LOS ANGELES, Oct. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Since 1974, a city fire code rule has been in place in Los Angeles requiring high-rise buildings to have helipads. The idea was to provide an option for rooftop rescue in the event of an emergency, yet it has also led the Los Angeles skyline to become, in the opinion of many observers, far too bland for one of the largest, most culturally diverse and exciting cities on the globe. In fact, one recent ranking of the world's skylines at Diserio.com placed Los Angeles' at #34, behind such smaller and less diverse U.S. cities as Houston, Pittsburgh and Minneapolis. Thanks in large part to the skill and know-how of the fire safety leaders at Fire Protection Group, Inc., all of that is about to change.
Wishing to take advantage of a fresher architectural approach, the builders of the new 73-story Wilshire Grand in the Los Angeles Financial District decided to see if they could modify the 40 year-old rule to avoid the "flat top" look of a traditional roof-top helipad. In order to gauge the potential fire risks that their structure would face, the designers of the Wilshire Grand reached out to FPG, Inc. to ensure that the rule could be modified while ensuring maximum safety.
The result was a success. Curbed L.A. reports that this will be the first building to take advantage of the updated L.A. Fire Department policy allowing for "modified helicopter-landing space." Under the leadership of retired Chief Al Hernandez, FPG, Inc. approached the L.A. Fire Department's current Chief Ralph Terrazas and General Manager of Los Angeles Building and Safety Raymond Chan about the possibility of eliminating the helipad. Based on his past experience as a top ranking member of the LAFD and the thorough data that he collected, Chief Hernandez was able to demonstrate that the helipads were not essential for a fire rescue effort.
On September 29th, the work of Chief Hernandez and his team paid off, as Mayor Eric Garcetti called the new rules "a sea change for Los Angeles design." Under the revised regulation, builders will now be able to build high-rise buildings without a helipad – provided that they include other safety features, including an extra set of stairs, automatic sprinklers, a video surveillance system or a dedicated fire service elevator for firefighters to swiftly reach a blaze.
Without designers having to worry about compliance to the helipad rule, many L.A. residents are thrilled at the prospect of their beloved city finally boasting a world-class skyline. L.A. City Councilmember Jose Huizar says, "The new policy will allow City of L.A. architects to create the kind of iconic pitched-roof building designs seen in other world-class cities while meeting the highest standards for fire-life safety." In fact, in a distinct shift from past instances, fire officials have already embraced the revised regulations – a clear indication of the respect for the leadership and expertise of Al Hernandez and the entire team at FPG, Inc.
If you're the owner or manager of a residential home, office, retail center or skyscraper, and you're looking to ensure your structure is protected, don't hesitate to get in touch with the team at FPG, Inc. for fire safety equipment, inspection, consulting, fire watch and much more. For further information about the life-and-property saving work at Fire Protection Group, Inc., please call 888-251-3488 or visit www.firesprinkler.com.
PR submitted by Cyberset.com
SOURCE Fire Protection Group, Inc.