Fire Safety Science Consulting and Fire Protection Engineering

Fire Safety Science Consulting

In 2009, there were 1,348,500 fires reported in the United States. These fires caused 3,010 civilian deaths, 17,050 civilian injuries, 82 firefighter deaths, and $12.5 billion in property damage (National Fire Protection Association).

The Fire Cause Analysis fire safety consultants provide their services to prevent such staggering statistics by working with developers and designers to increase preventative safety measures. Our fire safety engineers analyze failures to determine what breakdown(s) of safety may have occurred so that such events can be avoided in the future.

Case Studies

Our scientists and engineers have assessed critical fire safety issues in dozens of complex situations:

  • Retrofitting a high rise residential complex in Hawaii with state-of-the-art fire detection equipment to address the owner's concerns about high rise fire and the challenges associated with prompt detection, notification, and egress.
  • Evaluating performance and possible damage to fire sprinkler systems under various scenarios including post earthquake conditions.
  • Evaluating the fire-event egress required in a state certified school building.
  • Evaluating fire safety issues related to critical thermal insulation assemblies used to construct the Keck I and II [world's largest] reflecting telescopes (Mauna Kee, Hawaii).
  • Assessing possible underground fire scenarios at a major municipality's solid waste disposal site under an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandate.
  • Evaluating and proposing novel passive fire protection systems for protection of an existing steel frame structure.
  • Assessing fire safety levels in light and heavy rail rapid transit vehicles for car manufacturers and municipal agencies.
  • Assessing critical factors in a failed pumping/piping system for an international airport fuel farm facility involved in a major fire.

Fire Protection Engineering

Fire Protection Engineering is the multidisciplinary study and application of fire science based on science rooted from other fields including mechanical and chemical engineering. Fire Cause Analysis consulting staff provides such services to evaluate design and failures of passive and active fire protection, smoke and heat detection, and life safety systems.

Case Studies

  • A residential fire in which the building owner failed to maintain vegetation control as outlined in the applicable fire code. As a result, ignition of a nearby small accidental trash fire spread to the point where it destroyed the building and all of its contents.
  • A restaurant fire in which the installed cooking appliance fire protection system failed to extinguish the fire. During the subsequent investigation many parties became involved including the building owner, cooking appliance manufacturer, the contracted duct cleaners, the installer of the duct system, the fire protection system manufacturer, and the fire protection system installer and inspection company.
  • An improperly installed sprinkler system failed to suppress a relatively small fire before it grew to devastating size. Investigation and research into the building history showed that an entire branch of the sprinkler system was found to have been improperly disconnected during recent construction work and had not been put back into service prior to occupancy.
  • Improper repair of a plastic sprinkler pipe system in a high rent apartment complex resulted in a sizable water loss claim that displaced numerous tenants. The repairs were found to be out of compliance with the pipe manufacturer's specifications and local codes governing installation and repair of sprinkler systems.
  • A failure to communicate between a sprinkler and plumbing contractor resulted in an improperly sized water main connection at the sprinkler riser. The improper connection eventually slipped and caused a significant water loss and structural damage to the building and exterior walkway.
Click here for the FCA Forensic Engineering staff.