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|One of eight primary systems
in a building. Also referred to as the "fire protection system".
The fire safety system monitors, detects and suppresses fire hazards. The fire safety system is in some ways analogous to the autoimmune system of the human body, which removes bacteria and viruses from the human body.
The fire safety system overlaps both the electrical and
mechanical systems in the following ways
components to facilitate the efficient evacuation of people from the premises, such as exit signs and emergency lighting.
The fire safety system is akin to the auto-immune system in the human body.
The fire safety system includes assets such as:
The elements of the fire safety system typically have the following attributes:
Financial and Physical Analysis
Financial analyses of the systems can be found at:
Listed below are some sample questions that are utilized in a facility condition assessment:
Here is a preliminary list of some of the things to look out for:
Risk management is about identifying the undesirable things that could happen to the organization, to the people who live and work in the building(s) and the things that must be done to avoid (or to lessen) the negative impact.
Some of the primary risks (the “consequences”) that are to be avoided or mitigated through management of the fire protection system are as follows:
Operations is about the day-to-day activities in the building that must be coordinated amongst different people with a variety of skills. Listed below are some of the things that should be considered in estimating the level-of-effort to operate the fire safety assets and the composition of the team that will be required.
Maintenance is work done to preserve the fire protection assets over their useful service lives, without unforeseen repairs or major renewal. Included below is a summary of the things to consider for ongoing maintenance and periodic repairs of the different components of the fire safety system.
Fire safety assets are highly regulated for safety reasons and subject to statutory maintenance requirements. They are always maintained on rigid schedules under a preventive maintenance program with no room for flexibility
RepairsRepairs to fire alarm equipment is usually identified during the annual fire alarm inspection.
The organization can avoid some unnecessary repair costs by reminding residents to take care of the fire safety equipment. For example, reminders not to paint over smoke alarms or hang things from sprinkler pipes.
Capital planning is about making appropriate financial preparations as each of the fire safety assets approaches the end of their respective service lives. As assets get beyond a certain age, maintenance is no longer sufficient to stop their physical deterioration (or slow down their obsolescence) and plans need to be made to replace and/or upgrade some (or all) of the components.
The fire protection system is susceptible to two primary forms of obsolescence:
Unlike the mechanical system, the fire protection system does not present any opportunities for improved energy efficiencies. Since the fire safety system is highly regulated for safety reasons, it is not advisable to explore options for optimization of the equipment. The organization will be informed by its contractors when it is time to upgrade any equipment.
Fig. Fire extinguishers (left) and fire pumps (right) are examples of assets that form part of the fire suppression system.
Fig. Human physiology as an analogy to illustrate the importance of system interaction and comparing the immune system to the fire protection system.
Fig. Seasonal maintenance program represented by system.
Fig. Dry sprinkler valves and air compressor are part of the fire protection system.
Fig. Conceptual representation of the interconnected systems in buildings.
Fig. Distribution of short-life, medium-life and long-life assets within each of the eight primary physical systems.
Fig. Retrofit of a conventional fire alarm control panel (FACP) to an addressable system.
Fig. The capital load distributed across the eight primary physical systems for different types of buildings.
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