Fire and Life Safety
Fire protection of buildings employs both or either of two methods. These are either active or passive systems and can be used together to achieve fire separation, containment, suppression, or duration of protection. Active fire protection systems include fire sprinklers, alarms, and other devices that trigger in the presence of fire and heat to actively alert occupants, contain and/or suppress and extinguish the fire. Less well known but of equal importance for safety are passive fire protection systems. Passive systems include the use of the actual building materials selected for the design and construction; the walls, floors, ceilings, etc. that are constructed of materials that are intended to passively restrict the spread of fire and heat from one location to another. This is termed as compartmentalization. Depending on the type of construction, size, and use of the building, codes require varying degrees of both of these types of fire protection systems.
SBSA’s staff includes experts in fire protection systems including staff credentialed through the National Fire Protection Association. SBSA’s fire protection credentials ensure you have an expert with more than just a general knowledge of this critical element of building construction.
There are many different types of passive fire-resistive assemblies which can be constructed with many different types and combinations of materials. Because of this, there are virtually limitless ways to build code-compliant assemblies. Because this is a highly variable and complicated aspect of building construction, there are more risks for the resulting construction conditions to be non-compliant. It is crucial that you have an expert who understands more than just the pieces and combinations of materials that provide the code-recognized minimum protection, you need someone who understands the reasons behind the code requirements and knows how fire behaves and how to best protect buildings against it.