Safety Zone Magazine January 2018 - Page 18

detector and verify that it functions properly. This is often covered under ongoing maintenance contracts where fire alarm contractors make a significant amount of their profit. According to Ernst, the aspirating technology significantly simplifies such annual smoke detector maintenance. “Maintenance wise, you have a few VEA detectors with about 160 sampling points in this building [that can be tested from a central location each year], which is a lot simpler,” says Ernst. Traditionally, that would have required about 160 spot smoke detectors to be tested every year at varying heights and locations, including some 20-30 feet off the ground, such as the weight room.” Since the NFPA requires annual inspection of detectors to ensure that they are functional, the ability to test them from one location also enhances security at the Allen N. Reeves Football Complex. “It is top secret stuff these days and we don’t want contractors wandering around unescorted,” says Borick. “It helps with security that the detectors can be checked from one spot.” For university administrators overseeing any type of building, addition, or renovation that does not quite fit the prescriptive code, Borick recommends considering the use of a performance-based code provision. “The ultimate goal in any collegiate environment is safety, getting people out of the building quickly in case of a fire,” concludes Borick. “In that regard, by following performance based design, I think we have created a much safer environment for our student athletes in this new facility than if we followed the prescriptive code. While our project may be the first to use this design method in South Carolina, I soon expect a slew of such projects may also consider this method on campuses nationwide.” For more information, contact: Xtralis at 175 Bodwell Street, Avon, MA 02322; call: +1 619-252-2015, email: sales@xtralis.com; or visit: www. xtralis.com/vea • 16 Safety Zone Magazine • January ‘18