Nearly everyone has some experience in a casino. Whether you are a high roller playing your favorite table game, playing the penny slots, or just driving down Las Vegas Boulevard as a tourist, you have some knowledge regarding the operations inside of a casino. However the gaming present is not all that is happening, making management of the hazards more challenging.
Managing the fire protection systems at a casino is not as simple as providing ordinary protection for the gaming areas. Food service, Data servers, concealed spaces, flammable liquids, retail operations and storage are present in nearly every casino. As the casinos grow in size, hotels are added and grow into high rise buildings, small storeroom increase in size and become large warehouses, retail operations grow from a small gift shop to full scale malls. Auditoriums, emergency generation, and high ceilings are added. Ensuring adequate fire protection systems are in place for various occupancies is the first step. Effective human element programs such as routine sprinkler valve inspections in accordance with NFPA 25, sprinkler valve impairment management, and proper hot work management are also needed. Water supply needs to be adequately sized to provide for all of the systems. Fire pumps, pressure regulators need to be properly maintained.
Rack storage of distilled spirits, cooking oils and other flammable liquids may be present in storage areas. In addition to installed protection, containment and drainage might be needed.
Some larger casinos have centralized distilled spirits pumping stations serving several bars. Shutoff devices for the piping systems are needed to prevent spills from pipe damage.
As the size of the casino grows, so does the need for emergency power generation. From single 50 kW generators to multi-unit megawatt installations. Where diesel generators are kept inside of buildings rooms, proper containment, for the generator rooms, needs to be installed to prevent diesel fuel fires from spreading to other areas. Automatic shutoffs on transfer and fill lines are needed to prevent large spills from damaged or broken piping.
Local jurisdictions may require all gaming operations to be monitored and recorded. When this requirement exists, a loss of surveillance will shut down gaming operations. A disaster recovery plan should be in place to replace damaged surveillance equipment if the need arises.
Solar panels are becoming more widespread. The number of casinos installing these panels is increasing. Proper grounding schemes and noncombustible roofs are the best way to prevent an electrical fire on the roof.
If automatic fire doors are installed, they should be periodically inspected and tested to ensure they function properly.
Plastics in Construction
Plastic wall panels and ceiling tiles are common in food preparation area and Exterior Insulating finishing systems (EIFS) are widely used to create ornate facades. UL listed or FM approved materials should be the only products used for this purpose. Damaged coatings on EIFS systems increase their combustibility, so the integrity of the coating should be monitored.
Depending on the location, earthquake, windstorm, flooding, and roof collapse can be present. The first step in recovering from a disaster is to have comprehensive response plans in place for all anticipated events. Some other hazard specific items to consider are detailed below.
In Earthquake Hazard areas proper seismic bracing for fire sprinkler systems, and other large piping systems, is a must to prevent water damage from broken piping. All incoming gas lines should have seismic shutoff devices installed to limit the volume of gas that can escape into the building. Large capacity systems need a system that will allow the gas to rapidly escape to a safe place, or multiple seismic gas shut off valves to limit the volume of gas subject to a pipe break.
Roofs should be designed to withstand anticipated snow loads, wind speeds and hailstorms.
Where practical, passive flood control system should be installed.
Risk Logic can provide a hazard review assessment. Please contact us with any questions you may have managing casino hazards.
NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems
NFPA 30, Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code
FM Global Loss Prevention Data Sheet 1-2 Earthquakes
FM Global Loss Prevention Data Sheet 1-11 Fire following Earthquake
FM Global Loss Prevention Data Sheet 1-40 Flood
FM Global Loss Prevention Data Sheet 1-28 Wind Design
FM Global Loss Prevention Data Sheet 1-57 Plastics in Construction
FM Global Loss Prevention Data Sheet 8-9 Storage of Class 1, 2, 3, 4 and Plastic Commodities
FM Global Loss Prevention Data Sheet 1-29 Roof Deck Securement And Above-Deck Roof Components