Environmental Health and Safety

Fire Safety Systems - Fire Safety

Introduction

Cleveland State University (CSU) facilities are required to have certain types of life safety systems in place and operational. The Office of Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for life safety plan review prior to installation on all construction and renovation projects, and to ensure that all life safety systems are inspected, tested, operational and unobstructed. Access to fire protection system equipment and devices (fire extinguishers, fire alarm pull stations, sprinkler heads) should never be obstructed. The following is a synopsis of CSU fire protection systems:

Portable Fire Extinguishers

Portable Fire Extinguishers are considered the first line of defense to combat small fires limited in size. They are required even when a facility is equipped with sprinklers, standpipes and hoses or other fire protection equipment. Fire extinguishers must be appropriate for the types of activities in the area they are located in, and must be labeled as such and located in a visible location.

In the occupational environment, use of fire extinguishers is limited to those employees who have the proper training. CSU emergency responders have been provided with this training. If any employee notices a missing fire extinguisher or is interested in taking fire extinguisher training, contact the EHS at 216.687.3842.

EHS facilitates monthly checks of fire extinguishers to ensure proper charging.

Fire Alarm Systems

Fire alarm systems are present in all University buildings. Main panels are located strategically in each buildings, attached to which are a various types of enunciating devices (smoke detectors, heat detectors or specialized detectors) that when triggered, will activate the fire alarm system. Manual pull stations are present and when used will also sound the fire alarm.

Special building operational systems that may be connected to the fire alarm system include, but are not limited to: elevator recall, door closures, door releases, air handler unit shutdown, damper closures, smoke control activation and other smoke, heat and fire protection devices.

Fire alarm systems are designed to alert occupants to evacuate the building, and may include a visual and audible component. When the alarm is sounded, occupants should immediately leave the building according to each department’s emergency evacuation plan. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS – take the stairs to exit the building. Although fire alarm system activation will be monitored by the CSU Police Dispatchers, any person who has first-hand knowledge of an active fire emergency should notify the CSU Police Dispatcher by DIALING 9-1-1 from any campus telephone. Cell phones users should also DIAL 9-1-1 and tell the operator to connect you with CSU Police.

Fire alarms must be able to be heard in all areas of the building. If occupants are aware of areas where the fire alarm is not audible, please contact EHS at 216.687.3842.

Fire Sprinklers

Fire sprinkler systems are integrated systems of pipes connected to independent sprinkler “heads” for controlling and/or extinguishing a fire. Care needs to be taken to ensure a minimum of eighteen (18) inches of clearance is constantly maintained between the lowest point of the sprinkler head and any furniture or stored items. Never suspend anything from sprinkler heads. If you notice items suspended from sprinkler heads, please remove and immediately contact EHS at 216.687.3842.

Fire Pumps

Fire pumps are essentially components of a sprinkler system’s water supply. Connected to the public water supply for a building, the fire pump will activate when the sprinkler system detects a drop in pressure from the activation of a sprinkler head subjected to enough heat above its design temperature somewhere in the building.

Standpipe Systems

Standpipe systems are a series of pipe that are connected to a water supply for the fire department to fight fires. Dry standpipe systems provide hose outlets throughout the building. Outlets are connected to a riser, and then to a Siamese connection somewhere at street level outside the building. Fire trucks are used as pumpers to provide water from fire hydrants to the Siamese connection and pump water upward throughout the building.

Special Fire Suppression Systems

There are certain types of operations that require specialized fire suppression systems. Carbon dioxide, dry chemical and FM 200 (replaces halon) systems are used as alternatives to sprinkler systems in areas where water is considered incompatible with or would likely cause additional damage to the items in a protected room. Kitchens with commercialized cooking equipment are required to have specialized ventilation and fire suppression systems. Libraries with special collection rooms, some laboratories and hazardous and chemical waste storage areas, and computer server rooms are also locations where specialized fire suppression equipment may be present.

Testing and Inspection

Fire safety systems are tested and inspected in accordance with applicable fire code regulations. Copies of testing are forwarded to applicable building administrators, defined as the building single access control coordinator (SACC). Any deficiencies noted during the inspection are addressed by an outside vendor with expertise in fire alarm systems.