As new construction continues to grow, installing the appropriate code-compliant barrier management program has never been more important. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Building Code (IBC) both require a building to have properly installed fire and life safety protection systems before certifying occupancy. So what fire and life safety services should be include in your new construction plan?
Firestop Installation and Inspection
Fire and smoke can spread quickly in the event of a fire by slipping through gaps and holes around penetrations in the walls, floors and ceilings of a building. Firestopping, which is essentially the maintenance of a facility's fire barriers by sealing those areas in fire and smoke walls, barriers and partitions.
A properly firestopped barrier will help contain fire and smoke to one location by filling the spaces around penetrating items, such as plastic pipes or wires that would melt or change shape during a fire. Some firestop products will swell up or expand in the presence of heat.
Photoluminescent Egress Marking Systems
Part of a building's overall fire safety plan is making sure that your building has a safe evacuation route clearly marked with photoluminescent egress path markers and exit signs. During a fire, hallways and stairwell fill with smoke and become dark and hard to see. Occupants may slip, trip and fall, or bump into something as they struggle to find their way to safety.
Photoluminescent egress path marking systems and exit signs allows a building to have continuous visual support without electricity by producing sunlight or recycling existing electrical light. Not only are they very low maintenance, but they help guide occupants to safety while illuminating any obstacles that may cause people to become injured during an emergency.
Life Safety Drawings & Consulting
Accurate life safety drawings are an important part of your program. Life safety drawings create an overlay of the facility’s life safety features on the existing floor plan. Floor plan drawing service is also available. We will develop your Life Safety plans based on a thorough inspection of the above and below ceiling components of your facility. We will document the locations and arrangement of your smoke and fire barrier walls as well as shafts, smoke compartmentalization, hazardous room protection, suites, means of egress corridors, exits, alarm systems, smoke detection and fire suppression systems.
Not only are life safety drawings important, but physical building inspections are also needed to verify that the code requirements and Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) standards are actually being met and enforced. A life safety building survey performed by an expert on Life Safety Codes before an AHJ inspection will help with promoting your facility scoring well and helps avoid re-inspections or time sensitive and often costly emergency repairs when issues are found by the AHJ.
Commissioning Services: Smoke & Fire Damper, Fire Doors
Commissioning is simply a quality-based service that begins during the design and continues through the construction, occupancy and building’s operational phase. Commissioning supplies the building owner with documented confirmation that the new building system is planned, designed, installed, tested, operated and maintained in compliance with the building code requirements.
Damper and door commissioning services are important elements during a building’s early design and construction phase. A building’s fire and smoke dampers prevent the spread of flames and smoke through the ductwork of a facility. Fire doors, if kept shut, help prevent fire and smoke from traveling throughout the building.
So whether your project is in healthcare, education or the commercial industry, it is important to include a barrier management program into every new construction plan. This is critical, not only for the integrity of the building's structure, but for the safety of its occupants.