We should stay away from any construction projects having pitfalls. The fire safety department plays a huge role in our society and it is important to design a fire station in such a way that it is comfortable for workers to go on about their daily tasks without difficulties. Careful planning would help us save money in the long run.
Material selection pitfalls:
Fire station workers are on the run all day long without break and the fire stations see high foot traffic. Every material used should be durable, easy to use, clean and have a long lifespan.
Doormats: Firefighters are always on the move and good-quality anti-slip mats prevent the risk of trips and falls. They can also scrape dirt off their footwear on it. You can also improve the visual appeal by opting for customized mats. If you are looking for high-quality logo mats, check out Ultimate Mats. They are the go-to choice for customized mats in the US.
Kitchen finishes: Install easily cleanable laminated surfaces for cabinetry and countertops. Consider marine edge for the counters and undermount sinks.
Restroom finishes: See that the restroom walls are made of durable and easily cleanable material. Solid phenolic and tiles are ideal choice for the shower area and enable easy removal of grout. The floor should be slip-resistant.
Water resistance: Fire stations have ‘wet rooms’ like decontamination areas, apparatus bay, PPE storage room etc. Prevent water splashes to other areas of the fire station by raising the concrete curb to at least 4 inches from the floor. Cover the walls with moisture-resistant protective surface.
- Circulation: The layout should be spacious and allow seamless circulation of apparatus. Think about all the circulation possibilities in advance.
- Protection from vehicle exhaust: There are ways to control the exhaust from the vehicles using tailpipe extraction system and vestibule airlock.
- Keep contaminants away: Ensure that the contaminants are far away from turnouts. Install a separate area for washing contaminated equipment and materials like separate washing machine for contaminated rags.
- Decontamination station: Before entering the station, the equipments and turnout gear has to be decontaminated. Have an entry to the decontamination station near the entry.
Space programming pitfalls:
- Apparatus placement: It is the layout of apparatus bay that facilitates easy circulation of apparatus during emergencies. It determines first-out vehicles and drive-through capability. Decide on vehicle exhaust extraction methods.
- Extractor location: Place the washer extractors near the storage area. If there are other stations that also make use of the extractor, place it in an area where it can be conveniently accessed from the exterior.
- SCBA filling station: The SCBA system shouldn’t be in close quarters to the apparatus bay. Place the compressor far from living quarters so that the noise doesn’t disturb them.
- Provisions for future expansion: Pan the layout in such a way it allows for expansion of the station in future. If there are possibilities for extension, plan ahead where you want the structural accommodations and apparatus support areas to be located. See that it is easily accessible also in future.
This guide helps you plan a fire station layout. Avoid these pitfalls during the planning phase to avoid costly mistakes.