Fire Protection Design in Commercial Buildings

A fire can result in massive casualties and significant financial losses. If unsure about their fire security, building owners can conduct a commercial building inspection NJ to identify potential fire risks, address deficiencies, and improve the building’s overall fire safety. 

Checking and enhancing the capacity of a building’s fire protection systems help maintain property value and security. Not verifying might result in liabilities, damage to reputation, and financial loss. 

Fire protection in commercial buildings encompasses the components that reduce the risk of fire and its potential impact. During an inspection, a commercial building engineer NJ will assess whether these elements will work in identifying a fire’s origin and suppress its spread. 

Inspectors use fire codes and standards to evaluate a building’s fire risks and the available solutions to keep the occupants safe. For example, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) mandated the NFPA 220: Standard on Types of Building Construction. It helps identify the potential fire hazards and risks associated with a specific type of construction, allowing for appropriate fire protection measures to be implemented.

Type I structures are constructed using non-combustible materials like steel and concrete. These properties can withstand high temperatures for long periods without collapsing. 

Type II buildings, known as non-combustible constructions, have lower ratings than type I. These structures consist of steel components that are bolted, riveted, and welded together. This design is susceptible to the expansion and relaxation of steel members, causing an early collapse during a fire. 

The third type of structure is known as ordinary construction. These buildings have non-combustible tilt-slap or reinforced masonry walls. Their interior uses wood or other combustible materials for floors and ceilings, making them entirely or partially combustible. 

Heavy-Timber construction is the fourth type of building structure. While these properties contain flammable materials, they are resistant to breaking because of their structural bulk. It requires lots of resources to mitigate fire in this kind of construction. 

The last one on the list is the wood-frame construction. Type V is the most combustible construction type as it uses flammable materials in its frames, walls, roofs, and floors, making them highly vulnerable to ignition.

To learn more, read this infographic from Lockatong Engineering. 


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