Municipal councils will put minimum fire and safety requirements in place for construction projects to follow. One of the minimum standards is the installation of fire protection construction products, also known as passive fire protection products. These products form part of the building itself and play several functions, including providing a means of escape when there is fire, limiting the spread of fire from one area to another. Some will contain fire in the room in which the fire originated, and sometimes they will prevent fire from outside from getting into the building. Ultimately, such measures ensure the safety of the people in the building, as well as the protection of property. Consultant engineers are usually the best-qualified professionals who may assist you with designing, selecting, and installing fire protection products. Below are some of the factors to consider to ensure you have made the right decision when hiring one.
Experience and competence
Look for a consultant engineer who has been in practice for a long time. Make sure that they have worked on construction projects similar to yours. If possible, ask them to refer you to some of the customers that they have worked with before. Contact such customers and find out if the consultant engineer can be relied upon to provide quality work. If they are satisfied with the consultant engineer's job, then the engineer is likely reliable.
Familiarity with fire and safety regulations
The government will set minimum fire and safety requirements for building owners to adhere to when constructing their buildings. Moreover, the rules will vary from municipality to municipality. For instance, in areas prone to bushfires during the hot and dry months, the fire and safety regulations will be more stringent compared to other areas. The size and use of the building will also determine the minimum provisions applicable to your project. Make sure that the consulting engineer you have hired is well acquainted with those requirements. If your building does not meet the minimum standards, occupancy may be delayed or prevented altogether.
Protection of your investment
As mentioned earlier, the regulations put in place are bare minimums, which must be respected. However, constructing a building is a considerable investment; you need to put in place measures to protect your investment. While the minimum requirements ensure the safety of the occupants, you need to make sure to protect your property. When hiring a consultant engineer, make sure that they can provide you with solutions that go beyond the set minimum requirements. In so doing, you will make sure that you minimize losses in the event of a fire.