Fire Protection for High Rise Buildings
Perception is a powerful thing when it comes to danger—all it takes is a viewing of the classic movie like The Towering Inferno to realize that a high-rise fire is a very bad thing. However, the reality is much more comforting. While any out-of-control fire is bad, fires in high-rises have declined significantly since 1998 with only three percent of fires being in high-rise buildings. Much of this reduction is due to tougher construction codes, better materials, and mandated safety features. While high-rise fires have declined, building managers can still use the help of fire protection companies, like Kauffman Co. of Houston, Texas, to minimize the fire risk even further.
Fire Risks in High Rises
Statistics on high-rise fires vary because there are many different types of multi-story buildings. They are generally broken down into four categories:
- Apartments and condos
- Health care facilities (such as hospitals or assisted care facilities)
Each has their own combination of different risk factors. Most fires in high-rises start on the lower levels, given how many buildings house different types of businesses. For example, many cities mandate multi-story buildings in urban areas to have commercial properties on the lower level. Thus, many high-rise fires are actually “normal” fires which just happen to have multiple stories above them.
High-Rise Fire Risk Factors
In all cases, cooking areas are the predominant place fires start. This is followed by heating issues and then electrical issues. This creates a complicated problem for risk managers, given how many times the most dangerous areas for fires are mostly out of reach.
A smart building manager can help minimize these risk factors through:
- Fire extinguisher training
- Regular inspection of fire sprinkler system
- Regular testing of fire alarm system
- Vent hood cleaning in commercial kitchen areas
- Planning out and posting evacuation routes
- Professionally installing fire protection systems
Safety training and professional installation and design with the help of a fire protection company are key.
Fire Protection Services in Houston, Texas (TX)
Another important risk mitigation strategy is to get a periodic fire inspection of your high rise by a licensed team of fire inspectors. A fire inspection is a good way to keep your business in compliance with state and local fire safety codes. It also helps keep your insurance premiums lower by limiting liability if you can show how your fire prevention planning and equipment has been recently and regularly inspected. These inspections also can alert you to new technologies or upcoming code changes you may not be aware of.
If you need inspection in your high rise building in the Houston, Texas area, contact Kauffman Co. today! Our fire protection technicians have years of experiencing protecting buildings, such as yours, from the devastating damages and loss of a fire.
Throughout the post, you switch back and forth between high rises and “high-rises” so just make sure it’s consistent!