Anyone who has ever been involved in or seen the aftermath of a fire will know just how devastating it can be. However, innovation and technology is constantly being developed to help protect buildings from fire and to prevent spread and limit damage if a fire does occur.
So if you’re in the process of moving office building how do you know that the structure has been designed to reduce the risk of fire and to limit the spread if a fire does occur.
Fire protection in office buildings
Although older buildings may not benefit from the most modern fire protection systems newer builds should be constructed in line with current legislation which demands only the best protection for new builds. This protection will generally include things like passive fire protection, blast wall protection and early warning alarm systems for the building’s occupants.
What is fire protection?
In public buildings construction needs to be carried out with protection from fire in mind. Things like fire resistant paints, concrete block walls, troughs for hot oil in kitchens and fire doors and windows are normally referred to as passive fire protection.
Rooms that are specially constructed to withstand explosions and limit damage to the rest of a building are known as blast wall protection. This type of protection is generally utilised in structures that are at greater risk of explosions occurring such as oil rigs and nuclear power stations.
Early warning alarm systems are normally computerised systems that detect changes in temperature and atmosphere which could indicate an increased risk of fire in a particular area of a building.
The importance of a fire escape routine
Making sure that your building is constructed to the highest of standards in terms of fire protection is only the first step. There should also be smoke alarms fitted, together with sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers.
In addition all staff should be aware of fire routines and receive some training on what to do in the event of fire. Fire meeting points should be clearly displayed and you should have a fire officer who is responsible for evacuation.
This can be your health and safety officer or another member of staff. If you want to make sure that your building is kept secure and your staff are kept as safe as possible you could also carry out training on how to use fire extinguishers correctly together with training on how to use other fire protection equipment such as fire blankets.