Fire Protection Design in Commercial Buildings

Fires are destructive and can cause significant damage to individuals and structures. The effects of fire are frequently irreparable, so it is important to set up a reliable fire protection system to protect occupants and properties. 

A building’s fire protection system refers to a collection of tools designed to detect fire, identify its source, and prevent it from spreading. It aims to mitigate the effects of fires by limiting or preventing injuries and financial loss.

One type of fire safety system is passive fire protection, which is included in a building’s design and construction. Some components of passive fire protection are fire doors, thermal insulation, non-combustible cable coating, fireproof cladding, and fire-resistant walls. These components serve as barriers that create compartmentation and prevent fire from spreading to another section of the building.

A typical compartmentation system uses connected fire-rated doors and walls that can keep a fire contained in one area. Fire-rated walls are designed to prevent fire from spreading horizontally in a building. A wall’s fire rating can be calculated for fire exposure on either one or both sides of the wall. 

Meanwhile, fire-rated doors can prevent the spread of fire to another area in a building. Fire ratings for doors are often lower than the wall’s fire rating. This is because furnishings and fixtures that can fuel the fire are usually not located in front of the door. As a result, doors may be less vulnerable to fires than walls.

Conducting a commercial building inspection NJ is significant in maintaining fire safety as it can verify if the construction of fire-rated assemblies is appropriate. It also helps in attaining complete compliance with regulations. 

Building owners must routinely inspect fire protection systems, as different trades like plumbing or electric modifications can compromise fire-rated assemblies. These may leave open penetrations in fire-rated walls, which can be a concern in case of fires. Building inspection engineers include inspection of fire protection systems as part of a property condition assessment NJ

For more information about fire protection designs in commercial buildings, read this infographic by Lockatong Engineering.