Dec 15, 2020 | Trends

Life Safety Systems Need Heightened Attention Due to Uncertain Building Occupancy

Life Safety Systems are required by building codes and considered one of the most important systems in the building from the occupant’s perspective. Therefore, facility managers have a responsibility to keep them functional and effective.

Life Safety Systems are building systems whose function is to provide protection and preservation of the occupants.  The life safety systems provide security features on a regular basis but are critical during any type of threat, such as fire or weather-related events. The pandemic has presented challenges because occupancy can fluctuate and strain system baseline norms.

Elements of Life Safety Systems

Elements that go into life safety systems include fire sprinklers and suppression systems, fire alarm and detections systems, smoke removal, stairwell pressurization, CCTV Security Cameras, Access Control Systems, emergency, and exit lighting, and fire extinguishers. A 24-hour monitoring system is necessary to provide immediate notification to responders in the case of a situation. Emergency and standby power sources must be considered in the design of the system.

Beyond the detection and notification of an emergency, a life safety system also has a control function that automatically reacts to an emergency. This function operates fire doors, smoke dampers, elevator shutdown, smoke removal, and other critical functions. Besides alarms, the control function communicates with the fire company, building occupants and may even include a public address system.

Code Requirements

Building codes outline protocol around testing and maintaining the life safety systems in the building. The IoT has changed the industry and life safety systems can connect fully into the building automation. In fact, integrating with the building automation system will provide better monitoring and notification while reducing the time personnel would need to test and maintain system functionality.

Personnel that perform the testing of life safety systems are required to be certified and licensed. There are strict protocols around shutting down systems and how often they must be tested. Albireo Energy offers the unique ability to support a solution from design to ongoing system monitoring and annual testing. Pass the heavy responsibility of providing the best life safety solutions to the Albireo team who partners with firms nationwide to keep them functioning and regulatory compliant.

Road to a Solution

Albireo’s proven expertise can provide solid guidance on the best safety solutions for your organization’s unique requirements.  Being product agnostic, Albireo can design a solution that will serve the specific needs of the building. From mass notification systems to installation and ongoing service needs, Albireo will be a dependable partner ensuring comprehensive and reliable system performance and compliance.

Albireo listens to the client and will design and fully implement the exact system required to provide ease of use and peace of mind. Access control and security systems include traditional card access systems to advanced IP based systems. Video and intrusion detection solutions need to be integrated with the building automation system, something that Albireo is highly proficient at providing.

Maintenance Responsibility

Partner with a Smart Building Solutions provider such as Albireo to design, upgrade, or maintain your system and shift the responsibility from an overtaxed building manager. The pandemic has sparked regulations that have increased the expectations of what information and performance we must glean from Life Safety Systems. Contact tracing and access control are two areas that have been emphasized. NFPA has developed a checklist for reopening buildings that includes system inspections and testing to ensure systems are kept fully functional whether buildings are occupied or not. The unusual nature of closing buildings has left some scheduled testing and maintenance undone. Buildings may have been opened only to be shut down again. The lower occupancy and diminished staff onsite do not change the importance of a fully functioning and monitored Life Safety System. Call in the experts at Albireo for cost-effective management and stay ahead in these unprecedented times.

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