Fire Design

Fire Design

Buildings need to be designed to offer an acceptable level of fire safety and minimize the risks from heat and smoke.

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Why is a comprehensive Fire Design necessary?

The primary objective is to reduce to within acceptable limits the potential for death or injury to the occupants of a building and others who may become involved, such as the fire and rescue service. Also crucial are protecting contents and ensuring that as much as possible of a building can continue to function after a fire – and that it can be repaired. The risk to adjoining properties also needs to be considered, as well as possible environmental pollution.

There are two types of fuel that are under the influence of designers, the building fabric and its contents.

Caution Fire is Hot

Building Fabric Fire Protection

The fire safety of the fabric materials is often expressed in terms of its ignitability or combustibility, with particular regard to the structural elements which must remain in place for stability. The internal finishes may offer a fuel source and need to be carefully specified, while the materials of the building’s contents also provide varying fire risks, such as textiles, furniture and plastics.

When Accidents Happen

Building Contents Fire Protection

Fire properties are also influenced by the materials behind the surface finish. This was the case in the fire at Kings Cross Station in 1987, with multiple coats of paint leading to the spread and severity of the fire.

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