When you design a building that will be used by lots of people, like a tower block, you need to make sure that the building has the correct level of fire prevention and fire protection equipment. In instances where this isn’t the case, tragedies like the Grenfell Fire can happen. The importance of passive and active fire protection methods are vital for the safety of the intended occupants, but how can you ensure they’re going to be safe?
The importance of fire protection methods
Regardless of whether you’re designing a building, or it has been subcontracted out to another company, there is a responsibility to ensure that the building is safe regarding fire protection, and both passive and active equipment and features are available for the occupants. The Grenfell Tower serves as a sad reminder of what happens when these responsibilities are disregarded or overlooked.
How do you protect people when designing a building?
There are many ways that you can protect a building when you are designing and building it. One of the first ways you can make sure a building is safer is to use both fire resistant and fire retardant materials. Fire resistant materials are designed to make sure that a building isn’t going to catch fire, to begin with, and the fire retardant materials mean that if it does, then it will be slow to burn and will provide people with time to leave the building.
As well as this, it is important to have smoke alarms and smoke vents. AOV smoke vents are usually connected to the actual smoke alarms themselves, which means that they will automatically open up when the smoke alarm goes off. Furthermore, you can design a building with both active and passive fire protection methods. An active fire protection method is one which involves input from a user in order to be effective, with an example of this being something like a fire extinguisher or an automatic sprinkler, in any instance it is something which actively tries to combat the fire. A passive fire prevention methods focus more on trying to contain the fire and stop it from spreading further. An example of this would be a fire door or wall, which traps the fire in one particular place and spreading. As well as this, making sure that the building materials you use can protect fire prevention equipment from being damaged is important, so doing something like installing a fire-resistant access hatch that protects a fire hose or sprinkler controls is also a good idea.
Overall, the importance of having the correct fire protection methods is vital for keeping its intended occupants safe. The Grenhall fire was a tragedy that took many lives and highlights the importance of fire protection tools very well. There are many things which can be incorporated in the design of a building to protect it’s occupants, from correct ventilation systems to the building being built with the best possible materials to prevent a fire, and all of these can help to ensure that a tragedy like the Grenfell fire does not ever happen again.