When new buildings or other structures are being built they have to be done following several strict codes that are put into place to help keep the occupants of those buildings or structures safe while they are in there. Electrical codes are designed to make sure such things as wire connections are covered so they do not pose a shock hazard. Plumbing codes ensure that potentially hazardous human waste is directed out of the building properly and then safely transported to where it will be treated. Perhaps the most important codes of all are those that enforce fire protection for commercial properties and other public buildings.
What exactly is Fire Protection?
Fire protection is the ability to suppress and contain small fires that start to burn before they turn a structure into a blazing inferno that can become deadly. Part of it also includes alerting people to the fact there is a fire danger present so they can take steps to evacuate a building as quickly as possible. Fire protection is important because it minimizes structural damage and even more importantly it has the potential to save lives.
The Three Ways Expert’s Suggest to Maximize Fire Protection
There are three main ways that those who are experts in fire protection for buildings like to approach getting it done. They are as follows:
Passive Fire Protection
These are the materials that a building is constructed with that make it much harder for a fire to get to a critical flash point where it escalates quickly. These days there are a variety of ways this can be accomplished as many building materials are available that have fire retardant capabilities. These include such things as fire retardant paints, double pane windows (they take longer to break from heat and add the needed oxygen to expand the fire further) and concrete based roofing materials.
Buildings can also be made to be compartmentalized to stop the spread of fire too. These break the buildings into compartmentalized sections that have such things as fire retardant doors, fire retardant flooring and fire retardant walls between the sections.
Active Fire Protection
These are suppression systems that kick in automatically once the sensors that are in place in the system detect that smoke or extreme heat is present in that area of a building. There is a large variety of combinations that can be installed to accomplish this.
There are 3 main components that are necessary in order for any active suppression system to ensure adequate fire protection. The following are processes that all good fire protection systems will contain:
- Detecting a Fire Early And Reliably
In order for any fire to be suppressed it must be done so in its early stages. It takes a sensor system that can detect heat or smoke in a fires infant stages to accomplish this step in the active fire protection process.
- Extinguish the fire in its early stages
The system must then be designed so that it has the capacity to extinguish a small fire no matter where it is located in an area of coverage. The system must not only have a range where it can suppress a fire anywhere in a room but it also must be able to extinguish a potential fire based on the types of flammables that are present in that room (such as foam suppressant systems if petroleum based products are stored in a building).
- Alarm and Evacuate
The last component is designed to save lives if the first two components fail to do what they were designed for. Alarms alert people to the fact there is an imminent fire danger present and proper evacuation plans show the occupants the quickest and safest ways to exit the building.
Fire Prevention Education
The last way to maximize fire protection is to educate both the owners and occupants of a building in the steps necessary to reduce fire risk. This is done by doing such things as posting no smoking signs, posting tips designed to help prevent fires and also by having owners or building managers attend periodic meetings conducted by local fire officials for good advice on how to prevent structural fires.
Types of Fire Protection Equipment
These are by far the most common types of active fire prevention equipment that is designed to suppress a fire. They are a simple concept that uses water under pressure that is distributed into rooms by sprinkler heads in the event of fire. They work well because the design of the sprinkler heads allows the water to saturate all the different areas of a room.
These are by far the most common type of fire protection in the alert and evacuate category. They consist of intermittent sirens, strobe lighting and bells that are strategically placed around a building so they can alert all the occupants that a fire is present and they need to evacuate.
Smoke and Fire Sensors
No alarms or fire suppression systems will do any good if the smoke and fire sensors they are attached to don’t work well. That is why it is important that any fire detection system have overlapping sensing devices to ensure it will do its job properly if the need should ever arise.
Non-water Based Fire Suppressants
It was already mentioned that active fire protection devices needed to be able to suppress fires for the kinds of materials that are stored in the rooms they are covering. The example was given about how foam is used to put out such things as chemical or petroleum based fires. There are other non-water based fire supplements too. There are such suppressants as those that are CO2 based to deprive fires of the vital oxygen they need and non-invasive inert gases that will put out fires without hurting computers and other sensitive electronics
There are many types of Fire Protection in the market today. If you live in UK and want to purchase Fire Protection Equipments, you can have a reference on this site: www.FireProtectionOnline.co.uk
Fire Protection is truly an important part of any building plan. It is far too important when it comes to saving lives and potentially minimizing fire damage to ever cut corners when installing them.