To construct a highly reliable and secure building, all the risky hazards should have a very strong solution that your building provides. A huge loss of property, life, money and other valuable assets is caused by a small little spark spread in a huge form. Talking about fire safety, the builders and engineers should not only focus on the solutions of getting an escape from fire but they should be 90% concentrated towards the point that fire should not be triggered. Fire accidents result in disruption of several activities, damage of official documents, loss of manpower working hours and liability claims. Fire safety measures should be a combination of the safety of life and property. Fire safety hacks and designs should be prepared to keep in mind the type of construction, number of residents and type of occupancy.
Fire safety and life-protection systems
The fire safety and life-protection systems consist of exit systems from the buildings, fire alarms and fire control systems. The buildings today need to install and use the structural & operational systems for minimizing the fire effect on the people and family. The fire protection systems can be categorized in two categories namely, active and passive.
Actions implementation before fire accidents
We don’t require fire protection only after it has occurred but we must minimize the causes and probability of spreading once it has occurred. It can be now achieved when we build a sustainable building in all senses. There are some measures related to fire accidents employed prior construction of buildings that prevent fire and smoke from spreading in different areas. Construction of walls, ceilings, and floors with fire-resistant properties withholding at least one hour of fire to prevent it from spreading in different areas. Whereas, the active fire protection comprises all the steps and safety equipment required to control the fire after it has occurred.
Common causes of fire in residential and commercial buildings
Sometimes, the cause of the fire in a building is unknown therefore, working conditions of the fire safety equipment like fire sprinklers, fire alarms, and fire extinguisher should be checked timely. There are several known and unknown reasons for fire spreading in a building. If we talk about the residential buildings, there are several reasons which are responsible for fire taking vast form. Fire during cooking, a distraction from cooking and leaving the cooking utensil unattended for a long time results in a huge fire, either you are cooking on a gas stove or hot plates. Not keeping an eye on the safety standards in your heating equipment like a geyser or portable heaters is also a risk of letting it blast into the fire. Carelessly smoking at any time will leave you with trouble of huge fire if not kept a check on it. Candles and children with hazardous things can also lead to fire. Faulty wirings in the circuit system of a house can lead to unwanted fire accidents due to short circuits or heavy load. Electrical contractors while servicing in a building should be highly concerned about fire safety from electrical wirings following safety standards and fire-resistant measures. Inadequate prevention from lightning and thunder can turn the whole circuit wirings of the building to malfunction.
Fire safety and protection systems in a building
- Fire extinguishers – Placement of fire extinguishers at designated fire-prone areas of the building such as nearby kitchen or washroom is a smart step. Most likely there are the chances that these places can get caught by fire easily and quickly. This will ensure that the fire spread is in a concentrated area and is controlled by the help of these fire extinguishers. A check should be done timely to examine if your fire extinguishers are in working condition or not. Also, the employees or residents should be trained before using a fire extinguisher.
- Fire alarms- A fire alarm is undoubtedly a great step for becoming aware and making all other people aware of the fire taking place in a particular area of that building. This will not only help in making people aware of the fire but also make them alert of putting off the fire if it is in the initial phase. A check on the batteries of the fire alarms should be kept periodically to make sure they are useful in case of fire.
- Fire sprinklers- Fire sprinklers can control fire to a very great extent. Even two or three fire sprinklers on a floor can prevent a huge amount of loss of life and property. This works on the principle of temperature sensing i.e. if the area exceeds a particular temperature, the fire sprinklers are activated. An acute combination of plumbing and electrical services can accommodate the ceilings of the building with these fire sprinkler systems.
Regular testing and maintenance of fire safety equipment and electrical systems
All the electrical circuitry and fire safety systems should be standardized according to government norms and mandatory safety ethics. Quarterly or half-yearly inspections of your building’s safety alarms, fire extinguishers, and fire sprinklers should be done to ensure the life safety of the residents or employees of the building. As time passes, house wirings and electrical circuitry should be maintained and serviced for any faults if occurs. Ignoring the gas leakage or frequent switching off of the MCB can result in a fire. Electrical contractors should be up to date with the servicing of electrical wiring and fuse quality standards while employing it in a building. A bolt of lightning due to thunderstorms can also affect the whole circuit system of a building therefore, pre-requisite planning should be followed by using expert MEP services to ensure the long and healthy living of the residents or employees.