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FIRE PROTECTION

This section does not intend to explain all the fine points of fire protection. It simply aims to point out a few items of interest.

Design

Fire Detection

Legal requirements vary from one location to another. The first thing is to take stock of those requirements. It must be emphasized that there are specialists known as safety engineers who are qualified in this field. They will help point out the issues and propose solutions to avoid problems. More to the point, those specialists usually know the firemen well and will be able to analyze their needs and make sure the project does answer every one of them.

In public receiving buildings, and more and more often in dwellings too, there is a fire detection system. Fire detection can be performed using three techniques:

  • • Smoke detection (opacimetry)
  • • Heat elevation
  • • Color of flame

According to the sensibility of the space, detection may be validated on two or even three criteria being simultaneously verified (low-sensitivity case) or on any one of them (high-sensitivity case).

Those detectors must be kept free from any obstacle nearby and fully exposed to the view from any point of the zone they are supposed to cover; this means that they cannot be hidden between two absorptive baffles.

In addition, the fire alarm can usually be triggered through a manual switch available in the corridors and hallways. The responsible personnel (often the receptionist at the desk) must be trained to identify an alarm and rearm the system in case of wrongful alarm. In most public receiving buildings the firemen will automatically be notified after a certain delay. More to the point, a hotel or cinema operator is usually not keen to find his clients thrown in the street because of a faulty alarm, so training of the relevant personnel is a must.

 
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