Architects have a lot in their minds when designing buildings. They have to consider a lot of factors such as aesthetics, serviceability, cost, and how all of these relate to each other. But amidst all that planning, a lot of architects miss one of the most important points when it comes to safety: fire protection.
Even though most architects and designers are familiar with the fire safety codes in the state where they operate, they often focus on the aesthetic elements of the building rather than the practical ones. For that reason, the fire safety features added by engineers often stick out in a building.
Even with a fire safety company on board the project, architects should still be familiar with the regulations, best fire safety practices, and fire protection equipment. In this article, we’ll cover the basics.
Know the Fire Safety Regulations
Fire safety codes are there to dictate important regulations on the issue. Every country has a different fire safety code. These requirements define how buildings and even rooms are built. These regulations aren’t there to hinder your creativity but to keep the occupants of the building you are designing safe.
When testing the fire safety of the walls, ceiling linings and other interior finishes experts use either the NFPA 286 or the ASTM E84 test. The materials need to meet the smoke release and fire spread requirements set by the code in each state. You can find the list of all codes and standards at this link courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association.
Understand the Materials and Equipment
One of the perks of being an architect is the abundance of materials and components they can use. Architects can use anything from timber to glass to bring their creations to life. However, all of these materials should be tested to determine if it complies with the fire regulation standards.
The same goes for the fire protection equipment. The technology has tremendously evolved over the last couple of decades and the number of competitors on the market means you can find the necessary equipment at a reasonable price. Of course, apart from knowing which products to choose, architects should also consider other things like how often the fire system will require maintenance, will they be able to suit the particular building, etc.
The purpose of the structure will also play a large role in choosing both the materials and the fire safety gear. The same rules don’t apply to residential buildings and office atriums.
Consult the Experts
In most cases, large construction projects will hire a fire safety engineer to overlook the process. Their role is to fill you up on all the information regarding fire safety and how your ideas fit into the fire safety plans. Architects already familiar with the performance of different materials and equipment in regards to fire safety may be able to tackle small projects on their own. However, for large projects, it’s always a good idea to consult an expert in fire protection. Even though hiring an outside consultant just for this might seem like an unnecessary cost, it will pay off when the residents know they are safe inside the building.
Contact Red Truck Fire & Safety at:
5555 Santa Fe St M, San Diego, CA 92109,
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