by either removing them, if possible, or repairing whatever is causing the risk. They will look over fire regulations for buildings local to their area, and also the solutions given that support those regulations.
Owners of commercial properties and buildings, condo owners, government agencies, property managers, and all who head up large commercial spaces must have the availability of fire protection engineering companies. These companies are in the business of helping to keep these structures and the people who live and work within them protected and secure in the case of a fire.
Good references here.