The Importance Of Fire Barrier Management During Autumn
As a fire protection company, we are constantly emphasizing the importance of preventing the spread of fire through properly maintained fire protection systems. Being aware and prepared for the possible risks is just one way to help minimize unnecessary property damage while also providing a safe evacuation route for building occupants. The first step is knowing what the fire risks are, which can change from season to season. And as we move through the last couple weeks of summer and into autumn, the weather will continue to get cooler and we want to make sure we are properly prepared.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, autumn is the peak season for cooking related fires. Otherwise, fire incidences are at its lowest during these months. However, as we move into late fall and into winter, heating−related structure fires start to increase. By being aware of the possible risks, we will have a better understanding of how to be prepared by properly maintaining a building’s fire and life safety barriers. So what should be a part of your building’s autumn fire barrier maintenance checklist?
Fire / Smoke Dampers are used in ducts to prevent the spread of fire within the duct work through fire-resistance rated walls and floors. When the temperature rises, it melts the fusible link, which shuts the damper and prevents the spread of flame. Similarly, smoke dampers are used in duct work designed to resist the passage of air and smoke. Typically a smoke detector will send a signal to the smoke damper that will close by an actuator when smoke is detected. Lastly, a combination damper, which is a fire and smoke damper, are used in areas where both fire and smoke barriers are located to prevent the passage of both flames and smoke.
Fire Doors are used to prevent the spread of fire and smoke between fire barriers. It serves as a regular door by giving you an easy outlet during a fire, while compartmentalizing the building to help prevent the spread of fire, smoke and toxic fumes. The best places for a fire door is leading to a stairwell or any horizontal exits, hazardous areas, hallways or corridors, and any fully enclosed room to another.
Fire Barrier / Walls compartmentalize a building into sections to help contain both fire and smoke to one location. Firestopping is essentially the maintenance of fire barrier walls. It is crucial that walls be properly repaired when damaged, altered, breached or penetrated in any way. Caulking is the procedure used to seal joints in structures and some types of piping.
Photoluminescent Egress path Markers and Exit Signage (PL) help building occupant navigate their way to safety in smoky or blackout conditions. PL strips create an outline of steps, landings, handrails and any other obstacles that could potentially cause someone to have an accident, while exit signs mark the quickest and safest way to evacuate. It provides continuous visual support for up to 48 hours by producing sunlight or recycling existing electrical light and is made of quality material that is engineered to last the lifespan of a facility.