You cannot isolate Fire Protection Engineering while designing the building according to the rules and regulations set by the local fire and building codes. The permit for the building is issued by the authority having jurisdiction after a review. If the architects or engineers have to deviate from the original plan then they must notify the authority to ensure that the changes also comply with the law. This is done to prevent any unsafe conditions for the occupants and violation of the law.
When there is an occurrence of fire, it is crucial to control flames along with the smoke. In most cases, people try to avoid fire with the help of their instincts. However, they also expose themselves to smoke, which is equally hazardous if someone inhales a large amount of it. Therefore, the system needs to prevent these situations and must integrate fire and smoke barriers. For this, fire tests, and fire resistance scores are needed for various construction materials of trusses and columns. Special requirements for fire resistance are necessary for exterior walls.
In addition to that, barriers, firewalls, and partitions must spate the building into two different and independent sections to control the spread of fire and smoke. Fire resistant scores must also be there for roofs and floors. Together all these preventive measures reduce the spread of fire and smoke and provide a good amount of time for evacuation too.
With the passage of time innovation has brought in new technologies that are far superior to their predecessors. More and more projects involve the use of fireproof materials that are sustainable and they are ideal for the urban environment. The fire protection engineers must understand the working of all these technologies to design a project that meets all the safety requirements and optimizes the performance of the building.
The most integral part of the design services of fire protection engineering is cost optimization. It is important for designers/engineers to construct a model that reduces the cost and effectively utilizes the available resources. It must not compromise safety at all costs but must also consider the budget constraints.
It is essential for Fire Protection Engineering service providers to be familiar with various codes and regulatory standards before designing a system. If the engineers do not include the codes within the blueprint, then a rectification, later on, can be very costly. In many cases, the different project does not fit in the requirements of the codes. In such a scenario, the engineering team needs to have knowledge about the codes and how they can make amendments to the design.
One of the key components the design process of fire protection engineering is compliance with the regulatory standards. The fire protection engineers must work with the designers to make sure that everything stays within the rules. The planning authorities and the designing architects need to work with close collaboration. They will be able to effectively design and construct a structure that stays safe in emergency situations.
Therefore, the design needs to optimize performance under all circumstances. National Fire Protection Association sets a variety of codes along with the Life Safety Codes. Moreover, there are some international codes as well including IMC, IFC, IPC, and IBC to follow. There are Unified Faculties criteria as well including UFC 4-510-01 and UFC 3-600-01. It is a mandatory requirement for the fire protection engineering service providers to develop designs according to these codes for the building permit.