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Requirement for Smoke Detection in Common Supply and Return Air Systems

January 20, 2017

Marc Buickel

Smoke detectors required in common supply and return HVAC systems to prevent recirculation of smoke throughout a building in the event of a fire. The standard type of detector and mounting arrangement that is generally used for duct detection is a smoke detector housings with sampling tubes inserted into a duct. These detectors are designed

Fundamentals of Smoke Control Modeling – Stair Pressurization

January 17, 2017

Ervin Cui, PhD, P.E.

The New University Health System Hospital Tower at Merton Minter in San Antonio, TX is a 10-story, high-rise building with approximately 1 million square feet of area. The tower has seven exit stair enclosures that were be pressurized in accordance with IBC Section 909.20.5. In accordance with the International Building Code (IBC), the design basis

Use of Public Address System for Fire Alarm Emergency Voice Notification

January 10, 2017

Marge McAllister

Emergency voice notification systems, which are required in some occupancies by the International Building Code (IBC) and NFPA 5000 – Building Construction and Safety Code, are required to be designed in accordance with NFPA 72 – National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. Which edition of NFPA 72 is applicable to is identified in the applicable building

Fire Sprinkler Protection Requirements in Canada

January 5, 2017

Melinda Amador, P. Eng.

Rack storage systems in warehouse and distribution facilities are often required to have fire sprinkler protection in Canada. In existing, unsprinklered buildings, the installation of new fire sprinkler systems can be cost-prohibitive, depending on the availability of an adequate municipal water supply or the extent of sprinkler protection required. When relocating existing rack storage operations

Fundamentals of Smoke Control Special Inspections

December 21, 2016

Raymond J. Battalora, P.E.

Smoke control systems can include: Stairway enclosure pressurization systems Atrium exhaust systems Floor venting systems Other specialized applications The codes (such as the International Building Code and NFPA Standards) require smoke control systems to be subject to special inspection by a special inspection agency that is independent from the project contractors. Virtually every project will

2015 International Building Code Changes

December 15, 2016

Kimberly Powers, P.E.

For most, every four years brings the excitement of such events as the summer or winter Olympics or even The World Cup. For those in the fire protection and life safety profession, every three years brings the excitement of a new cycle of codes published by the International Code Council (ICC). The 2015 International Building

Positive Fire Alarm Sequence

December 6, 2016

Fahad Khan, CET

Positive fire alarm sequence was included in the NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, in the 1980s. It provides an alarm delay of up to 180 seconds if trained personnel acknowledge the alarm at the control panel within 15 seconds. This action provides the responding personnel time to investigate an alarm before evacuating a building.

2015 International Building Code Changes for Smoke Control Systems

December 1, 2016

Ed LaPine, P.E.

Small changes to codes can have big impacts. In the case of Section 909.4.6 of the 2015 International Building Code (IBC), such an impact is caused by the replacement of a single word. Section 909.4.6 covers, “Duration of Operation” for smoke control systems. The 2000 and 2003 editions of the IBC required smoke control systems

Reflections from a New Fire Protection Engineer

November 29, 2016

Sara Royle

There is that classic scene in movies where someone pulls the fire alarm and all the sprinklers open saturating everyone inside as they run screaming out of the building. Growing up, I never thought about whether these scenes were accurate, but now as a fire protection engineer, I chuckle at how embellished and incorrect these

The Joint Commission Statement of Conditions

November 17, 2016

Dale Wilson, RA, A.I.A.

The Statement of Conditions (SOC) can have different meanings depending on who you ask. It can be a summary of a business’ overall financial condition. It can be a job applicant’s criteria and procedures for employment. When it comes to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and The Joint Commission (JC), is an