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Running Header: EVALUATION OF FIRE PROTECTION, DETECTION AND SUPPRESSION SYSTEMS EVALUATION OF FIRE PROTECTION, DETECTION AND SUPPRESSION SYSTEMS COLUMBIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY BOB BARKER
Evaluation of fire protection, detection and suppression systems Section 1: In reviewing the Washington Warehouse fire, firefighters responded to a warehouse with open bay doors, non-functioning sprinklers, lack of knowledge of the facility layout and what was fueling the fire. The breakdown of the protection and suppression system was unconceivable. Upon review of the fire detection, protection, suppression system and the mix of stored materials it was clear that several violations of highly flammable materials went unattended (NFPA 13). As the existing suppression system did not satisfy the addition of combustible materials which altered the classification of the warehouse. Additionally, the add on of 10,000 square feet to the structure as well as an illegal foreign pump that didn’t satisfy the required water pressure supply (Minimum of 40 PSI) and pump volume (Greater than 1300 GPM) where clear violations as well (NFPA 20). Another surprising factor is the fire alarms didn’t activate due to power outages that lasted for several days due to a flood in the area. Other serious issues that need to be addressed are inspection processes, lack of sufficient electricity, inadequate lighting and an evacuation process. The fire prevention plan moving forward would begin with good housekeeping. The disorganized warehouse environment aided in the fire spreading and prevented clear escape routes. In addition to housekeeping, the fire prevention system would be upgraded when inventory changes are made, alarms would have battery backup capability to sustain any interference in the system, as well as smoke alarms that would be properly spaced according to local fire codes.

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