Fire-Prevention regulations are of particular importance and it is essential to ensure that they are respected. In Italy, the D.P.R. 151 of 2011 defined the regulations that businesses must observe according to their level of risk. The D.P.R. divides businesses in three categories:
-Low Risk: In this case obtaining the fire-safety compliance of the project is not required. The fire-safety SCIA form must be presented and a field inspection, randomly chosen by the Fire Department, is carried out within 60 days;
-Medium Risk: for these businesses obtaining the fire-safety compliance of the project by the Fire-Department is required, to then present the SCIA and await an eventual inspection;
-High Risk: these businesses must observe even more strict regulations. In this case the fire-safety compliance of the project and field inspection by the Fire-Department are both required; if the result is positive the CPI certification is released, or the Certificate of Fire Prevention.
Following current regulations is not only a necessity, but also a requirement of obtaining insurance premiums in the event of problems. To clarify the importance of fire-safety planning, we have the Architect Barbara Tè, founder and leader of BM Engineering. “To underline the importance of fire-safety, I present a small anecdote: I was in my fourth year of Architectural Studies when we were asked to design a museum. My final project was wonderful, with structural glass panels, seamless facades and enormous open spaces. My professor failed me, and my colleagues. The reason? The lack of proper fire-safety measures as decreed by law. It was at that moment I understood that without precise fire-safety planning completion of a project is impossible”.
Lack of observation of required fire-safety regulations is potentially very dangerous -continues Architect Barbara Tè- Take for example a public parking lot, for which the owner has likely compiled an insurance plan which also covers damage caused to the structure and parked vehicles in the event of a fire. However, should not all fire-safety regulations be met, the insurance agency, in the case of fire, is not liable for any damage(s) that may have arisen.
Whether it regards a business that has yet to open or a client who has realized their business is not up to code, how is a fire-safety audit executed and what is the timeframe to become operational?
Barbara Tè answers us once again: “The fire-safety audit requires many different types of expertise. As such, it is for this reason that we at BM Engineering work as a team, with professionals dedicated to each aspect, from electrical systems to mechanical systems and even structural safety. This approach allows us to be extremely fast, especially in regards to smaller businesses: in particular, such businesses can be completed within 48 hours at most. At that point, BM Engineering, after scrupulous evaluation, proceeds with all the certification required to release the fire-safety permits”.
The process followed by BM Engineering is divided into several steps, depending on the requirements of each client:
-An initial meeting occurs, in which the requirements of the client are identified, the objectives to follow and the necessary expertise to complete the project identified.
-The documentation in the client’s possession is reviewed; if the documentation should not be in their possession, the experts at BM Engineering will obtain it.
-An accurate and detailed on-site inspection follows, in order to define the necessary work to bring the business up to code and to establish an estimate;
-In this step the fire-safety project is outlined, and, if required, metric calculations are performed, to be consigned to the firms responsible for the construction work.
-The project is submitted to the Fire Department for evaluation, including all necessary documentation with the request.
-Once the Fire Department approves the project, the required work is carried out to bring the business up to standard.
-The final step is to await inspection by the Fire Department.
At this point, fire-safety standards are met and business can be conducted at complete ease.
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