Originally published in Interiors & Sources

02/22/2013

A Strong Pulse for Fire Safety

When some of your patients barely weigh 2 pounds, life safety isn’t an afterthought – it’s part of the daily agenda.

 

Texas Children's Hospital

Providing high-risk maternity care, the Pavilion for Women is the latest healthcare facility to join the Texas Children's Hospital campus in Houston. As a high-rise building with a specialized patient population, fire protection can be a challenge.

"On the eighth floor, we have babies in neonatal intensive care that literally fit in the palm of your hand. They can't go anywhere during a fire alarm," says Lonnie Rinehart, the hospital's plant operations manager. "For us, it all goes back to patient safety – what can we do to keep our buildings safe and our patients safer?"

The hospital partnered with FireTron, a life safety firm, and systems provider NOTIFIER to explore the best fire protection options for the facility's unique demands. The new building includes two towers, one 15 floors and the other six, that are connected at the base. Its footprint is a city block wide and two football fields long.

To maintain comprehensive fire protection, the hospital installed two fire alarm control panels, 538 smoke detectors, 248 duct-mounted detectors, 1,427 speaker/strobes, and 111 firefighter telephone jacks.

Supported by technology, building staff focus on three key areas to ensure continuous coverage: detection, inspection, and monitoring. 


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