The Importance of Understanding Smoke Control

If you run a business, you have a duty to keep your employees and members of the public safe while they are on your premises. This is the case whether you run an office, a shop, a community centre or other type of business, and so it can be very useful to undertake training to make sure you understand smoke control and other issues surrounding ventilation. After all, if you ever had to deal with a fire on the premises, this knowledge would undoubtedly come in useful – and it could even help to prevent a fire in the first place.

Understanding smoke control properly means that you will:
• Be up to date on the latest smoke control methods, which can inform you whether you might need to update your own processes.
• Give you valuable information on how to act in the event of a fire on your premises.
• Be able to pass on the information to your colleagues and employees to make sure that everyone who needs to be informed actually is.
• Learn about your responsibilities to the public and your employees so you can make sure you are fulfilling your smoke control duties.

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Smoke Ventilation for Office Buildings

If you work in facilities for an office building, you will no doubt be aware that there are certain health and safety conditions you need to meet to make sure you are prepared in the event of a fire. Something that can really make a difference is a good smoke ventilation system for your building.

Without this, if there was a fire, smoke would build up a lot faster, making it harder for people to escape. This could be an especial problem in larger buildings, as you are not allowed to use the lifts in the event of a fire and so would be reliant on the staircases. If you were descending from several floors up and all the staircases and corridors you needed were filled with smoke, this would naturally be really difficult.

This is why it’s so important to have good smoke ventilation systems for your offices. This can include ventilation flaps that are triggered to open when they detect smoke, letting it out as soon as possible. Smoke shaft fire doors can also be used to ventilate hot smoke, helping to clear the way for anyone trying to escape the building.

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Why do you need Staircase Pressurisation?

If you are responsible for arranging the exit routes for people from your building in the event of a fire, something you should definitely consider is staircase pressurisation. But what is it and why do you need it?

If you didn’t have staircase pressurisation for your designated fire exit routes, those staircases would simply fill with smoke in the event of a fire. After all, it isn’t something that you can easily control and, once the smoke gets into the staircase area, it will make it hard – if not impossible – for people to escape from the building. Smoke can obscure vision and make it difficult to breathe, so taking some sort of action to prevent this definitely makes sense.

This is where staircase pressurisation comes in. Its purpose is to stop smoke from entering the area in the first place, meaning it is different to traditional ventilation systems. The process involves a fan that is activated in the event of a fire. This then causes the stairways to become over-pressurised, making sure they are as clear as possible for people escaping as well as fire-fighters who need to get in to tackle the blaze.

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Choosing Smoke Ventilation Systems

There are lots of different smoke ventilation systems available, which can be used for all sorts of applications in a wide range of buildings. As the needs of businesses and buildings naturally differ, it is important you make sure you get the right smoke ventilation systems for you. Here are a few of the things you need to consider:

• The space you need to cover. Naturally, the size and style of the space you need to cover will have an impact on your chosen smoke ventilation systems as the layout of buildings varies from place to place.
• Whether there are any extra risks. Some buildings carry extra risks, such as car parks where there is a greater chance of larger amounts of carbon monoxide being present. This will require special consideration when choosing smoke ventilation systems.
• The relevant legislation. Depending on the type of company you are and the type of building you are looking to protect, you might find that there are different pieces of legislation or regulations you need to meet, which can have an impact on your choice of smoke ventilation systems.

When you are choosing smoke ventilation systems, you should always talk to a professional, experienced company to make sure you get exactly the right system.

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Ventilation Systems for Retail Businesses

If you own a retail business then you will no doubt be aware that there are certain pieces of legislation you need to comply with, many of them to do with health and safety to make sure your customers are safe when they are using your shop.

Having good ventilation systems is important for all retail businesses; no matter how large or small your business, you need to know that you could keep you and your customers safe in the event of a fire or other emergency where smoke was present.

The needs of businesses will naturally differ depending on their size and what they do; a restaurant is likely to need different ventilation systems to a clothes shop, for instance, because of what’s involved with running a kitchen. Also, running a large store or shopping centre will naturally require more precautions to be taken.

This means it is a good idea to talk to the professionals about your needs to make sure the ventilation systems you have installed are right for your business and that they comply with all of the relevant legislation, regulations and standards.

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