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Fire protection contractors are specially trained construction staff who provide advice on the appropriate methods for fire protection. These specialists are hired by construction firms and industrial companies who have non-standard needs. Fire protection is a term used to describe a series of technologies that can suppress a fire, minimize the spreading of the fire, or provide advance warning to people of the fire.
There are five main types of fire protection equipment: fire alarms, automatic sprinklers, chemical fire suppressants, fire extinguishers, and hood suppression systems. The design and implementation of these tools is the main task completed by fire prevention contractors. These systems must all be installed or attached to the building structure to function properly.
In order to become a fire protection contractor, employees must have post-secondary training in fire prevention or fire safety. It is not unusual for former firefighters to become fire protection contractors. This type of career is focused on prevention, proper planning, and reduction of risk. People who have seen the damage and loss of life that can occur with an uncontrolled fire would find great personal satisfaction with this type of work.
The primary task of fire protection contractors is to design customized fire suppression systems. Manufacturing companies that require the use of high heat or open flame as part of their process face specific challenges related to the installation of fire protection systems. The contractors review the blueprints of the facility and talk with the site manager. After learning about the specific process, risks, and type of fire, they can provide a quotation or proposal for a fire protection system.
The proposal may recommend one specific solution, but is typically a combination of tools and options. All insurance companies will require evidence of a fire protection system before insuring either the facility or the business. The contractors may be asked to submit the proposal to the insurance company for review and approval before implementing.
Once approved, the fire protection contractors work directly with the construction or renovation team to install the systems to the framework of the building. This type of work requires coordination by multiple trades. The fire protection systems must be connected to the primary utilities through a dedicated channel to ensure that resources will be available when required.
Many fire protection contractors also offer an annual maintenance or inspection service. For a nominal fee, the contractors will visit the work site and review the fire prevention methods in place. A written report is provided to upper management, detailing any issues, weaknesses or concerns. It is important to note that government regulations can change, and it is the role of the consultant to ensure that the company is in compliance.
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