Importance of Fire Protection in Buildings

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Fires are one of the most disastrous elements that have taken lives and properties. In the NFPA annual report released in December 2021, there was an estimated 1.8 billion in direct property and damage loss. That's for the US alone! 

With that number, fire protection systems should not be a second thought. Your fire protection systems are your first and last line of defense in case of an unwanted fire. The safety of the occupants and the containment of the fire is the goal here. To start, consult the experts of MEP Engineering in Houston. 

Fire protection systems are different for every building. Whether this is a new building or installed as a retrofit or renovation, each design follows a specific objective. These systems need analysis of building components as a whole. Source2Load Engineering and Consulting can conduct an analysis of the building components for you.

Two Types of Fire Protection Systems

The role of a fire protection system is to detect fire and prevent the fire from spreading. With an advanced system, it can also report where the fire is occurring to the authorities. There are two types of fire protection systems:

  • Passive Fire Protection (PFP): This system is usually included in a building’s structure or design that helps prevent fire breakouts. Some samples of this system include fire-resistant walls, non-combustible walls, and fireproof cladding.
  • Active Fire Protection (AFP): This is a type of fire protection system that puts out the fire manually or automatically. Samples of using manual preventions are fire extinguishers and fire blankets. On the other hand, automatic prevention systems consist of fire sprinklers and heat and smoke detectors.

It would be best to use both systems rather than using one to maximize the protection of all building occupants.. While PFP can increase your safety and prevent the fire from spreading immediately, AFP can extinguish the fire or control it until the authorities arrive.

Tips to Help Prevent Fire

There are countless areas in a workplace where fire hazards can develop, and hiring MEP design services in Houston, TX alone is not enough to avoid fire accidents. Whether you are the owner or manager of a business, fire safety prevention will still depend on training, good habits, and diligence. 

Here are simple things you can do to help prevent fire accidents:

  • Waste or trash should be stashed properly in recycling bins and not piled up anywhere, especially near doorways.
  • If possible, use extension cords that are made with an industrial grade and grounded material.
  • Power strips should come with circuit breakers and be UL listed.
  • Smoking areas should be away from shrubs, buildings, gardens, and other flammable areas and materials.
  • Combustible liquids and materials should be stored securely.
  • Appliances should be protected by GFCI and should always be well maintained..
  • Sprinkler heads and sprinkler piping should be free from hanging materials.
  • Riser rooms should be free of unnecessary materials that aren’t used for protection.
  • Stocks, supplies, and merchandise should at least be 3 ft. away or more from ductwork and heating units.
  • Fire extinguishers should be fully functional, undamaged, and easily accessible by anyone.
  • AFP and PFP should be maintained regularly so that they won’t malfunction in case of an emergency.

To maintain a safe and successful business, preparing the building for any fire accidents will help save lives and lessen the damage costs. Hiring MEP engineering and design services in Houston, TX will help enhance your business’s fire prevention system. For your fire protection and other engineering needs, Source2Load Engineering and Consulting can provide you with expert services.