2018 Fire and Life Safety Study: Five fire, life safety industry findings

Respondents to the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2018 Fire & Life Safety Study identified five high-level findings.


Eight in 10 engineers are responsible for determining the requirements/writing the specifications for projects involving fire and life safety systems; two-thirds supervise or consult on projects, and 64% research and evaluate options. Source: Consulting-Specifying EngineerRespondents to the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2018 Fire & Life Safety Study identified five high-level findings:

  1. Total annual revenue: During the most recently completed fiscal year, the average engineering firm earned $7.6 million in mechanical, plumbing, and fire protection revenue, 25% of which was generated through fire and life safety systems specified for new and existing buildings.

  2. Fire, life safety systems: Engineers most commonly specify fire, smoke, heat, or linear detection systems and smoke detection, control systems, dampers, etc. for new and existing nonresidential buildings.

  3. Recent changes: Changes to codes and standards, building information modeling, wireless devices/systems, and integration have been affecting engineers and their projects over the past 12 to 18 months.

  4. Writing specifications: Engineering firms most commonly write performance or prescriptive fire and life safety systems specifications; 32% always use performance specifications (those in which text is restricted to stating the required performance).

  5. Current challenges: Having an inadequate budget for high-quality design topped the list of challenges affecting the future of fire and life safety systems, engineers, and/or the industry—surpassing the previous top challenge (subjective interpretation of regulations) by eight percentage points.

Access the full 2018 Fire & Life Safety Report to view additional findings.

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