5 April 2024

Fire Protection System Recommendations from Fire Safety Engineers

Fire protection systems are a critical aspect of ensuring the safety of occupants and minimising damage to high rise buildings. Below we discuss the systems which are designed to detect, suppress, and control fires in these structures, helping to prevent the spread of flames and protect lives and property.

Detection Systems

Detection systems play a vital role in alerting building occupants and emergency responders to the presence of a fire. Various types of detection systems are commonly used, including:

  1. Smoke Detectors: Smoke detectors are installed throughout the building to detect the presence of smoke, which is an early indicator of a fire. They are typically interconnected, ensuring that if one detector is triggered, an alarm is sounded throughout the building.
  2. Heat Detectors: Heat detectors are used to detect the rise in temperature caused by a fire. They are especially useful in areas where smoke detectors may be prone to false alarms, such as kitchens or dusty environments.
  3. Flame Detectors: Flame detectors utilise infrared sensors to detect the actual flame or fire source. They are commonly used in areas where the risk of fire is particularly high, such as commercial kitchens or areas with flammable materials.

Suppression Systems

Suppression systems are designed to extinguish or control fires before they can spread. Some common suppression systems used in high rise buildings include:

  1. Fire Sprinkler Systems: Fire sprinkler systems utilise a network of sprinklers installed throughout the building. When a fire is detected, the sprinklers release water, suppressing the flames and containing the fire to one area.
  2. Fire Extinguishers: Portable fire extinguishers must also be provided in high rise buildings. These extinguishers are designed to be easily accessible to building occupants and can be used to extinguish small fires until the fire department arrives.

Communication and Control

Communication and control are essential components of any fire protection system. These systems enable emergency responders and the building occupants to communicate effectively during a fire emergency. Some common communication technologies used in high rise buildings include:

  1. Fire Alarm Systems: Fire alarm systems provide an audible and visual notification in the event of a fire. The signal is transmitted through a wired or wireless system, alerting occupants to evacuate and the fire department to respond.
  2. Building Management Systems (BMS): Building Management Systems integrate various building systems, including fire protection, to provide centralised control and monitoring of building functions. They allow for real-time monitoring of fire detection systems and suppression systems, facilitating prompt response and incident management.
  3. Emergency Communication Systems: Emergency communication systems, such as PA systems or intercom systems, allow building occupants and emergency responders to communicate and coordinate during a fire emergency. These systems can be used for evacuation instructions, evacuation routes, and emergency notifications.

Fire protection systems are essential for high rise buildings to ensure the safety of occupants and minimise potential damage. These systems include detection systems, suppression systems, and communication and control mechanisms. By implementing these robust systems under the guidance of experienced fire safety engineers, high rise buildings can effectively manage and mitigate the risk of fire emergencies.

Fahrenheit Global’s team of fire safety engineers offer comprehensive fire safety engineering services, including planning, reporting, assessment, and more. For more information, please contact us here.