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AMCA White Paper examines impact of fire-sprinkler trade-offs

Over-reliance on automatic fire sprinklers at the expense of passive fire-safety features, is thought to be the cause of a decrease in building fire-safety scores, AMCA says

| | Jul 25, 2018 | 2:19 pm
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Arlington Heights, Illinois, USA, 25 July 2018: A new whitepaper from Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA) International Inc., says that an over-reliance on automatic fire sprinklers at the expense of passive fire-safety features, such as fire, smoke, and combination fire/smoke dampers, is thought to be the cause of a measurable decrease in building fire-safety scores, since the adoption of the International Codes (I-Codes), in 2000, the body said in a Press communiqué.

Summarising research commissioned by the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) Fire Research and Education Foundation, the whitepaper, ‘Impact of Fire-Sprinkler Trade-offs on Occupant and Building Safety’, notes that the aggregate building-safety metrics of fire safety, means of egress and general safety have declined since the I-Codes were adopted, the communiqué said. This is believed to indicate a shift in structural trade-offs, in
particular, passive building features being traded off for active ones, most notably automatic sprinklers, the communiqué further said. Researchers found most of these trade-offs are put forward based on descriptive explanations lacking scientific quantitative analysis, the communiqué added.

According to AMCA, the use of redundant layers of safety – both active and passive features, in the event an individual system fails to function as designed – is a well-established practice within the safety community and one championed by the NASFM and AMCA.

The communiqué also said that AMCA White Papers are available to download, at no cost, at: www.amca.org/whitepapers.

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