The fear of fire stems from a primitive instinct, one that’s purely survivalist. We know that, despite its inherent usefulness, placing your hand in a fire is about as wise as jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge or hitting a championship boxer in the jaw.
But laxness in your fire safety is could prove deadly in the construction industry. Your chip pan going up in flames might cause some cursory damage, but it’s nothing compared to a cavalcade of Calor gas canisters taking out an entire office complex.
Fire safety, then, is a problem in all areas of construction work. You have to remain cognisant of your surroundings, ensuring that highly flammable equipment or materials are contained in a safe place is vital to the stable completion of your work. And it’s the kind of conscientiousness you should include in every facet of your construction project.
There have been a number of advancements in fire safety over the past decade. We’ve rounded up a few that will improve the integrity of your build and bolster your protection against flames.
No matter their integrity, a wall that’s been hit by the full impact of a gas canister will perish like butter in a kiln. That plasterboard will collapse when placed near a flame and, especially if the wall in question is only a divider, will help flames spread.
The ideal wall will be fitted with blast protection, which usually involves the installation of composite material of steel and other components, ensuring 240-minute protection from flames – giving you plenty of time to call the emergency services.
Our favoured blast-proof wall product is Durasteel, which uses a fibre reinforced cement core mechanically bonded to punched steel sheets. This is then placed in between your plasterboard to provide you with complete protection.
Exit point audible notification
Building sites can be difficult to negotiate at the best of times, let alone in the event of a fire. Amidst the smoke and flames and wailing alarms, your workers could become trapped – and fail to escape.
But fire safety experts have been hard at work perfecting exit point audible notification (EPAN), which provides audible features that can help guide you towards a suitable exit.
EPAN has, so far, not really take off in workplaces. This is a shame, because it’s an invention that’s perfect for busy building sites or bustling offices alike.
If you’ve got any other suggestions on how to keep a building safe from fire, let us know.