Fire Service Features of Buildings and Fire Protection Systems, 2015
The purpose of this manual is to increase the safety of building occupants and emergency responders by streamlining fire service interaction with building features and fire protection systems. The information in this manual will assist designers of buildings and fire protection systems to better understand the needs of the fire service when they are called upon to operate in or near the built environment. To put this another way, architects and engineers create workplaces for firefighters. Designs can be tailored to better meet operational needs, thereby reducing the time it takes to mitigate an incident. The guidance in this manual is expected to decrease the injuries to responding and operating fire service personnel. When an incident can be mitigated faster, there is less time for the hazardous situation to grow in proportion. With less potential exposure, employees occupying buildings will be afforded greater protection from fire incidents. Employee occupants as well as fire service employees will realize the benefits of this manual in terms of safe working conditions as intended by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. This manual is to be used voluntarily, as a companion to mandatory and advisory provisions in building codes, life safety codes, fire codes, safety regulations, and installation standards for fire protection systems. The material contained in this document focuses on ways that building and fire protection system designers can contribute to the efficiency of fire suppression operations. This material is applicable to all fire service organizations, including fire brigades and fire departments. Many of the considerations in the following chapters will also help during responses for other emergencies, such as hazardous materials releases, emergency medical care, non-fire rescues, and terrorist events. Users of this manual must understand its limitations. It is directed to designers of buildings and fire protection systems to help them build on existing codes and standards to assist the fire service.