The importance of fire compartmentation
Why do fires start?
After the recent tragedy at Grenfell Tower, company owners have rightfully become more apprehensive about the quality and effectiveness of their fire safety protection. The most obvious way to stop fires spreading is the prevention of a fire in the first place. There are a number of different factors which can cause a fire to start, including:
- Cooking appliances: Always make sure that appliances are switched off properly.
- Smokers’ materials (such as cigarettes): This seems like an obvious one, yet it has proven to be the cause of many household fires. It is important to make sure that a cigarette has been completely put out before disposing of it.
- Faulty smoke alarms: It is essential that smoke alarms are tested regularly.
- Damaged power cords and extension leads: If there are too many appliances plugged in at once, or if the cord is damaged, this may expose the wiring inside and become a fire hazard.
- Computer/laptop equipment: If the cooling vents are blocked, then this can cause the equipment to overheat. Leaving the laptop on a hard surface, such as a desk, can help prevent this.
Methods used to stop fires spreading
To think that the fire at Grenfell Tower could have been prevented, or at least contained, is both worrying and shocking. There are a number of different ways that you can prevent fires from spreading. These can be categorised into both active and passive ways: active prevention is usually manually operated, such as a fire extinguisher; while passive prevention is more to do with the structure of a building.
Examples of passive fire protection:
- Fire compartmentation: The structure and design of a building can drastically reduce the rate at which a fire spreads. This is done by changing the materials used or adding protection to a building.
- Fire doors: If sealed using the correct materials, fire doors act as barriers which prevent the fire from spreading.
- Cavity barriers: These block the paths for flames and fumes to follow, acting as another way to diminish the threat of fires spreading.
- Fire and smoke curtains: These are used to limit and control smoke fumes within vertical loft space and roof voids.
How can we help?
FPC specialise in fitting these passive fire protection methods, to ensure that your building stays safe and protected against the risk of fires. If you want any advice, or have any further questions, then feel free to contact us.