Evaluating the fire protection systems' maintenance strategy of an air force base in the Limpopo Province
This study aimed to evaluate the maintenance strategy of a fire protection system in an Air Force Base (AFB) situated in the Limpopo Province. As a specialised engineering discipline in South Africa, fire engineering and fire protection systems maintenance is not popular or familiar to many people. This discipline has been fully recognised by engineering professional bodies as to conform to the functional requirements of the National Building Regulations, SANS 10400 requirements. The literature review explored the importance of fire protection systems concepts, definitions, and benefits as well as described fire protection system's related standards and codes regarding its applications. Research data was gathered by conducting a survey on Air Force Base employees who were directly impacted by the fire protection system maintenance function. A sample of five employees, from the Maintenance and Operations Department at AFB participated and responded to the semi-structured interview questionnaire, in August 2017. The respondents' responses were transcribed word-for-word by the researcher. The empirical research done in this study supplemented the theory of fire protection system maintenance and maintenance strategy pertaining to the strategic role of the maintenance function within the AFB. The findings of this study revealed that the maintenance function and strategy at the AFB is perceived to be an important business management function which contributes positively towards the AFB's overall objectives. The study recommends that the AFB's maintenance strategy must be fully implemented in order to improve maintenance and operational effectiveness of fire protection system.