8.10 Fire Protection Engineering

IMPORTANT NOTE: The following criteria do NOT apply to all projects. Follow each criterion only if instructed to by your project-specific risk assessment. Many criteria are based on the recommendations of a specific building risk assessment/threat analysis. Where the criteria include a blank or offer a choice of approaches, the recommendations from risk assessment will provide information for filling in the blank or suggesting a choice of approaches.

The fire protection system inside the building should maintain life safety protection after an incident and allow for safe evacuation of the building when appropriate.

While fire protection systems are designed to perform well during fires, they are not traditionally designed to survive a bomb blast. The three components of the fire protection system are:

  1. active features, including sprinklers, fire alarms, smoke control, etc.;
  2. passive features, including fire resistant barriers; and
  3. operational features, including system maintenance and employee training.

Please note that this chapter focuses only on active features. See Chapter 7: Fire Protection Engineering, for additional information.

Security Enhancements
Water Supply. The fire protection water system should be protected from single point failure in case of a blast event. The incoming line should be encased, buried, or located 50 ft. away from high threat areas. The interior mains should be looped and sectionalized where provided. The interior standpipes should be cross connected on each floor.

Dual Fire Pumps. Electric and Diesel. To increase the reliability of the fire protection system in strategic locations, a dual pump arrangement could be considered, with one electric pump and one diesel pump.

Egress Door Locks. All security locking arrangements on doors used for egress must comply with requirements of the International Building Code.

Smoke Removal Systems
Smoke Removal. In the event of a blast, the available smoke removal system may be essential to smoke removal, particularly in large, open spaces. This equipment should be located away from high risk areas such as loading docks and garages. The system controls and power wiring to the equipment should be protected. The system should be connected to emergency power to provide smoke removal.

The multidiscipline team should consider having separate HVAC systems in lobbies, loading docks, and other locations where the significant risk of internal event exists.

Smoke removal equipment should be provided with stand-alone local control panels located in the fire command center that can continue to individually function in the event the control wiring is severed from the main control system.

During an interior bombing event, smoke removal and control is of paramount importance. The multidiscipline team should consider the fact that if window glazing is hardened, a blast may not blow out windows, and smoke may be trapped in the building.

The design team fire protection engineer must consult the GSA regional fire protection engineer and the local fire department about the above issues.


Last Reviewed 2016-08-02