Fire and Life Safety for the Education Sector

JENSEN HUGHES understands the importance of providing safe and secure schools and campuses for students, faculty, and staff. Our licensed fire protection engineers and professional building code and security consultants help facility managers maximize system efficiencies and achieve compliance with applicable codes and standards.

Fire and Life Safety Challenges

Fire Protection Systemsfire and life safety in dormitories

Fatal incidents from fires on campus and in residence halls have compelled parents, educators, administrators, and board members to take a careful look at what is needed to prevent such tragedies from happening. Fire sprinklers and early warning detection systems provide the best protection available today.

Fire Detection and Alarm

Challenge: Fire detection and alarm systems are the most important life safety features on campus. These systems must protect multiple buildings with varying occupancy types, each posing its own challenges. For example, fire alarm systems in residence halls must be designed to quickly detect fire and smoke and effectively alert its occupants, including the hearing impaired, while limiting false alarms that could cause occupants to forego a life saving response.

Solution: JENSEN HUGHES specializes in analyzing the specific requirements of each campus building. Repetitive nuisances such as false alarms can be reduced or eliminated by a proper system design. False alarms often stem from resolvable issues such as faulty equipment, poor maintenance, improper equipment placement, and/or excessive features. Our team will identify and resolve problems that inhibit maximum system performance while offering sound, cost-efficient strategies for maintaining an effective campus fire detection and alarm system.

Fire Sprinkler

Challenge: Because fire and life safety is a critical goal, fire protection systems must be designed to prevent ignition or manage the impact of a fire in a manner that meets the fire-safety and operational objectives for each occupancy type on the campus including residence halls, administrative buildings, classrooms, libraries, laboratories, athletic facilities, and parking garages.

Solution: JENSEN HUGHES’ fire sprinkler capabilities include everything from pre-design analyses of water supplies and system feasibility to construction period services and the witnessing of final acceptance tests. Our team is experienced in performing site investigations, hydraulic calculations, waterflow testing; contractor performance monitoring, including submittal reviews, and RFI’s; and system acceptance testing and analyses of existing systems. We are knowledgeable of all types of suppression systems, including wet-pipe, dry-pipe, deluge, preaction, gaseous and foam.

Mass Notification

Challenge: Campus administrators understand the importance of being able to rapidly notify students, faculty, and staff of emergencies so they can take immediate life-saving action. Emergency Communication Systems (ECS) must be able to provide a simultaneous message to all areas on campus.

Solution: JENSEN HUGHES provides numerous services for the design and implementation of an ECS starting with risk assessment services to determine the specific features best suited for campus environments. We evaluate any existing equipment to determine if any components can be utilized for the new system and develop design drawings and specifications to be submitted to qualified contractors for competitive pricing. We also develop emergency preparedness procedures that include specific instructions for safe evacuation and other safety considerations.


Challenge: Colleges and universities are pressed to implement practical solutions that will protect assets while safeguarding staff, faculty and students against any number of incidents that could occur on campus – from burglaries, to hostile attacks, to IT encroachments. Considering the ease in which campuses are accessible, this fact is cause for concern. Equally challenging is the fact that designing effective security systems has become complicated. Up-to-the-minute knowledge of security methods, equipment and technology, and the vision to foresee future needs is vital to addressing the types of threats that exist today.

Solution: JENSEN HUGHES’ security professionals can evaluate your campus needs and compare that with your existing security measures. Our extensive knowledge and experience have been proven to benefit our clients by maximizing security while minimizing costs.

American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance

Challenge: The Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design have a larger reach than the previous ADA requirements and are significantly more restrictive. When it comes to accessibility, facility managers need to ensure their campus complies with the revised standards and is providing a safe and welcoming environment for disabled students to minimize exposure to potential civil rights litigation.

Solution: JENSEN HUGHES’ code consultants are thoroughly familiar with ADA design standards and can help you achieve compliance by providing such services as facility audits and design document reviews, and aiding in the development of design approaches. Our code consultants will prepare a report identifying challenges and proposing potential solutions.

Contact Us Today:

Contact us today using our online form or reach out directly to one of our many regional branches.  For specific questions regarding JENSEN HUGHES’ consulting services for the education sector, please contact:

Tim LaRose, PE
Vice President, Education
O: +1 401-736-8992 | C: +1 401-935-6320