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Fire Protection

Extinguishing the Fire Sprinkler Debate

With so many advances in technology, building materials, and life safety systems, it is no surprise that building construction techniques and the design process have also evolved. On the coattails of these advances in the industry come requisite changes in code requirements. Many of the code changes are heavily debated on local and national platforms, but few have sparked more conversation than the recent changes to the International Residential Code (IRC) mandating the installation of residential fire sprinkler systems in one- and two-family dwellings and townhomes. In December of 2008, the International Code Council (ICC) voted to reject an appeal... Read More

A Sprinkling of Code Change

Among the code changes currently under consideration by the International Code Council (the governing body of the International Building Codes) is one that would mandate the installation of residential sprinkler systems in one- and two-family dwellings, as well as manufactured homes. Though the desire to require residential sprinklers is not new, the momentum and support for making these changes is growing. In fact, those in favor of these code revisions believe the 2009 International Building Code could mandate sprinklers for all dwelling units. If adopted, the standard would be added to Chapter 43 of the National Fire Protection Agency NFPA... Read More

Whose Fault is it? Understanding Arc Faults

Most people realize that a building’s electrical system can cause a fire if misused or wired improperly. The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has determined that annually more than 10% of all household fires are related to electrical systems. Nationwide, this is over 40,000 fires a year. The CPSC estimates that of electrical system related fires, half are caused by “arcs” within a building’s wiring. As defined by General Electric, an arc is an unintentional electrical discharge, characterized by low and erratic current, that may ignite combustible materials. The heat and/or sparks that are associated with this discharge are often... Read More