Fire Protection Design in Commercial Buildings


Proper fire protection design is integral to a building’s security. Because fire can cause casualties and financial loss, property owners should make sure to incorporate a fire protection system in their properties. It mitigates the devastating impacts of fire, safeguards valuable assets, and protects the lives of the occupants. 

A comprehensive fire protection design incorporates active and passive fire protection systems. Active fire systems, such as fire alarms, sprinklers, and fire extinguishers, work to detect and suppress fire promptly. On the other hand, passive fire systems focus on containing the fire andslowing its spread.Passive fire components include fire-resistant walls, doors, and other fire-rated compartments that limit the fire’s progression. 

Moreover, understanding the types of building structures will help in planning the property’s fire protection design. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has provided the five primary types of building structures based on their materials and fire-resistance ratings. 

Type I or fire-resistive construction are buildings with non-combustible materials, such as concrete and steel. They offer the highest level of fire resistance, designed to sustain extreme temperatures in the long run. 

Type II, known as non-combustible construction, uses non-combustible materials but has lower fire-resistance ratings than Type I. Buildings with this structure are made of steel that is bolted, riveted, and welded together. While this construction has good fire resistance, the steel components might relax or expand under high temperatures. 

The third type is called ordinary construction. These buildings use non-flammable materials like tilt-slap or reinforced masonry for exterior walls. But, its interior components, such as floors and ceilings, may be constructed using wood. 

Building codes guide construction professionals in achieving the recommended designs, maintenance, and installation of fire protection systems. If one plans to verify the security and safety of the building, they should hire a licensed commercial building inspection engineer NJ who will review the actual construction and its blueprints. 

Conducting a commercial building inspection NJ and a fire risk assessment is essential. These practices can help building managers identify potential fire hazards and evaluate a building’s vulnerability to fire incidents. After the evaluation, construction professionals can develop appropriate fire protection measures suitable to the building’s components. 

To learn more, read this infographic from Lockatong Engineering.