Fire Protection Services

What is Fire Protection?

Fire Protection is a combination of different fire safety equipment and procedures that detect fires and mitigate the negative impacts. Fire Protection includes alarms, suppression systems, sprinkler systems, extinguishers, and any technology that allows you to alert people or monitor the fire.

A fire protection system aims to protect a building’s occupants and minimize the damage associated with fire. Fire Protection within a facility relies on system components to detect and prevent fires and mitigate their consequences.

Fire Protection Systems can be categorized as either Active or Passive.

  • Active Systems are designed to help fight fires such as fire alarms and sprinklers systems.
  • Passive Fire protection describes the structural measures which prevent the passage of flames and smoke, such as compartmentation, fire-stopping, and fireproofing.

A Full-fledged Fire Protection System Includes

  • Fire Suppression Sprinkler systems (Wet, Dry, Preaction, Deluge, Anti-Freeze, and Fire Pumps).
  • Special Hazards Fire Suppression Systems (Foam, Low and High-Pressure CO, as well as Clean Agent systems)
  • Mass notification (Notification appliances, Pull Stations/Callbox points)
  • Fire Extinguisher, Fire Hydrants, and Backflows.
  • Fire Alarm Monitoring
  • Integrated security, access control, and video surveillance systems for appropriate actions from each system.

What is Fire Prevention?

Fire Prevention Involves proactive steps taken to reduce fire hazards so that a fire does not have a chance to ignite.

Examples of fire hazards include:

  • Overloaded electrical sockets.
  • Dirty fireplaces.
  • Unattended burning candles.
  • Improperly stored flammable materials.
  • Poorly maintained heat or electric systems.

Fire Prevention reduces three hazards through regular maintenance, inspection, and testing of the methods to ensure they operate correctly and are effective during a fire in your building.

  • For Example, in addition to adhering to The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards and local fire codes, you should regular risk assessments to identify potential hazards and improve weak areas within the facility that pose a threat.

Systems must be periodically inspected for mechanical deficiencies, proper function, valve actuation, water flow, sprinkler, clearances. You, your staff, should be well trained in fire prevention practices. In addition, Personnel should be proficiently trained in the operation of fire protection systems.

These Steps Are Guidelines to Overall Fire Prevention:

  • Perform Regular Risk Assessment, and Identify the weak Areas to improve safety.
  • Identify and resolve deficiencies sources within the facility that emit heat or combustible, are flammable, or make the building more susceptible to fire.
  • Adhere to fire regulations and NFPA Standards
  • Perform regular fire drills. Keep building owners, operators, occupants, and emergency personal up to date regarding the operation of fire protection systems.
  • Regularly train staff on fire prevention practices.
  • Keep Systems in top working order with preventive maintenance contracts.
  • Utilize diagnostics and system analytics that can help predict trouble before it occurs.

What are Active Fire Protection Principles?

Active Fire Protection (AFP) is a group of systems requiring some action or motion to work efficiently in the vent of a fire. Steps may be manually operated, like a fire extinguisher, or automatic, like a sprinkler. Still, either way, they require some amount of action.

Active Fire Protection systems include but are not exclusive to the following:

  • Fire-Water Supplies
  • Fire and Gas Detection and Alarm Systems.
  • Fire Suppression Systems (All Types).

What are Passive Fire Protection Principles?

Passive Fire Protection (PFP) is a group of systems that compartmentalize a building through the fire-resistance-rated walls/floors and form an integral component of structural fire protection and fire safety.

Four main areas of passive fire protection systems include:

  • Structural Fire Protection systems
  • Compartmentation
  • Opening Protection Systems
  • Fire stopping materials and designs.

Fire Protection systems must be tested, approved, and listed by Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory.

Classification of Fires

Class A –  Ordinary Combustibles or fibrous material, such as wood, paper, cloth, rubber, and plastics.

Class B – Flammable or combustible liquids such as gasoline, kerosene, paint, thinners, and propane.

Class C – Energized electrical equipment, such as appliances, switches, panel boxes, and power tools.

Class D – Combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, potassium, and sodium, burn at high temperatures and give off sufficient oxygen to support combustion. As a result, they may react violently with water or other chemicals and must be handled with care.

Fire Risk Assessment

It is essential to consider all possible stakeholders during an FHA. Stakeholders should include, but not necessarily be limited to the following:

  • Regulators
  • Facility Owners and Operators
  • Employees
  • Emergency Responders
  • Insurers
  • Neighbors
  • Community
  • Investors
  • Design and Construction Team
  • Engineering Team

Performance-Based Approach

Performance-Based Fire Safety Design

  • Demonstrates how fire science can be used to solve fire protection problems in the built environment.
  • Used to gain a better understanding of how a building will perform in the event of a fire.

Objectives Include:

  • Identify Key attributes of performance-based design
  • Review advantages and disadvantages of performance-based design over specification-based prescription design.
  • Provide a series of steps offering a framework/process for performance-based design.

Wildfire Safety

Home Wild Fire Safety

  • Inform home insurance company if you live in a wildfire-prone area
  • Home insurance companies have tools to assist with ensuring your home is correctly protected from wildfire threats.
  • Insurance Companies use their proprietary underwriting and rating guidelines.

Why Homes are at risk of wildfires:

  • Build adjacent to feel source (i.e., trees and vegetation)
  • Lack of standardization building, fire and planning codes
  • Misconceptions vegetation; persistent drought conditions

Objectives Include:

  • Identifying key attributes of performance-based design
  • Review advantages and disadvantages of performance-based design over specification-based prescriptive method.
  • Provide a series of steps offering a framework/process for performance-based design.

When does a Wildfire Disaster occur

  • Most often a result of worst-case conditions (i.e., severe weather, topography, fuel)
  • Conditions allow wildfires to spread towards communities. Homes became an additional fuel source and became simultaneous ignition sources to other homes and structures.
  • Fire protection resources are quickly overwhelmed due to resources becoming less available, resulting in education to firefighting effectiveness focusing their efforts on protecting homes rather than fighting the fires.
  • Individuals living in the wildfire Urban Interface (WUI) areas are not only responsible for reducing the risk of their property, they also have an important role to play in their community’s preparedness strategy.
  • Prevention involves individual efforts to diminish potential fuel sources near homes by removing vegetation, providing fire-break between vegetation and homes, use of ignition-resistant construction materials.
  • Understanding Wildfire behaviors (similar to the fire triangle, the wildfire behavior triangle includes weather, topography and fuel sources.

Understanding Wildfire behaviors, the wildfire behavior triangle

Weather

  • Temperature, Humidity, precipitation, and wind are all influential contributing factors.
  • During hot and dry weather, plants dry out quicker and ignite easier.
  • Wind increases the supply of oxygen to a fire and causes pre-heating of fuels in front of the fire, which dries vegetation and speeds up the rate of spread.

Topography

  • Step Slopes carry fire uphill at an increased rate of spread.
  • Canyons can act as channels for the wind to spread the fire.
  • Slope orientation (i.e., slopes that face south or southwest have a greater exposure to afternoon sun result in lower Humidity and higher temperatures);. However, we can’t change the topography; understand line its influence on wildfire spread is essential.

Structural Ignition Sources

Crown Fires – Extreme Type of wildfire burning in the tops and crowns of trees producing embers that travel great distances.

Surface Fires – Small flames burning through grass and ground debris such as fallen leaves, pine needles, branches, downed logs, small trees, and shrubs.

Embers – The principal factor is continuing fire spread within a community; they are burning pieces of airborne wood and vegetation that can travel over a mile from source and smolder in woodpiles, patio/deck items, and debris-filled gutters.

Wildfire Risk Mitigation Measures

  • Thin trees and shrubs.
  • Prune lower breaches
  • Remove highly flammable plants and vegetation
  • Creating fire breaks with walking paths or driveways.

Conclusion

The Fire Protection industry has increased available equipment options for the design of fire protection systems. Prescriptive-based structures are being replaced with performance-based design solutions in most buildings and fire codes to accommodate the increase in fire hazards introduced into the built environment.

Why Choose TUV Austria Bureau of Inspection & Certification For Implementing Fire Safety Requirements

  • Well-Maintained Fire systems will help save lives and property.
  • We provide Comprehensive Maintenance & Testing Services for all fire equipment.
  • We make it easier and faster for you to meet Fire Systems Compliance.
  • Global expertise, local support
  • Access to a full range of testing, inspection and certification services from TUV Austria Bureau of Inspection & Certification. Read More..

In addition, to these Fire Protection Services we also offer a range of complimentary services:

FAQ’s

What is Fire Rated?

A fire resistance rating typically means the duration for which a passive fire protection system can withstand a standard fire resistance test.

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