Many people are hurt and killed each year as a result of fire breakouts. Over 500,000 fire incidents were attended by fire and rescue services in England in 2018 and 2019. More than a hundred and fifty thousand similar incidents were reported in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland combined. Fatalities due to fires amounted to more than 285 in 2019 and 2020.
According to law, structures must have:
Required fire escape routes and fire exits.
Measures in place to ensure the safety of fire escape routes, which include systems preventing the spread of fires and smoke. In multi-story structures, installing Pressurization and Ventilation system guarantees that fire escape routes are clear of heat and smoke. These specialized devices give firefighters access to regions where they can put out fires while also helping to prevent and contain fires.
Controlling heat and smoke along fire escape routes is crucial.
Many people think that burns are the main reason that fire victims die. However, statistics show that between 50% and 80% of fire-related fatalities are brought on by smoke inhalation. Smoke inhalation affects all organs, whereas burns primarily affect particular areas of the body. Multi-story structures require more time to evacuate during an emergency. Emergency exits that are free of heat and smoke:
Enable high-risk occupants to be evacuated by fire and rescue personnel first.
The surviving evacuees have a pressurized stairwell where they can wait to be evacuated in a smoke- and heat-free environment. Give firefighters and rescuers safe places to work from so they can put out fires. If necessary, give escape routes to the personnel of the fire and rescue services. Smoke from fires contains very dangerous chemicals including hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide.
The more time a fire burns, the more toxic it becomes. Smoke inhalation can cause organ failure, asphyxiation, loss of consciousness, and respiratory distress. These physiological impacts fall into the following categories:
Systemic: Inhaling poisonous fire smoke gasses can be deadly and suffocating. It can result in death in seven minutes or less.
Heat: Heat in addition to being hazardous, smoke is also very hot. The mucous membranes of the respiratory system are burned by this heat, which results in injury, edema, and sometimes collapse.
Chemicals: When furniture and common appliances catch fire, dangerous chemicals are released. These substances harm the respiratory system when inhaled.
73% of people who survive a fire endure long-lasting effects, according to specialists. Emphysema, chronic obstructive lung disease, and asthma are only a few of the chronic, non-fatal impacts of smoke inhalation.
The main fire escape routes in multi-story or high-rise structures are stairwells. Without a pressure relief damper for the staircase, smoke-filled escape routes put lives at danger. For the purpose of simplifying evacuation, protecting lives, and minimizing property losses during fire breakouts, stair Pressurisation and Ventilation systems must be installed.
The Purpose of Pressurized Stairwells
Stairwells are pressured to stop heat and smoke from escaping through closed doors and entering the stairs. The systems regulate air pressures to limit the transfer of heat and smoke.
In order to design and build multi-story structures, architects and developers are required by law to include a stairwell pressurization system. By regulating the air pressure in an escape route, these devices ensure that emergency evacuation routes remain free of smoke and fire in the event of an epidemic. A smoke- and heat-free emergency exit is made possible by the air pressure variations between the burning area and the stairs.
The minimum and maximum air pressures in the stairwell must be established and maintained by the installed staircase pressurization system. The air pressure specifications that must be maintained in pressurized stairwells are specified in the standard on smoke and heat control systems.
To keep smoke out and still be able to open doors, the air pressure parameters should be maintained between 50 Pa and 60 Pa. The best way to set and maintain these air pressure values is through properly designed and fitted air pressure relief vents.
It is impossible to exaggerate the value and necessity of pressure release vents in the Pressurization and Ventilation of stairwells. In order to give evacuees, the opportunity and time to flee flames, these technologies stop smoke and heat from entering escape routes. Additionally, the vents give firemen secure entry and stop the spread of fires.