Fire Protection Engineering plays an increasingly significant role in today’s changing industries. An in-depth understanding of today’s codes, standards, and new technologies impacts the overall implementation cost of fire protection systems. Having a team of engineers with experience on all facility types, from multi-tenant residential to industrial, is invaluable.
Our services include fire protection systems design, performance based design, hydraulic analysis, code consulting, audits and surveys, special inspections, hazard identification, third party review, client liaison/negotiation services, and inspection and testing services. VERTEX has expertise in LNG Fire Protection Engineering and consulting. Additionally we have expertise to support developers, owners, EPCs, and operators with regulatory support, risk modeling, fire protection and safety engineering, and emergency response consulting.
As an independent consulting company, VERTEX has no affiliation with equipment and material manufacturers. This allows us to provide our clients with an independent, unbiased approach to each project.
Design Services Provided for Fire Protection and Life Safety
Our organization provides specialized services for the design of fire protection systems including firewater distribution network systems.
Our knowledgeable staff of experts evaluate a facility to identify any special requirements or existing facility conditions that may pose a challenge to the implementation of the firewater system design. Firewater distribution systems are designed with consideration to existing facility conditions and include the specification of firewater pipe routing and size, fire pump system design, firewater storage tank design (where necessary), as well as the design of the individual fire suppression systems and components including, but not limited to, hydrant and monitor locations, foam and deluge systems, and nozzle and sprinkler layouts for the protection of fixed equipment and manual firefighting activities.
Design services range from conceptual level specifications to the complete detailed design of a system including material specifications, hydraulic modeling/surge calculations, and installation details. Additional services for construction administration (CA) may be provided as well. These CA services often include:
- Coordination and support with the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) throughout the review process
- Response to installing contractor requests for information (RFIs)
- Commissioning services including acceptance testing and final systems inspections
Learn more on what VERTEX has to offer for “Considerations for Design of Firewater Systems for Buildings” from our experts.
Special Hazard Fire Suppression Systems Design
Our organization specializes in the design of clean agent systems, foam systems, and other special hazard systems.
Fire Alarm and Detection Systems Design
Design of fire alarm, mass notification and evacuation, and flame and gas detection systems.
Performance Based Design
Fire protection systems design based on performance where code based systems are impractical.
VERTEX has design expertise in the following fire and life safety components: Firewater networks; sprinklers, fire pumps, firewater storage tanks, clean agent systems, foam systems, detection systems including alarms for fire and gas, evacuation systems, passive fire protection systems, smoke control systems, emergency shutdown systems.
Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems Consulting Services
VERTEX offers a wide range of specialized services to address the requirements of our clients’ fire protection engineering and consulting needs. Our knowledgeable staff of fire protection engineers are experienced in providing fire protection solutions for a variety of client sectors including industrial, oil and gas, commercial, governmental, medical, residential, and many others. Our team is dedicated to providing the most effective, sustainable, and cost efficient solution for every project.
- Hydraulic Analysis
- Fire and Building Code Consulting
- Audits and Surveys including Gap Analysis for Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems
- PFAS foam retrofits
- Client Liaison and negotiation services
Inspection, Testing & Independent Third Party Reviews
VERTEX’s fire protection engineers offer inspection and testing of new and existing water based suppression, special hazard, alarm and detections systems, and special inspections of smoke control systems.
VERTEX offers third party review services for a number of purposes including:
- Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) mandate
- Compliance review as required by code
- Third party peer review of a complex design as requested by the client
Our engineers apply their specific fire protection systems design and engineering knowledge to each project submitted for third party review. A “second set of eyes” on design documents and drawings often identify common errors that are easily overlooked.
Third party reviews focus on code compliance, optimized pragmatic fire protection, feasibility, and conformance with the standard of care within the industry. These review services are applicable to all system types including:
- Fire sprinkler systems
- Foam / water systems
- Special hazards suppression systems
- Site-wide firewater distribution systems for large-scale industrial facilities
- Fire alarm, detection, and notification systems
- Flame and gas detection systems
- Smoke control systems
- Egress and exiting
- Emergency response plans
- Passive fire protection systems
Our third party review experience includes review of these systems across a range of industries including:
- Oil and gas facilities
- Military installations
- Aircraft hangars
- Medical facilities
- Government buildings
- Municipal facilities
- Residential condominiums
- Commercial projects including large and small scale warehouses and retail
Emergency Response Plan Review and Development
Emergency Response Plans are important to industrial facilities and are key in providing the instruction for an adequate response during a fire incident. Emergency Response Plans provide information related to incidents including:
- Thermal radiation (heat impingement) contours
- Immediate actions required
- Incident command actions
- Offensive operations including fire suppression strategies
- Exposure protection and cooling water details
- Foam calculations where required/used
A properly prepared and adequate emergency response plan can make all the difference when it comes to providing an effective response from first responders or onsite fire brigades. The information shown in the emergency response plan can be used to identify proper staging areas and equipment necessary for incident control or suppression within a specific area. In addition, emergency response plans are used as a guide for frequent practice and training to specific emergency response scenarios.
Many of our engineers have not only the engineering experience to identify the specific requirements necessary for response to specific fires, but have also completed industrial fire brigade training with TEEX. This specialized training provides our engineers with a first hand perspective of incident response, allowing our team to create emergency response plans that not only meet prescriptive requirements, but also better account for real-world first responder strategies and tactics.
Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) Facilities Expertise
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities, like other oil & gas facilities, are required to adhere to very specific fire protection and mitigation standards in accordance with current building and fire prevention codes, as well as NFPA Standards such as NFPA 59A. VERTEX has experience working with import and export terminals, marine facilities, peak shavers, liquefaction facilities, and power generation facilities utilizing LNG.
Fire Hazard Analysis Consulting
VERTEX provides fire hazard analysis, fire safety analysis, and other fire hazard assessment and consulting services as required by code, facility specific standards, and insurance related requirements. When a processing plant or storage facility has significant quantities of flammable materials, a fire hazard analysis (FHA) is a method of evaluating the hazards present and subsequent consequence potential. These assessments are based on specific review criteria that are dependent upon the types of hazards being assessed, as well as commodities stored and facility processes. Each assessment conducted by VERTEX is completed by a professional fire protection engineer with knowledge of fire risk, fire safety, consequence analysis, and other hazard analysis techniques.
Fire and Explosion Risk Assessments
VERTEX offers risk management consulting services including the development and completion of Fire Risk Assessments (FRA), where required by an authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) or for use as a design basis. Fire risk assessments are typically used to validate performance-based solutions, studies, code equivalencies, and regulatory compliance evaluations. Fire risk assessments and analyses should always be completed by experienced professionals with a documented background in the subject matter. Our professional engineering and fire protection consulting staff have the educational knowledge and years of experience required to prepare and conduct a valid fire risk assessment for any facility type.
Fire Risk Assessment Applications
Fire Risk Assessments are tools used to further evaluate or focus on particular aspects of a design such as mitigation, process safety, and/or confirmation of adequate protection from a fire protection system. Risk assessments can be conducted using qualitative, semi-quantitative, and quantitative methods. The process of a fire risk assessment includes characterization of the risk associated with a specific fire or explosion scenario, likelihood, and numerical magnitude of potential consequences. Each FRA is developed for, and unique to, the specific fire scenario; however, FRAs typically include details on the following:
- Fire scenario to be evaluated
- Fire risk likelihood, frequency, and probability
- Potential hazards including damage or harm to people, property, environment, etc.
- The method, process, or technique used to complete the evaluation
- Modeling or simulation of the event to quantify consequence
The results of an FRA are used to confirm adequacy of fire protection systems, define acceptable levels of risk, and provide more detailed information for the development of fire risk management procedures. These results are often provided in a report format along with modeling and/or calculations that validate the results.