Fixed Firefighting System Selection: Towards Improved Decision Making

Bird, Simon; Ruikar, Kirti; Bosher, Lee; Glockling, Jim
December 2019
International Journal of Information Technology;Dec2019, Vol. 3 Issue 12, p1
Academic Journal
A fixed firefighting system is a fire suppression, control or extinguishing system for use as a fixed installation in a building to protect the whole or part of a building and/or the objects within. Examples of such systems include; automatic fire sprinkler systems and other systems such as deluge and water mist systems. Fixed firefighting systems are an essential fire safety tool. The fire remains a destructive force leading to loss of life and irreversible loss of property. Its effects are long term leading to disruption to communities and economies. Fixed firefighting systems play a critical role in mitigating a fire hazard. In the United Kingdom and in Europe, over recent decades, regulatory changes have created a favourable environment for innovation to take place. This has led to an increase in the numbers of fixed firefighting system types that are now available. These systems offer levels of performance (and therefore safety) with considerable variance. A critical part of ensuring safety, isn't simply the availability of a variety of fire hazard mitigating systems, but also the selection of the most appropriate system that is 'fit for purpose'. This relies on the knowledge and expertise of disparate experts and is often situated within regulatory procedures and heuristics or 'rules of thumb'. Selection is now more complex. There is thus a need for a tool that enables optimal selection of fixed firefighting systems. In response, a Fixed Firefighting System Selection Tool has been developed. The tool incorporates knowledge, logic, rules and fire safety educational resources to aid the system selection process. Evaluation of the tool has been undertaken using qualitative inputs from a range of key experts. The evaluation findings indicate that the tool: is an innovative approach to promoting good fire safety designs, efficiently provides useful fire safety education to users and the supporting resources which consider firefighting system benefit is helpful.


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