Hi, I’m from the Government…

“Hi, I’m from the Government and I am here to help you” along with “The check is in the mail” are two of the bigger miss-truths those of us in business hear. I am no fan of big government; I think it is because much of what government asks (or tells) us to do just doesn’t make any common sense. To me, a successful business will always run on common sense.

We are working with a client that purchased an existing building. They are in the midst of renovating the office area. These are good people that are not looking to “buck” the system of regulations, approvals, and inspections. But their vantage point is,’ we bought and paid for the building so why is a regulatory agency telling us what we can do, how we should do it, and when it can be done’. I can’t necessarily disagree with them on many issues, but there is one area where regulations and building codes make a lot of sense to me. That is when they apply to life safety.

The life safety sections of the building code are there to deal with just that: “Safety of the Lives in the building”. They provide the design constraints that protect the lives of the building’s occupants. The Life Safety criterion for a building is determined by two main items: what the building is used for and the materials the building is built with. These factors establish…

  • Compartmentalization: Size of fire areas, location of fire walls, fire resistivity of systems, etc.
  • Means of Egress: Travel distances, types of exit doors, corridor construction/detailing, etc.
  • Fire Detection & Suppression: Sprinkler systems, fire alarms, smoke detectors, etc.

Any regulation that protects a life makes common sense to me. If we can help you find that common sense solution to the regulatory requirements for the life safety on your next building project, give us a call.

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