According to the statistics, fires are developing at a much higher rate than in the 1950s (almost 5-10 times more). What many do not realize is that smoke is the real danger in a fire. In the UK, smoke accounts for more than half of the building fire casualties.
These are systems designed to let the smoke escape as easily and quickly as possible. While some conventional exhausts and window openers use strategical placing to ensure proper smoke removal, other systems actively remove the smoke from the building. In the case of a fire, this reduces the chances of fatalities and protects the building from further damage.
Some systems rely on natural buoyancy of the gases while others rely on mechanical extraction to ensure complete safety. Smaller buildings tend to employ natural ventilation while larger ones like malls, high-rise buildings, etc. make use of mechanical ventilation systems.
There are numerous benefits to employing such a system in every building that might be prone to fires. Given that this is an issue, here is why smoke ventilation systems are the need of the hour:
1.Protects trapped people
The worst place to be in a fire is in the middle, with no place to escape. Such a scenario is dangerous, not just because of the fire, but mainly due to the excess amount of toxic fumes and smoke. Smoke ventilation systems are a saving grace in such situations since it allows for hot air, aka smoke to get sucked out, while letting fresh air inside.
Evacuating from a building under fire is hard as it is, without smoke causing a whole other commotion. Visibility plays a vital role in deciding how many people can evacuate and how long it takes. Given that this is so crucial in determining the after-effects of a fire, it only makes sense to have smoke ventilation systems or window openers that help people get out harm’s way as soon as possible.
3.Helps out the Emergency Services
By allowing the smoke to escape the building, emergency services like fire-fighters and first-responders have an easier time dealing with the situation. Removing smoke from the equation helps responders assess the situation better and also helps decide the next step of action quickly. There is no doubt that such systems if employed in every household, will drastically reduce building fire casualties.
4.Prevents the extent of damage to the building
Smoke is capable of doing a lot of damage in a fire. While it poses a threat to the safety of living creatures, it is equally dangerous for everything else. Smoke caused because of a fire can damage electronic equipment, damage walls, ceilings, food, etc. (to name a few). Since there is much to lose when it comes to letting smoke reside inside a building, such smoke ventilation systems are a vital part of damage control.
5.Does a better job than a window/door
Purely based on thermodynamics, it is clear that ventilation systems and window openers work better than windows and doors. Windows and doors tend to sit at lower levels. Smoke rises and thus resides in the topper half. Since companies that deal in such systems place these vents and window openers in a much higher location, they work better at removing smoke and letting clean air inside.
Now that the importance of smoke ventilation systems is crystal clear, the wise decision to do would be to get these systems employed in your buildings ASAP. Together, let’s make the UK safer again.