According to Jennifer Wetzel, Fire Protection Engineer for Telgian Engineering & Consulting, Behavioral Health Facilities Fire Protection / Life Safety Systems design comes with a unique set of challenges. One is simply the broad array of care and treatment facilities which fall under this category. Behavioral health services include occupancies designed for individuals with mental health issues, foster care needs, addictive behaviors, chemical dependency issues, or intellectual / developmental disabilities. In addition, these may be located in a host of settings including inpatient / crisis stabilization units, residential day programs, outpatient facilities, and community-based locations.
Wetzel recently examined this topic is her article, “Fire Protection and Life Safety Solutions for Behavioral Health Facilities” for Medical Construction & Design magazine. In the piece, Wetzel explains how the design of fire sprinkler and fire alarm systems for these facilities goes beyond simple adherence to code and requires a careful evaluation of each setting, as well as the specific needs of its patient population. In the article, special attention is paid to memory care facilities for Alzheimer’s and related dementias and Autism Spectrum spaces, as well as psychiatric hospitals.
About the Author
Jennifer A. Wetzel, PE is a Senior Fire Protection Engineer with security, life safety and fire protection industry leader Telgian Engineering & Construction. A graduate of the University of Maryland, she has over 16 years of experience and is active within the fire protection industry. Wetzel is a member of both SFPE Delaware Valley/Philadelphia Chapter and NFPA. Additionally, she holds multiple committee seats including NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities Code committee, and Alternate for both the HEA-FUN and HEA HES committees.
Read Wetzel’s article in its entirety here: Behavioral Health Facilities Fire Protection and Life Safety Solutions
For media interviews with Jennifer Wetzel, please contact:
Susan McNeill, Corporate Communications Manager