As we head into summer, it is crucial to ensure that our fire protection systems are updated and ready for action, in case they are needed, Summer is the time when fires are most likely to occur, mainly due to the rise in temperature.
Fires can have a devastating impact on business and cause a great deal of harm to infrastructure. As such the importance of fire protection is undeniable. By adhering to standard fire protection regulations and updating passive and active fire protection systems in your establishment, you can save lives and protect what matters to you most.
Two of the most crucial components for fire protection is your active and passive fire protection systems.
Active Fire Protection (AFP) comprises of systems that require an action or motion in order to work efficiently in the event of a fire. Actions may be manually operated, like a fire extinguisher or automatic, like a sprinkler, but either way they are systems that come into action when there is a fire present. AFP measures are takenin order to prevent fire from spreading further.
Passive fire protection (PFP) systemson the other hand are anintegral component of structural fire protection and fire safety in a building. PFP materials used in yourstructure such as metal, concrete or plasticsetc., attempt to contain fires or slow the spread, such as by fire-resistant walls, floors and doors.
For a structure to be safe and prepared in case of a fire, passive fire protection requirements are equally as important as active fire protection systems. Without the application of passive fire protection systems, no fire protection system is complete.
Passive fire protection prevents the fire from spreading, allows occupants to safely exitthe building and allows time for the fire brigade to arrive and extinguish fire.
Structural fire protection and compartmentation are a part of passive fire protection.Sourcing materials that are compliant with PFP assist in retaining thestability of structural elements in the event of a fire. In the case that your existing structure is non-complaint with PFP, you can instead amend this through the use of fire-retardant coatings and paints. Fire retardant coatings protect a wide range of flammable and inflammable products against fire. They are easy to apply on a surface without modifying the intrinsic properties of a material, hence they are widely used in making any PFP non-compliant structure compliant to fire safety standards.
Fire always starts from a surface, so if the surface is made of conventional coatings that respond to fire, they burn easily and generate smoke and toxic fumes.
However, if the surfaces are coated with non-flammable materials, this can slow down the fire to an extent. Depending on the needs of the surface, fire retardant and fire resistant or fire protective coatings are available.
Just like fire retardant coatings, fire retardant paints are also available for a wide range of construction materials – wood, steel, concrete and plastics.
They help in reducing the spread of fire and essential in residential, commercial and industrial buildings since containing the fire allows the people inside the building more time to leave.
For structural components, fire protection specialists recommend using intumescent paints as they not only avoid the spread of the fire, but also react when there is an increase in temperature in the building by swelling and creating a thick layer of foam that insulates the structure, containing the fire and preventing it from damaging the structure of the building.
Consulting a fire system expert to source and apply these coatings is crucial in ensuring that your surfaces are coated with the best fire retardants. It is so important that these coatings are applied by the experts, as they are so important to the safety of your structure, and the people who work or live within it.