Regardless of your purpose or geography, the life safety of those who inhabit your building is the first consideration in design and use. History has repeatedly demonstrated that human behavior and business concerns without emphasis on regard for occupant life safety can prove disastrous. Cocoanut Grove, Triangle Shirt Waste, MGM Grand and, more recently, The Station Nightclub fire each had valuable lessons to teach us about life safety. Telgian’s group of seasoned professionals can help you navigate the code to find the most efficient and responsible way to protect your building’s occupants.
Life Safety/Egress Analysis
Existing buildings being repurposed for different uses are normally held to a different and sometimes more stringent standard than they were during construction and commissioning. Similarly, new uses within individual areas of existing buildings usually need to meet new standards for egress width, travel distance and multiple other requirements. It is often noted during a building’s design or life-cycle that precisely conforming to the letter of the code can be difficult if not impossible. This is where Telgian’s talented consultants and engineers come in. Telgian can help you navigate difficult to interpret code and aid in selecting one of the many options for compliance that may present during planning and research. Our focus is your focus…we intend to get your building open and operating in a safe manner while minimizing impact.
Alternative Means/ Code Equivalency
Intent is at the core of codes requirements. When you have an understanding of the code’s intent, you can explore all available options during planning stages. This allows an expanded, global thought level that goes beyond the words printed in the code while providing a safe environment. Our experts create solutions that comply with the intent of fire and safety regulations while minimizing restrictions that could impact timelines and budgets. Moreover, Telgian professionals will present this argument for you to the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to ease acceptance and understanding. Our consulting and engineering staff is comprised of engineers and prior code officials, which lends itself well to communication with AHJs.
A common issue within the realm of life safety revolves around the physical time it will take occupants to egress during an emergency. Whether the venue is a high occupancy assembly or a low occupancy storage outfit, the time required to evacuate in an emergency is critically important information to have when considering overall safety. Knowledge of the psychology of humans faced with an emergency situation is critical in this assessment. Decisions made about building protection features during planning or life cycle can significantly affect requirements as printed within the code. This is the value of egress modeling. Using advanced software, Telgian associates simulate a number of egress scenarios using your actual building layout and egress configuration. Data obtained from these simulations, coupled with detailed knowledge of human behavior, allows Telgian experts to create solutions where potential issues exist.
The length of time it takes occupants to leave a particular building during a fire emergency is directly and most importantly related to the amount of time that building will remain tenable, or the amount of time one could reasonably expect to have before a descending smoke layer reaches the level of those evacuating occupants. These important variables are referred to as Required Safe Egress Time (RSET) and Available Safe Egress Time (ASET), and the clear objective is to ensure that ASET is less than RSET. But how do you define RSET? Using the latest advanced fire modeling software, Telgian experts model fire scenarios utilizing your exact building layout to help define that length of time. This data can further be used to define protection alternatives and equivalencies.
Regardless of who regulates your work environment, the sheer number of requirements can be daunting.Mix in individual interpretations of those requirements and you have a daunting task, to say the least. A mock audit allows you to determine how well prepared your organization is for an audit by a regulatory official. Telgian experts conduct mock audits to ensure your building is prepared for an actual formal audit engagement. Additionally, we help ensure your organization has the knowledge necessary to continually operate in accordance with specified policies, procedures and external requirements to not only meet corporate goals and objectives but also to ensure potential planned improvements are identified, scheduled and suitable to achieve compliance.
Life Safety Audits and Site Assessments
Fire is a concern for everyone but in some environments, due to individual activities or physical limitations of the building occupants, life safety can become an even greater issue. Life safety audits identify potential problems before they have a chance to become major issues. Telgian’s group of seasoned life safety professionals will take all factors and variables into consideration while offering the benefit of decades of experience navigating life safety codes. This wealth of experience manifests in a safe environment for occupants and reduced regulatory related life cycle costs for the building.