About FEC

Foster Engineering & Consulting, LLC is a full service Fire Protection Engineering firm. We are a small company committed to giving individual attention to each client while customizing our service to meet your needs. Ralph worked for over 22 years in the public sector conducting inspections and life safety code analysis of buildings; analyzing active and passive fire suppression and detection systems; and has extensive experience with Performance – Based Design. Our staff is committed to professional development so we may offer you state of the art fire protection.

Foster Engineering & Consulting, LLC works on the full range of building occupancies, project sizes, and both public and private sector projects. Foster Engineering & Consulting, LLC provides an array of services:

  • Design and analysis of fire suppression systems (water-based, foam, dry chemical, and gaseous extinguishing systems);
  • Design and analysis of fire detection and alarm systems;
  • Design and analysis smoke control and management systems;
  • Egress analysis, modeling and evacuation planning;
  • Design document review for compliance with national standards and local codes;
  • Facility review for code compliance and hazard assessment;
  • Design and analysis of fire resistance assemblies and structural fire proofing;
  • Analyzing existing facilities for code compliance after a change of occupancy, addition or major renovation; and
  • Trouble shooting existing installations to diagnose problems and develop solutions.

We pride ourselves in designs with the highest life safety standard possible and ensuring you receive the highest quality of services available. As a small firm, we are more responsive to our customers and we are committed to their satisfaction.

We Engineer Fire and Life Safety!


Ralph_Foster_Photo_200Ralph K. Foster III, PE
Owner / Principle Fire Protection Engineer

Ralph Foster is the Principal Fire Protection Engineer of Foster Engineering and Consulting, LLC. Ralph is a licensed Fire Protection Engineer in multiple states. He earned his degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Carolina and is an NPFA Certified Fire Inspector I and Certified Fire Plans Examiner.

Ralph began working for the state in 1986 as an elevator and amusement ride inspector. In 1989, he started working with the State Fire Marshal’s Office on the Engineering Staff where he reviewed plans for compliance with adopted codes. In 1994, Ralph became the Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal supervising 19 Deputy State Fire Marshals who inspect facilities for fire and life safety. In 1999, he became the Manager of Engineering Services with the State Fire Marshal’s Office training and supervising the Engineering Section. In 2003, the office was reorganized and he served as the Senior Staff Engineer. From 1999 to 2007, his duties included evaluating “Performance Based Designs”; teaching the State Fire Marshal’s Certification Course, NFPA’s Certified Fire Inspector I and Certified Plans Examiner I; providing interpretations of International Building and Fire Codes, NFPA standards, state laws and regulations; and reviewing and evaluating complex or unusual projects. In 2008, he left the Fire Marshal’s Office to be a consulting Fire Protection Engineer. Foster Engineering & Consulting was founded in 2006.

Mr. Foster served 28 years in the SC Army National Guard retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. He volunteers as an Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 10 and resides in Columbia SC with his family. He is a member of SFPE, NFPA, ICC, and AFSA. He is active in the SC Fire Marshals Association, the Central Savannah River Chapter of the SFPE and the SC Fire Sprinkler Contractors Association.

Areas of expertise:

  •  Design and analysis of fire suppression and detection systems
  • Fire and life safety code analysis for new and existing buildings
  • Egress analysis and evacuation planning
  • Conducting seminars on fire protections systems and life safety codes
  • Trouble shooting existing installations to diagnose problems and develop solutions
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