Fire protection involves mitigating the unwanted effects of potentially destructive fires. It involves the study of the behaviour, compartmentalisation and suppression of fires as well as the research and development, production, testing and application of mitigating systems.
This can include fire detection and alarm systems, evacuation plans, specialised building construction, as well as specialized equipment for preventing the spread of flames and smoke. Fire protection can also refer to the specialised training that employees receive on how to use and maintain the various systems in place.
Many companies require employees to undergo specialized training on how to properly operate and maintain these fire prevention systems. This is because a failure to do so could result in a costly disaster.
Depending on the local laws and NFPA regulations that govern a facility, there are going to be maintenance requirements for each system. Conducting these regular checkups can help prevent problems that might lead to a fire.
A fire safety plan is a document that describes the steps that an employee should take if they discover a fire in the workplace. This includes a list of the fuel sources, such as paper and wood products, that are likely to cause a fire, as well as the locations where flammable materials are stored.
The fire safety plan should also include a plan for evacuating the workplace. This should include a list of safe escape routes and the number of employees that can safely exit the building in the event of an emergency. In addition, the fire safety plan should specify any equipment that might be necessary to evacuate the workplace, such as emergency exit doors and light and heat detectors.
It’s important for businesses to have a fire protection plan in place, especially if they have a large amount of valuable merchandise on hand. If a fire breaks out, it can quickly destroy or damage the contents of the facility, which may be impossible to replace. In addition, the fire could leave behind dangerous residue that can affect the health of employees and customers.
A fire protection engineering consultant can assist with the planning and design of a fire suppression system for a commercial or residential building or complex. This type of engineer works to ensure that the facility meets all state and national standards, including ensuring that all equipment is tested and operating correctly. A qualified engineer can help design a fire suppression system as part of the original construction of a building, which minimizes disruptions and costs.
A fire suppression system can also be designed to protect a museum or other cultural property. These types of systems are typically gas based and work by discharging a fire control gas into the room to extinguish the flames. These systems must be designed with a sealed room that can hold the gas once it’s discharged. Any breaches to the room, such as open windows and doors, operating ventilation systems, wall or floor openings around pipes or conduit, etc, will allow the gas to escape the room and void its effectiveness in extinguishing the fire.