Top tips for integrating fire protection, HVAC systems
These nine guidelines will help fire protection engineers integrate fire and life safety systems with HVAC systems.
- Understand the codes and standards that govern fire and life safety systems.
- Know that active and passive fire protection systems can be combined to provide life safety.
- Learn to integrate fire and life safety systems with HVAC systems.
1. Prioritize control of any HVAC equipment used for smoke control so that the fire alarm control is the highest level of priority. This will override any other control signals to allow for the required airflow quantity for exhaust/makeup air, life safety damper closure and opening, and required unit shutdown. This may require bypassing hands-off automatic (HOA) or variable frequency drive (VFD) controls when life safety functions occur.
- If it is activated by fire sprinkler, then the sprinkler system zoning must match the smoke control zoning. Modifications to zone boundaries during construction will require modifications to sprinkler systems in the field.
- If it is activated by smoke detector, then the detectors must be zoned to identify which units will activate the smoke control system and which will not.
- Some properties use both fire sprinkler and smoke detection to activate the same smoke control system. In these cases, both systems need to be coordinated with zone boundaries.