Today we run through recent action in fire safety best practice literature. Even though fire safety technologies comprise about 2-4 percent of a new building budget (compared with the 15-20 percent of electrotechnologies), the influence of the fire safety culture dominates all aspects campus safety. We have been tracking leading practice discovery and promulgation in the fire safety domain since 1993; though from the perspective of electrical fire safety hazards.
A small sample of the issues we have tracked in the past:
Limiting vendor lock-in (promote interoperability) in building additions.
Limiting the tendency to lowball first cost in order to achieve vendor lock-in later in the facility life-cycle
Dormitory kitchen fire safety
Clarification of mixed-occupancy classifications (occupant loading)
Fixed interval (rather than risk-informed) inspection, testing and maintenance of fire alarm and protection system components
Fire alarm system upgrades during renovation
Mixed zone and addressable alarm system wiring
Wireless initiation devices
Integrated fire protection systems (NFPA 3&4)
Portable fire extinguishers (NFPA 10)
Alarm system re-set procedures
Sprinkler system coverage for animals in research
Scalability of fire safety professional certification
Sprinklering of off-campus student housing
Advocating central (or campus district) fire pump systems
One of the newer issues to revisit over the past few months is the fire safety of tents. Many colleges and universities are setting up large commercial tents outside buildings (within range of Wi-Fi) for students to congregate, study and dine. We are also seeing back and forth on fire safety in theatrical performance venues in this month’s ICC Group A Code Hearings.
We approach these titles with an eye toward driving risk-informed, performance requirements that reduce risk and cost for the user interest; while recognizing the responsibility of competitor stakeholders. It is not a friendly space for the user-interest who seeks to optimally resolve the competing requirements of safety and economy.
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