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Blog

The Use of Fire Sprinkler Research to Address Arrangements Not Addressed by NFPA 13

February 23, 2017

Garner Palenske, P.E.

The innovation seen in new products and business processes during the last ten years has been amazing. Now on the verge of using drone technology to deliver products to our front doors, a futuristic idea seen in the sci-fi movies of the 1960s. However, some innovations also bring many fire protection challenges. Case in point,

Fire Alarm System Basics

February 16, 2017

Mark Suski SET, CFPS

Most people have experienced a fire alarm system in action, whether it was during school as part of a planned evacuation drill or an inadvertent alarm during an event. But rarely do people think about the basic functions and components of a fire alarm system. The basic fire alarm system has four primary purposes: Detect a fire

Fire Protection for Flammable and Combustible Liquids

February 15, 2017

Lucia Ortega

Flammable, combustible, and ignitable are all terms used to describe liquids that can catch fire. Liquid fuels include many common products such as solvents, cleaners, adhesives, and oil-based paints. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code, is the base building code used to establish quantity limitations for hazardous materials and

Reduction in Required Fire Flow

February 8, 2017

Jennifer Zaworski, P.E.

A new parking garage was constructed for the Twinbrook station of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). The open parking garage consists of seven stories of parking with an approximate gross area of 165,000 SF. Located in the City of Rockville, MD, the applicable fire code at the time of design was the 2009

Unwritten Building Code Requirements

February 8, 2017

Rick Glenn, P.E.

Fire protection engineers and building code consultants have an obligation to clients to be familiar with the litany of code requirements pertaining to fire and life safety. It is also their obligation to know both the written and unwritten code requirements. What is meant by “unwritten” code requirements? There are two types. The first type

Easing the Migration from Analog to IP

January 31, 2017

Nic Gleason

In 2006, on the show floor at ISC West, a light murmur began around IP (internet protocol) video with Axis’ introduction of the first centralized IP camera. Some industry veterans said it would never catch on and was simply another “buzz word.”  Flash forward ten years and that light murmur is now an inaudible roar,

Classification of Combustible Contents

January 24, 2017

Melinda Amador, P.Eng.

In Canada, industrial occupancies are divided into three different classifications: low, medium, or high hazard. The classification is based on the combustible loading within the facility (low and medium hazard), and presence of any special or unusual fire or explosion hazards (high hazard). Low hazard industrial (Group F, Division 3) occupancies are defined as having

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