Staircase Pressurisation – Issues to Consider

Staircase pressurisation is a fire management measure that is commonly taken in high rise and other types of building. Its purpose is to help manage the impact of a fire on a building and also provide a smoke-free area that occupants of the building can use as a means of escape.

Depending on the size and design of a building, all staircases leading to the ground floor might well be designated escape routes; this means that they will all undergo staircase pressurisation to make them safe in the event of a fire.

There are a couple of things that are taken into account in staircase pressurisation. As you might expect, one of these is air pressure, as a change in pressurisation can act as a barrier that effectively controls the progression of smoke. Something else that is taken into account is air flow: when strong enough, this can also impact on the direction smoke is travelling and is often used in conjunction with air pressurisation techniques.

As escape routes from buildings are essential in the event of a fire, staircase pressurisation is something that must always be taken seriously when developing smoke management systems.

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Designing Smoke Extraction Solutions

It is very rare that two buildings are completely the same. Everything differs at least slightly, which means that smoke extraction systems always need to be tailored to the precise building they are being installed in.

For instance, some areas of some buildings are more likely to trap smoke than others. This is the sort of thing that needs to be taken into account when developing a smoke extraction solution; it might be that extra vents need to be installed or that something else needs to be done in order to prepare an area as an escape route.

The issue of escape routes is an important one: they need to be accessible, they need to take people out of the building to safety, and they need to be free of smoke as far as possible. This means that careful evaluation is needed when planning smoke extraction systems, so that the most efficient solution is found.

Depending on the building in question, this could mean putting vents in a particular location or having a fire door in a certain place as a smoke containment measure. Whatever the solution, designing smoke extraction systems is massively important and definitely requires time and attention to get right.

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Servicing Smoke Control Systems in Shopping Centres

When it comes to smoke control, shopping centres are a special case. This is partly because they are often so big; distances to cleared escape routes are often further than they would be in other spaces and there are a range of places that can be considered ‘at risk’ in the event of a fire.

This means special precautions need to be taken and special systems put in place in order to develop a robust smoke control strategy. The resulting smoke control system should then be serviced on a regular basis to make sure it is still working and to highlight any areas where more work needs to be done.

This is important as shopping centres deal with so many members of the general public; the centres have a duty to protect them while they are using the shopping facilities. This means regularly servicing areas such as the escalators, corridors, fire doors and other smoke control equipment to check it is working.

Shopping centre smoke control systems are also unique as no two centres are exactly the same. Therefore, it is paramount that extra care is taken in the upkeep of these systems so there is no risk of failure in the unfortunate event of a smoke or fire emergency.

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Maintaining your Smoke Control System

So, you have got your smoke control system installed and everything is set up, ready to spring into action should there be a fire that needs to be taken care of. When issues such as life and death are at stake, it is vital that you keep on top of your smoke control system by getting it serviced regularly.

Maintenance matters because, without it, untold damage could be caused in the event of an emergency. Just imagine what might happen if a crucial smoke vent failed to open or an extraction system failed to clear an appropriate escape route. It doesn’t bear thinking about, so get your smoke control system looked at.

This will be able to pick up any issues that need to be addressed and will provide you with the opportunity to fix them as soon as possible. After all, it’s always worth spending a bit of extra time and money now making sure your smoke control system is okay and fixing any flaws. The costs if you failed to do this could potentially be immeasurable.

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The Importance of Keeping on top of Smoke Control

Everyone knows it’s important to have a smoke control and ventilation system for their business, so that they can contain any fires to the best of their ability and provide an escape route for people who might be in the building. However, it’s also important that you keep on top of both ventilation and smoke control once the systems have been installed.

For instance, maintenance is really important. Without a regular service, you won’t know for certain whether your smoke control and ventilation systems are working as they should be. The chances are that everything will be fine, but it is important to find and deal with any problems as soon as possible, so a regular service will help with this.

Attending seminars and training on a regular basis can also make sure you are properly prepared just in case your building does suffer a fire. Health and safety regulations do change from time to time, as do techniques for smoke control and ventilation, so it’s definitely worth making sure you’re in possession of up to date information just in case you ever need it.

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