SFPE Repositions Fire Protection Engineers’ Roles


The Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) updated its position statement on “The Role of the Fire Protection Engineers in the Construction Design Process.” The new statement stresses how the guidance of a qualified fire protection engineer on the construction team saves time and expenses by interpreting fire and building codes with applied knowledge of how the building and its components function as an integrated fire and life safety system.

“In addition to protecting lives and property, good fire protection design will preserve business continuity,” said Chris Jelenewicz, engineering program manager with SFPE. “For example, the One Meridian Plaza fire in Philadelphia that occurred in 1991 resulted in the building never being re-opened and the Interstate Bank Building fire in Los Angeles that occurred in 1988 resulted in the building being out of service for six months.”

After 9/11, the roles fire protection engineers play in improving life safety was reinforced. The National Institute of Standards and Technology released 30 recommendations aimed at improving safety in tall buildings for occupants and first responders in 2005. Recommendation No. 28 asks to have fire protection engineers on design teams to provide the standard care for buildings constructed with innovative or unusual fire safety features.

To read the position statement in its entirety, visit www.sfpe.org/upload/sfpe_position_statement_0207_0703.pdf

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