For any complex fire protection project, EPM can be retained by the design team, a contractor, a local code/fire authority or as an owner’s representative to provide on-site construction management. EPM employs several senior, licensed engineers with MS degrees in fire protection engineering who are experts in fire protection systems, the applicable code requirements and the fire sciences that form the bases of the code intent. EPM identifies installation deficiencies and deviations and works to resolve unique issues and unforeseen conditions during construction. EPM can provide turnkey oversight and management services for any fire protection system retrofit/replacement project, no matter how complex.
Warrant of Fitness is the terminology that is used in NFPA 1, Fire Code, which is adopted by many states and fire officials. The Warrant of Fitness verbiage in NFPA 1 requires annual re-certification of performance-based fire protection systems and design feature maintenance. The other major model fire code in the US is the International Fire Code, which also contains similar verbiage. Both fire codes are also adopted extensively outside of the US.
The intent of both fire codes is for proper maintenance of building systems and features that incorporate elements of performance-based design. Such designs are based on conditions that should be maintained throughout the life of a building. For example, a smoke exhaust system design, i.e., exhaust rates and make-up rates, are typically based on a specific design fire scenario. The fire scenario is based on assumptions and conditions that could change over time. Systems may also fall into disrepair, may be altered or new hazards may be introduced that alter the basis of the design approval. For example, an atrium renovation that includes reconfiguration of walls, or introduces new furnishings or decorations may render the existing exhaust system ineffective or insufficient. Other building systems or features may be based on code modification/variance that include conditions of approval that must be maintained.
EPM has prepared numerous Warrant of Fitness reports for clients, has assisted mechanical engineers with smoke control system design and has provided third party inspection and testing as required by the building code. Through a combination of this experience and our general fire protection expertise, we are very familiar with the nuances and the intent of the related requirements, the specifics of application, the enforcement, the pitfalls and the best practices.