A Beginner’s Guide to Defend-in-Place Facilities
Lately, we have received inquiries asking about defend-in-place facilities. It’s a great topic to discuss as it is one of the main reasons we provide so much training to our technicians.
Since fires can take place anytime, it is important that you have solid procedures and that all staff understand them.
Sufficient Exit Routes
All routes should be easy to understand and easy to get to from where you are in the building. Most facilities have photoluminescent exits installed where there is a clear, lit path to an exit.
It is important you conduct regular fire drills so your employees are aware of the measures to take in case of a fire. This includes not only how to evacuate patients but also how to keep them safe within the building.
Evacuation depends on the circumstances, whether you can even access the exit or if the occupants of the building are even mobile.
Imagine being a nurse in a hospital, you’re making your rounds and suddenly, fire alarms start going off. Standard evacuation procedures begin but one of your patients is critical and unresponsive and cannot be moved. How will they be protected from the fire?
In cases like this, the only way to protect them is through defend-in-place. When the insides of a building may be burning but the occupants aren’t physically capable of moving, we rely heavily on the fire barrier. This is why hospitals and other such places (e.g., ships) are designed with alternative accommodations. The compartments here are smoke-resistant and protect the occupants from fire injuries. This is also one of the reason there is so much emphasis on maintaining the components of your fire barrier.
There are three different types of defend-in-place fire protection methods of evacuation within one building at the time of a fire spread:
Progressive: This is the most direct way of protecting potential victims. Those occupants who are physically immobile and are directly threatened by the fire are immediately evacuated out of that intense situation and transported to a safer zone.
Defense: This is for those occupants who are in danger but not immediately under threat. These occupants are moved behind protective doors within the building until the fire is extinguished.
Evacuate: This is valid for those occupants who are near exit tunnels. They are forced to empty the building, spontaneously.
Fires are scary and can be deadly. Ensuring that your fire safety system is in working order is vital to defend in place.
Prevent Life Safety takes pride in the maintenance we provide for fire barriers of all sizes. Defend-in-Place facilities rely on us to keep them safe. We take that very seriously. All of our technicians have extensive training in servicing fire doors, fire dampers and firestopping for fire-rated walls. We’ve inspected hundreds of thousands of barrier components and have the experience to make sure your occupants safe. Call 1-877-392-6074 or request an online quote today to ensure your fire barrier is in working order.