Conclusion of the theme – In summary, the objectives of fire safety are to protect life and property, prevent fires, limit damage, maintain continuity of operations, and ensure the safety of workers and others involved. Therefore, fire safety should be a top priority for all businesses and organizations, regardless of industry or size, as well as the individuals in their homes.
What is the objective of fire planning?
To prevent the occurrence of the fire through the control of fire hazards and the proper maintenance of the building safety systems and facilities, establish procedures that will maximize the probability of controlling and extinguishing a fire in the safest and most efficient manner.
What is fire safety awareness?
About the course: – What is fire safety awareness? Fire safety awareness can be defined as management activities undertaken to prevent fires from occurring, the controls that manage fire systems in emergencies and in the event of an uncontrolled fire, the fire safety training suppression methods used to extinguish it.
The Nature of Fire The Causes of Fire The Behavior of Fire Fire Safety Management
Fire Safety Management is therefore comprised of three essential elements:
Fire Prevention Fire Protection Fire Suppression
What is the main objective of fire compartmentation?
What is the main objective of fire compartmentation? – As mentioned throughout this article, the main objective of compartmentation is to contain a fire within a specific section of a building. This allows more time for occupants to safely evacuate a building and for fire services to extinguish the flames.
Whilst safety is always of paramount importance, another common objective of fire compartmentation is to prevent a fire from reaching parts of a building that are of particular value or contain hazardous materials. Common examples include modular plant rooms in industrial buildings or server rooms in commercial premises.
Fire evacuation procedures can vary based on a building’s purpose, size and any specific risks. For instance, buildings may utilise a ‘defend in place’ strategy, which looks to minimise the number of people required to evacuate a building. This strategy is often used in healthcare facilities, where staff may find it virtually impossible to evacuate highly vulnerable patients.
What is the purpose of fire protection in buildings?
Home > Blog > Fire protection in high-rise residential buildings 14/12/2020 It’s everybody’s worst nightmare – a fire raging through your apartment block, with no room to escape. Such fears are not unfounded. In June 2017 horror images of a devastating fire in the Grenfell Tower in London shocked the world.72 residents of the Tower were killed in that blaze. Earlier that same year the Plasco Building in Tehran, Iran collapsed during a fire that took the lives of 20 firefighters. Closer to home, significant damage was caused to Melbourne’s Lacrosse tower in Docklands after a fire tore through the building in November 2014. Fortunately none of the 400 residents were hurt.1 While fire is a threat to any built structure, an uncontrolled blaze in a residential high-rise building is particularly devastating due to the high risk of injury or death and damage to personal property. Minimising the damage There are countless ways a fire can start in a building. It was found that the cause of the Grenfell fire was an electrical fault in a refrigerator, and electrical issues were also found to be the culprit in the Plasco building. A burning cigarette left on a balcony was established as the source of the Lacrosse fire. Building codes and regulations cannot keep fires from starting in buildings, but it can help to minimise the damage from fire once it’s started by enforcing various strategies, including the design of the building, materials used and other specifications. The issue of combustible cladding has for instance been in the news since the Grenfell fire after it was found that combustible materials in the façade were the primary cause of the quick spread of the fire. Combustible cladding was also blamed for the quick spread of the Lacrosse fire.
- In Australia, new laws were introduced and building codes were updated as a result.
- Fire protection is not only focused on stopping the spread of flames, but also smoke and dangerous gases.
- The main purpose of all fire protection strategies is to slow down the spread of these elements and allow rescue services to do their job and residents to evacuate safely.
The BCA and the NCC The Building Code of Australia (BCA) has specific provisions relevant to fire safety systems and elements used in residential high-rise buildings. A Class 1a building is a single dwelling such as a detached house, or one or more attached dwellings, each being a building, separated by a fire-resisting wall, including a row house, terrace house, town house or villa unit.
- A Class 1b building is a boarding house, guest house, hostel etc.
- With a total area of all floors not exceeding 300m 2, and where not more than 12 reside, and is not located above or below another dwelling or another Class of building other than a private garage.
- Classes 2 and 3 relate to residential high-rise buildings.
Class 2 – a building containing two or more sole-occupancy units with each being a separate dwelling. (E.g. flats and apartments). Class 3 – A residential building, other than a Class 1 or 2 building, which is a common place of long term or transient living for a number of unrelated persons.
- Examples include boarding houses, hostels, backpackers’ accommodation, hotels, motels, schools and detention centres.
- Three types of construction The Code also differentiates between three types of construction, namely A, B and C,
- These construction types are not to be confused with the building classes.
Construction types refer to level of fire resistance particular elements of the building must achieve, with Type A being the most fire resistant. High-rise buildings are classified as Type A because they are considered high risk. According to the Australian Building Codes Board a new building constructed in Australia, built in accordance with the NCC (National Construction Code), provides extremely high levels of fire safety.2 The NCC is comprised of the Building Code of Australia (BCA), Volumes One and Two; and the Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA), Volume Three.
Unfortunately compliance to the codes and regulations remains a problem: A 2019 study into building defects by Deakin University’s Dr Nicole Johnston revealed that fire protection is the cause of the second biggest number of defects in Australian apartment buildings.3 Active and passive fire protection There are two basic strategies to achieving a building fire safety system : Passive and active fire protection.
Active fire protection is the more visible one. It includes sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers, smoke and heat vents, exit signs and intercom systems for emergency purposes. Passive fire protection is embedded in the structure of the building and involves the walls and floors separating individual apartments or sole occupancy units (SOU’s) from adjoining units.
- An important part of a passive fire protection strategy is compartmentation,
- Compartmentation means that fire resistance barriers are constructed inside the building to prevent fire from spreading uncontrolled.
- Fire barriers, firewalls, fire partitions, and smoke barriers are all part of compartmentation.
These compartments are built to be structurally stable during a fire to allow residents to get out, even when other parts of the building start collapsing. All passive fire protection components are required to be fire rated and the required fire ratings are known as FRLs (Fire Resistance Levels) in Australian building codes.
In terms of the BCA, non-loadbearing walls between residential units in high-rise buildings must resist fire for 60 minutes. Find out more about FRLs in our blog How to select a fire-rated wall or ceiling Penetrations The concept of compartmentation is simple, but in reality there are many ways in which the safety of a fire barrier can be compromised.
These include openings (such as doors) or openings created for the installation of services such as pipes, ducts, electrical sockets, etc. To maintain the integrity of the fire barrier it is important that fire-rated doors, glass, frames etc. are used.
All other penetrations should be sealed by fire-stopping techniques, utilizing fire resistant materials and sealants. If left untreated, these penetrations can create a route for smoke, flames and gases to escape through the fire barrier. Siniat inter home high-rise system Siniat’s Interhome high-rise system has been designed to meet the requirements of inter-tenancy walls in Class 2 & 3 high-rise projects.
The Interhome high-rise system consists of a central fire barrier for use in slab-to-slab or slab-to-soffit construction. The central fire barrier incorporates 25mm shaftliner combined with 16mm fireshield, which is required in some locations. One of the big advantages of the Interhome system is that services can be installed behind the internal wall lining without the need to penetrate the central fire barrier.
Lacrosse apartment owners awarded $5.7 million in damages after flammable cladding blaze, ABC News, 2019-02-28 Fire Safety in High Rise Buildings, ABCB, 2017-07-31 Deakin report analyses growing number of apartment building defects, Deakin University Media Release, 2019-06-19
Why is maintaining fire barriers important?
What You Need to Know About Fire Barrier Inspections Inspections should be completed at least once a year. Here are some tips and best practices for making sure your fire barriers are in proper condition. When was the last time you had the fire rated barriers in your building inspected? Some building owners, property managers, facility managers, and other responsible personnel are unaware that fire/smoke rated barriers require periodic inspection.
Because a fire rated barrier in proper condition and configuration protects lives and can keep property loss from fire to a minimum, the annual inspection and documentation of fire rated barrier inspections is extremely important and one that should be taken seriously by all building owners, property managers, facility managers, and craft personnel.
For this reason, NFPA 1, Fire Code, the International Fire Code (IFC), and NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, all contain requirements to inspect and maintain these systems. The International Building Code (IBC) requires the restoration of the fire rated barrier systems (e.g., floors, walls, floor/ceiling, and roof/ceiling) be restored whenever an opening is made.
- The International Mechanical Code (IMC), the International Plumbing Code (IPC), NFPA 70, National Electric Code, and NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, also contain firestop criteria.
- Fire rated barriers are an engineered system and through their inherent construction can simultaneously be a component of another system (e.g., an approved egress system that protects occupants in their travel to an exit).
These engineered systems are selected by architects to meet code criteria for the building occupancy permit criteria and incorporates them into the building design to protect against the passage of flame, superheated gases, and smoke for a selected period of time.
Fire/smoke rated barriers are constructed of many different materials (e.g., concrete, wood, or metal studs, batt insulation, gypsum board, concrete masonry unit (CMU) block) and they often contain expansion joints and penetrants such as pipe and conduit, doors, ventilation ducts and dampers, and windows.
Regardless if the system is disrupted by an object as simple as a free-run cable, or from something more complex such as mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and communication systems, the system is required to be restored to its original rating by a qualified person using very specific materials and systems.
- You may be wondering why spending time and money on having fire/smoke barriers inspected on an annual basis is necessary.
- Over the life of a building, air handling equipment gets changed out, electrical equipment is added, removed, or replaced, tenants want a smaller or larger space, ceilings are raised or lowered, new free run cable is installed or is removed, new water supply or drain lines are added, removed, or replaced.
If one does not first know where the fire barriers are located and then closely monitor their condition on a scheduled basis, then the building design which includes the engineered compartmentalization system can become compromised over time which can lead to business interruption and loss, but most importantly, the loss of the physical barrier designed to protect the building occupants.
If there is no record of the inspections and repairs, then an insurance company may choose not to pay a claim or a portion thereof after a fire. It is recommended that you contact your local building department official to find out which codes and standards that your jurisdiction has adopted. If you live in a jurisdiction that has adopted the IFC (administered at the state and/or local level in 42 states), then Chapter 7, Fire and Smoke Protection Features, applies to you (you can view it for free by visiting and selecting the edition that is applicable to you).
It is here that you will see that a building owner has very specific responsibilities. If your jurisdiction has adopted NFPA 1 or NFPA 101, you will find the criteria that applies to you in Chapter 4, General. These can be viewed for free by, It is the building owner’s or facility manager’s choice to use whomever they want to perform the annual fire/smoke barrier inspections.
However, it would be wise for the building owner or facility manager to either hire an experienced person that knows and understands fire/smoke barriers and firestop systems, or to have a person on the facility management team who knows and understands fire barriers and firestop systems, and knows what it is they should be looking for when they perform the inspections.
It is important to know that the inspection that the building owner or facility manager is required to do differs from the inspection that occurs by certified firestop inspectors when the building is constructed or is modified. If a building is being modified or if a new building is being constructed, the building department Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) may either choose someone within the department to perform the fire/smoke barrier inspection during and after the construction process, or the AHJ could require a certified firestop inspector to perform the inspection and submit a report to the building department upon completion.
Performing the annual inspections is not simple because it requires drawings that show where the fire rated barriers are located, where all of the penetrations and joints are located, and a checklist that shows what to inspect, what to inspect for, and where to do the inspections. It also requires lifting ceiling tiles to inspect the wall and joint above the ceiling.
Examples of what needs inspected include but are not limited to all penetrants (e.g., conduit, pipe, ducts, fire/smoke dampers, free-run cable, cable trays, I-beams, fire doors (including swinging, rolling, and roll-up types) and joints. Equipment needed during the inspection process can include but is not limited to ladders, man-lifts, cameras, gloves, flashlights, hard hats, and respirators.
When it comes to fire rated barriers, beginning with the end in mind will save the building owner and facility manager a lot of time and money because leaving firestopping as an afterthought can be very expensive and result in rework and schedule delays. Planning upfront for how an existing fire rated barrier will be restored to its original rating needs to occur at the same time as the rest of the design work.
A design is incomplete if the plans do not include or call out the fire barrier system by number (e.g., UL Design No. U493) and a system number to restore the fire rated barrier to its original rating (e.g., W-L-1049 for a single metallic penetrant or W-L-1168 for multiple metallic penetrants).
- Staff that maintain the building, at a minimum, need to have an awareness of which floors, walls, and ceilings are fire rated barriers.
- This can be accomplished by having a set of floor plan drawings readily available to them that show the fire rated barriers.
- If the building owner/manager chooses to have their own staff perform the required annual fire/smoke barrier inspections, then training these individuals on what to look for during those inspections will be necessary.
If the building owner or facility manager chooses to have their own staff install firestop systems, then further training is needed. Dan Kester is a Fire Protection Engineer and Certified Firestop Inspector with in Richland, WA. Related Topics: : What You Need to Know About Fire Barrier Inspections
What are the 4 components of fire?
The Fire Tetrahedron (A pyramid) – For many years the concept of fire was symbolised by the Triangle of Combustion and represented, fuel, heat, and oxygen. Further fire research determined that a fourth element, a chemical chain reaction, was a necessary component of fire.
- The fire triangle was changed to a fire tetrahedron to reflect this fourth element.
- A tetrahedron can be described as a pyramid which is a solid having four plane faces.
- Essentially all four elements must be present for fire to occur, fuel, heat, oxygen, and a chemical chain reaction.
- Removal of any one of these essential elements will result in the fire being extinguished.
The four elements are oxygen to sustain combustion, sufficient heat to raise the material to its ignition temperature, fuel or combustible material and subsequently an exothermic chemical chain reaction in the material. Each of the four sides of the fire tetrahedron symbolise the Fuel, Heat, Oxygen and Chemical Chain Reaction.
- Theoretically, fire extinguishers put out fire by taking away one or more elements of the fire tetrahedron.
- This model, although simplistic, is a good analogy as to the theory of how to extinguish a fire.
- For example, a foam extinguisher would create a barrier around the combustible materials and cut off the supply of oxygen as well as reducing heat.
By applying water you can lower the temperature below the ignition point, or for a flammable liquid fire it would remove or divert the fuel. Finally, interfering with the chemical chain reaction is possible by “mopping up” the free radicals in the chemical reaction using BCF and other halon extinguishers, which also create an inert gas barrier.