Commercial HVAC Systems and Firefighters

Commercial HVAC SystemsCommercial buildings need to be equipped and ready to assist with firefighting efforts, should that be necessary one day. Fire dangers are present in commercial buildings, from equipment failures to human errors, and the quicker the firefighters can get in and do their job, the better the outcome. There are certain aspects to the air handlers, heating and cooling unit location and presence of exhaust fans that will either help or hinder the firefighting team’s efforts in putting out a fire in a commercial building. At Berico Fuels, we install Greensboro commercial HVAC systems so they are in a helpful location with tools and configurations that will assist firefighters if needed.

Air Handlers Play an Important Role in Firefighting

An article in www.firehouse.com focuses on commercial systems, and how firefighters use them to assist in firefighting efforts. Air handlers play a major role if the unit size is greater than 2,000 CFM and contains duct smoke detectors:

“The size of a unit is typically referred to in cubic feet per minute (CFM) and the amount of air the unit can move is measured in this way. So, a 30,000 CFM can move 30,000 cubic feet of air per minute. In units above 2,000 CFM, the unit will be provided with duct smoke detectors. Duct smoke detectors are special detectors that are located with the duct and generally span the entire width of the duct. These are tied into the fire alarm system and will activate the alarm just like any other detector. Units over 2,000 CFM are required to be shut down when the fire alarm is activated. It is important to remember that these are current code requirements and there are many buildings that do not have these features.”

When a fire alarm occurs inside of a commercial building, the ability to shut down the air handler instantly to prevent further spread of heat and smoke-filled air is beneficial to firefighters. Controlling unwanted ventilation of the fire is critical to keep it under control. At Berico Fuels, we make sure that our Greensboro commercial ac and heating components are installed properly to the current code requirements, and that they work safely and efficiently to provide comfortable airflow throughout the building.

Structure and Age are Considerations for HVAC Location

It is also essential to have the right-sized unit in the right location, depending on the age and structure of the commercial building:

“If no regard has been given to the structure of the building when the unit was installed, there are even greater chances that any substantial increase in heat may lead to failure of the roof structure and the unit falling on firefighters working in the building. Some units are powered natural gas or propane, and these hazards should not be treated any differently than we do every other time.”

At Berico Fuels, we consider the age of the structure and the roof when determining the best system for the building, along with the unit location. Through careful planning, analysis, and ductwork optimization, we provide a safe and comprehensive air conditioning and furnace installation for your commercial building.

Exhaust Fans Aid in Ventilation

The presence of exhaust fans is helpful to remove harmful gases and cool buildings quickly. According to firehouse.com:

“Exhaust fans can be very helpful in our ventilation practices. When used properly they can remove the hot gases of combustion from the spaces we are working in. If we are to use the buildings exhaust fans to assist us in this process we need to know where they are located and how they operate.”

Your commercial HVAC system needs to be working efficiently and according to building codes to ensure safety and long-lasting comfort. At Berico Fuels, we maintain, repair, and install these systems with expert knowledge and careful consideration for finding the best sized system in the right location for your Greensboro, Eden and Burlington business needs. Call us at 336-496-2509 today.