Similar to office spaces, occupants of retail environments, such as malls, are typically awake and are able to quickly respond to a fire emergency. Unlike office complexes, occupants of retail spaces are not always familiar with their surroundings. Additionally, retailers will often load merchandise in an aesthetically pleasing a manner in an effort to attract consumers. This sometimes results in a slightly higher fire hazard scenario. To make matters even more complex, every occupant represents additional potential revenue the store owner, so with higher occupant loads come greater possibility for income.
Because of their unique hazard and high occupant load, the following items are among some of the special construction features commonly found in the design of large retail or mall facilities: non-combustible construction, additional exits, smoke control systems, emergency voice communication systems, and a minimum common egress path of 20 feet in width.
For these situations, it is important that Zari Consulting Group be retained to target and mitigate potential property and life safety threats. We will analyze a facility’s entire exit capacity and develop the simplest and most effective approach to quickly get occupants to a safe dispersal area outside the building. Where necessary, we will develop a computer model based timed egress analysis to identify “plug hole” locations.
For large malls, Zari Consulting Group is often retained to provide smoke control consulting to limit smoke from entering adjacent areas of the mall. For atria, Zari Consulting Group provides smoke control consulting to expel smoke from the building.