Keeping in mind key fire safety steps is crucial, whether you’re involved in the designing, building, or ownership stages of a building’s life cycle. Structures utilize various fire safety features to alert occupants, control fires, and provide safety. Some of these features provide passive protection, and others spring to action in the case of an emergency. These are five of the most important fire safety features for buildings that design engineers, architects, and owners must know.
Fire Safety & Evacuation Features
In the event of a fire emergency, alerting your building’s occupants and ensuring a safe evacuation are the primary steps. Here are some of the features and utilities to implement in a building’s design to promote fire safety.
Fire Alarm Systems
In case of a fire, your building’s alarm system will be the first thing to alert you to danger. Fire alarms are crucial to alerting your entire building’s occupants of an emergency, not just those near the source of the fire. However, modern fire alarms do more than simply make noise. Modern alarm systems can detect smoke and heat, turn on emergency lighting, send emergency notifications, alert the fire department, and more. You can implement additional fire safety systems to trigger when your fire alarms start sounding. These features of modern fire safety technology can help make evacuations safer and more effective and summon emergency help faster.
Once your building’s fire alarms have alerted you to the danger, the next step is to follow your building’s evacuation plan to the fire exits. All modern buildings must have a designated number of clearly marked fire exits. Your building’s contractors should label each fire exit with an emergency exit sign, which you should also note in your building’s evacuation plan. Inspect and test emergency exits regularly to ensure there are no blockages. You can even pair emergency exits with your alarm system to make them sound an alarm when occupants exit through them.
Fire Prevention Features
After notifying your building’s occupants of the emergency and ensuring the evacuation process is underway, the next step is to contain the fire damage. These next features will help prevent the spread of fire and help contain it to prevent damage.
Fire Retardant Paints
Fire retardant paints offer a passive fire protection role in the event of a fire. You might not even know that this fire protection feature exists in your building until the event of a fire unless you were involved in the building’s planning process. Contractors and builders apply fire retardant coatings, also called intumescent coatings, during the building stage before installing a building’s utilities and insulation. The paint will react by releasing a fire-dampening agent, such as a foam or gas, to stop the fire from spreading when a fire approaches the materials that these paints cover. These paints prevent fire from spreading to a building’s structural materials and framework, which can significantly minimize the damage to the building. Try using fire retardant paint for added building protection if you’re looking for an eco-friendly, building code-compliant paint.
Distributing fire extinguishers is necessary for promoting fire safety in your building. Fire extinguishers are another example of active fire protection because they require an operator. It’s helpful to include a review of how to use a fire extinguisher in your building’s routine fire safety training, as not everyone will know how to operate this device. Fortunately, fire extinguishers are simple to operate. Focus on the basics of fire extinguisher instructions: pull the pin, aim low, squeeze the handle, and sweep the area. While fire extinguishers can’t help much in the event of a large-scale fire, it’s still important to know how to operate one to prevent small-scale fires from spreading and creating a larger problem.
Finally, sprinkler systems are another crucial fire safety feature for containing the blaze. Sprinkler systems are another example of active fire protection, though these features are automatic and don’t require an operator. Because they are automatic, sprinklers will protect your building regardless of whether someone is occupying it. Automatic sprinkler systems can even help protect the property after the office closes. The automatic sprinkler system will release water to douse the flames and minimize the spread of fire when they detect an elevated temperature. However, it’s always a good idea to have a backup system that will alert the local fire department. Sprinklers are effective at controlling fire but may not always extinguish it.
Other Ways To Promote Fire Safety
Here are some additional ways to promote fire safety in your building. Always have a fire response plan in place for emergencies. Training employees and familiarizing everyone in the building with emergency exits, proper conduct, and more is crucial for an effective evacuation. Builders must outline the optimal emergency exit routes in the building’s blueprints for future occupants. Education and training are additional resources that building designers and future owners should also be ready to share.
Where To Find Fire Safety Materials
Now that you know the various features that building designers implement to promote safety, you might be wondering how and where to find these safety materials. Learn more about Class A fire retardant coatings and resistant paints here at Firefree Coatings, Inc. Browse our professional fire-resistant and fire-retardant paints that can help prevent the spread of fire and promote safety with the help of a professional painter. These products will help keep buildings up to code and increase the building’s occupant safety features. Questions? Contact our knowledgeable team today!
Fire safety is an incredibly important concept for those designing, building, or renting a building. No matter which stage of the building’s life cycle you’re involved with, make sure you understand at least five of the most important fire safety features for buildings. These features can come into play at various stages of the building’s life cycle, so it’s important that you understand each and how they can help keep your structure and its occupants safe. Promote peace of mind with Firefree Coatings.