Send in the engineering troops: Fire, life safety

Military facilities present an army of challenges—exacting codes and regulations, stepped-up security issues, and budgetary concerns. Fire protection and life safety systems are of utmost importance.

07/24/2013


Kevin D. Bomboy, PE, LEED AP, Chief mechanical engineer, STV Group, Douglassville, Pa. Courtesy: STV GroupDavid Callan, PE, CEM, LEED AP, HBDP, Vice president, McGuire Engineers Inc., Chicago. Courtesy: McGuire EngineersRobert L. Crance, Mechanical engineer, Black and Veatch, Overland Park, Kansas. Courtesy: Black and VeatchJoseph H. Talbert, PE, ARM, Project manager, Aon Fire Protection Engineering, Lincolnshire, Ill. Courtesy: Aon Fire Protection EngineeringWilliam Valdez, Northwest justice and civic sector leader/principal, DLR Group, Seattle. Courtesy: DLR Group

Participants:

  • Kevin D. Bomboy, PE, LEED AP, Chief mechanical engineer, STV Group, Douglassville, Pa.
  • David Callan, PE, CEM, LEED AP, HBDP, Vice president, McGuire Engineers Inc., Chicago
  • Robert L. Crance, Mechanical engineer, Black & Veatch, Overland Park, Kansas
  • Joseph H. Talbert, PE, ARM, Project manager, Aon Fire Protection Engineering, Lincolnshire, Ill.
  • William Valdez, Northwest justice and civic sector leader/principal, DLR Group, Seattle

CSE: What trends, systems, or products have affected changes in life safety systems in military facilities? Please include mass notification systems (MNS), emergency communication systems (ECS), etc.

Talbert: The changes prompted by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are having an enormous impact on building design and retrofits. The introduction of visible notification appliances to provide fire alarm notification for occupants of buildings has required complete replacement of fire alarm systems whenever a major renovation is performed.

Bomboy: The combination of mass notification, fire alarm, and paging into an integrated system that meets the applicable UFCs and other standards has simplified the design and lessened the cost impact of these systems.

CSE: What fire/life safety lessons have you learned on past military facility projects?

Bomboy: For areas that will be served by a chemical suppression system, tight construction is critical to make sure that minimum required contact time for the chemical suppressant is achieved.

Talbert: The DOD is perhaps the strongest proponent of good fire protection practices of any segment of society. The commitment of the military to improving fire protection in military facilities will result in significant improvement in life safety over the long term. 

CSE: How can heightened security concerns at a military facility affect your work on such a project?

Talbert: Heightened security concerns have an impact on planning. In order to ensure that a project runs smoothly, coordination between the contractor and the site personnel to ensure that all engineers and contractors have the appropriate security clearance is critical.

Bomboy: The design of both fire protection and fire alarm systems must address the requirements for information security. The systems must be designed so that emergency management/radio frequency emanations are addressed and the fire alarm wiring is properly protected.

CSE: What are some important factors to consider when designing a fire and life safety system in a military facility? What things often get overlooked?

Bomboy: The UFCs require a high level of audibility for mass notification systems. Speaker placement must address acoustic performance of spaces. In some cases, intelligibility calculations must be performed using dedicated computer software to assist with the design of the system.

Talbert: It is important to establish the goals that the team wishes to achieve prior to beginning the design effort. Most problems that arise are because the participants were not in full agreement about the scope of work or the results that are expected. If the design team is not careful, preliminary and final testing, which are generally required by the UFC, can be overlooked until the client withholds payment because the testing has not been completed.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.