The Basics of Fire Protection for Commercial Buildings

The Basics of Fire Protection for Commercial Buildings

You may have heard some news before about fires happening in commercial buildings. Most of the time, building fires happen because of the lack of fire-safety features. Nowadays, modern commercial buildings already have the latest fire-safety technology to prevent even the slightest fire from happening. 

Contractors make sure they install reliable fire-safety systems that can quickly detect a potential fire before it engulfs the entire building. When you have these fire protection systems in commercial buildings, the chances of fires happening are almost down to zero. Here are the usual fire-protection systems you can find in most commercial buildings. 

Fire-Rated Doors and Walls

You can find fire-rated doors and walls in most commercial buildings to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading to different building areas. The main job of fire-rated walls is to prevent fires from spreading horizontally. The wall’s fire-rating will also differ from twenty minutes to four hours, and contractors calculate it for a fire exposure on a single or both wall sides. And if there are building utilities like electrical wires behind the walls, contractors install a fire-rated wall access panel for maintenance personnel to use. 

The doors installed on the walls also have a fire-rating, which is generally lower than the walls. The reason for the low fire-rating of the doors is that you will usually not find building contents behind them. You also need to know that building contents act as fuel for the fire. The only downside of the fire-rated door is when something is blocking and preventing people from opening it. At that rate, the fire-rated wall could only last for a long time until it penetrates to the other side, endangering the lives of everyone. 

Fire-Rated Ceilings and Floors

Apart from the fire-rated doors and walls, you also have fire-rated ceilings and floors. They become an efficient barrier to prevent the fire from spreading from one building level to the next. Usually, they consist of a protected steel floor slab or concrete, a fire-rated ceiling system, or a combination of the two. The fire-rated ceilings and walls have the fewest possible penetrations. However, if any fire penetration happens, contractors need to use fire-rated ceilings and walls with the same rating as the ceiling or floor they travel through.

Fire Sprinkler Systems

You will see fire sprinkler systems in every commercial building. Technicians install a smoke detector or a fire-detection sensor, and it will quickly send a signal to engage the sprinkler systems to put out the fire. Buildings have the option to choose different sprinkler system types to suit their needs. Here are some examples of those systems:

  • Wet Pipe Systems – The most common sprinkler system you can find in every commercial building. The sprinkler system connects to a water tank that sprinkles water on a specific building area where it detected fire. 
  • Dry Pipe Systems – Building owners install dry pipe systems in unheated building areas, including parking lots and garages. Usually, these areas tend to freeze, making wet pipe systems useless in the event of a building fire. It replaces water with air below water supply pressure, and it releases when the sensors detect fire. The sudden drop in air pressure can dissipate fires quickly. 
  • Foam Sprinkler Systems – As the name suggests, it uses foam, a mixture of foam concentrate and water that can also put out fires faster. Usually, buildings present with flammable liquids use foam sprinkler systems. 

All About Fire Rating

You may hear questions like, “What does my access door fire rating mean?” from several commercial building owners. Look no further because Best Access Doors can provide the details to learn about fire ratings. Contact us or take a trip to our website today!

Published by chrisjackson

Best Access Doors takes pride in offering the best access doors, roof hatches, floor hatches, and more at prices you can afford! Do you need a custom size access panel? Look no further! We are leaders in producing high-quality doors of any size and style. With our wide selection of access doors, we can help achieve LEED certification for your project. Our team is always happy to assist you every step of the way. Customer satisfaction is our topmost priority. Visit Us Here:

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