Fire, Life Safety

2019 Fire & Life Safety Study

Fire, life safety in hospitals, health care facilities
By Amanda Pelliccione October 31, 2019

Fifty-two percent of engineers specify, design or make product selections for hospitals/health care facilities, according to the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2019 Fire & Life Safety Study—and 90% of these engineers are responsible for determining the requirements/writing the fire and life safety system specifications for these projects. Below are five fire and life safety system findings as they relate to hospital/health care facility projects: 

  1. Design value: Engineering firms are specifying $2.6 million annually, on average, in fire and life safety systems for new and existing hospitals and health care facilities, with 25% specifying more than $3.0 million. 
  2. Fire, life safety systems: Smoke detection, control systems, dampers, etc. (64%); fire, smoke, heat, linear detection (61%); and network and intelligent fire alarm control panels (52%) are the most common types for fire and life safety systems currently being specified into hospitals and health care facilities. 
  3. Specifications: For hospitals and health care facilities, performance fire and life safety systems specifications are written 82% of the time, followed by prescriptive (75%) and open: alternate or substitute (62%). 
  4. Design factors: When comparing fire and life safety systems for hospitals and health care facilities, engineers heavily weigh product quality (81%), service support (52%), previous experience with the manufacturer (49%) and the manufacturer’s reputation (49%). 
  5. Recent changes: Over the past 12 to 18 months, engineers have been affected by changes to codes and standards (54%), building information modeling (49%), integration (40%) and wireless devices/systems (40%) when designing/specifying fire and life safety systems for hospitals and health care facilities. 

4 in 10 engineers expect to see an increase of metering/sub-metering technologies and variable refrigerant flow systems in future projects. Source: Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2019 HVAC & Building Automation Systems Study 

>50% of engineers specify LEDs, occupancy sensors, multi-level lighting or dimming systems and daylight harvesting systems. Source: Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2019 Lighting & Lighting Controls Study 

48% of engineers are specifying water-based, sprinkler fire suppression systems and network and intelligent fire alarm control panels. Source: Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2019 Fire & Life Safety Study 


More research 
Consulting-Specifying Engineer covers several research topics each year. All reports are available at www.csemag.com/research. 

Access more fire and life safety trends at www.csemag.com/research. Amanda Pelliccione is the research director at CFE Media. 


Amanda Pelliccione
Author Bio: Amanda is the Research Director and Project Manager of Awards Programs for CFE Media and its publications.