It should be noted that fire protection and fire safety are not the same thing. The former is an integral part of the latter. And it is responsible for activities aimed at preventing the effects of fire on people and material values. Therefore, protection includes organizational and technical measures, volumetric, planning and structural solutions, plus everything about personal protective equipment and fire extinguishing equipment.
Warning and evacuation systems
Buildings and premises where fires can injure or kill people must be equipped with fire detection, warning and evacuation systems.
These systems are designed to provide early warning of the danger and enough time to get people to a safe zone.
Composition of a fire protection system
What goes into a fire protection system? The optimal composition of the system includes:
- alarm and notification systems;
- smoke evacuation systems;
- systems and facilities for extinguishing fires on site;
- separating structures to limit the zone of combustion;
- use in construction of structures and materials that do not support combustion;
- kits of individual and collective means of protection.
Full implementation of such measures is expensive and difficult to implement, so usually only some of these elements are used. For each facility they are designed individually.
Requirements for fire protection
There are several laws and regulations stipulating the requirements for fire protection. The basic conditions are that:
- The installation of EE systems must be carried out strictly according to an individual project approved for a particular facility, with no modifications;
- The PP system must be able to quickly react to any fire, give an instant warning wherever the fire is located and must immediately evacuate the occupants;
- fire extinguishing agents shall be used in such a manner as to avoid the spreading of combustible mixtures and the formation of poisonous or explosive gases
- After the fire is extinguished effectively remove the fire hazardous substances from the fire place;
- All PP control systems shall be located in a separate room under round-the-clock supervision of the security personnel;
- The evacuation routes shall be equipped with detectors and signs of the route of movement;
- When using automatic extinguishing systems, be sure to maintain sufficient fire extinguishing agents in them. They must also necessarily be equipped with a manual start and control system.
The fight against fires should begin with prevention, which consists of:
- Development and implementation of fire codes and regulations;
- Taking fire safety requirements into account at the design stage;
- To organize the timely maintenance of fire protection systems;
- Keeping fire-fighting equipment in readiness and improving it;
- Regular fire-technical inspection of residential and public buildings, industrial and agricultural facilities.
IP system at the design stage of the building
It is possible to create a competent fire protection system only with the help of a complex of factors and means:
- architectural features of the building;
- automatic fire alarm systems;
- extinguishing, smoke and air systems;
- fire-safe building materials.
In addition, the contractor in such a project should act only an organization with a license and, of course, experience and knowledge of the specifics of the PP of a particular object. During the design, it is also worth considering all the components that make up an effective fire protection system:
- creation of barriers;
Structural flame retardants
First and foremost, flame retardants are special compositions or materials used to construct building structures or to decorate the latter to increase the resistance to open fire and high temperatures. There are a huge number of building materials and compositions of this type today. These include fire retardant paints, impregnations, tile, sheet, panel and block materials that are classified as “non-combustible”.
The main task of the manufacturer of the work is to accurately select the building materials and compositions appropriate for the structures to be finished. For example, it is better to use paints for metal, for stone cladding. Do not forget that there are certain requirements for the technology of applying or laying fire protection materials, which must be strictly adhered to. Even a small deviation from the norm can lead to a loss of quality characteristics.
Fire protection screens
This type of protective constructions is now used quite often at industrial facilities. Made of heat-resistant materials, screens are quite good at performing their duties, such as holding fire for a long time of its burning. Some of them do not let through the smoke and combustion products, as well as high temperatures.
It should be noted that many people under the screens mean the walls erected. And although the latter, built from non-combustible materials, are elements of fire protection, they are incidental to the screens. The screen constructions themselves are structural elements that cover process equipment, material pipelines, electrical installations and electrical wiring, which represent a danger in terms of fire exposure.
The main purpose of fire screens is to increase the practical fire resistance limit of an object, or more precisely, its elements. Therefore, the screens themselves are available in different variations in terms of structural content. It can be partitions, cases, wells, tanks and more. Speaking of non-combustible finishing (cladding), it should be noted that not only piece building materials are used here. This group includes plaster mortars.
To correctly choose the required method of fire protection, it is necessary to take into account a fairly large list of all possible criteria, which include structural factors, economic, technical and technological. Sometimes, comparing the pros and cons, experts come to one conclusion that the object is the fire protection is not needed.
And if all the same decision is made for carrying out of protective actions, it is necessary to take into account conditions, how and when it is necessary to use flame retardant coatings, and with what characteristics. And the conditions are as follows:
- It is necessary to determine the type of structure to be protected from fire, as well as its exact location in the room relative to the fencing structures;
- you must know exactly the fire resistance limit of the structure to be protected;
- how long the fire protection itself can withstand the effects of fire and high temperatures;
- what loads are acting on the protected structure;
- what operating conditions and parameters of the elements;
- what requirements are imposed on the protective materials and compounds in terms of their environmental friendliness and aesthetics.
Collective and individual protection equipment
Personal protective equipment is something that everyone encounters from time to time in safety training, as well as in training and exercises. These include cotton gauze bandages, respirators, and gas masks.
Collective fire protection is an entirely different category that must provide protective functions for people (at least two people). What goes into a collective protection system:
- structural fire protection solutions: fire doors, windows, stairs, hatches, this also includes fire protection materials for lining the surfaces of building elements and building structures;
- smoke exhaust systems – in fact, it is exhaust ventilation, which by its design and selection of materials meets the requirements of fire safety;
- fire-extinguishing systems: automatic or manual; specialists classify this category as primary devices: fire-extinguishers, fire hydrants and stands.
As practice shows, protection (fire protection) is the main factor that ensures fire safety in terms of its effective condition. Therefore, it is important to take into account all the requirements of the PP, to apply them in practice, taking into account the rules and regulations of the PB.
Passive fire protection: concept, means, advantages of use
The main idea of passive fire protection is to prevent the fire from spreading to the adjacent rooms and objects, and to minimize the effect of the products of combustion before the arrival of the firefighters. The time won by the passive fire protection system will be enough to evacuate people and apply primary extinguishing measures.
The main pathways through which fire and smoke enters a room are:
- doors, windows, open openings;
- joints of walls, ceilings, roof;
- pipes, cable penetrations;
- ventilation, ducting.
According to the risks and paths of entry, there are four groups of materials that provide passive fire protection:
- Inflammable. Create additional volume under the influence of thermal energy.
- Endothermic. Absorb the energy given off by fire, but also break down their structure.
- Ablative. Slow down the spread of heat energy.
- Insulating. Do not lose structure under the influence of high temperatures, prevent the transfer of thermal energy.
The main advantages of passive protection complex include:
- localization of fire in the place of its appearance;
- minimization of risks to human health and life;
- contributing to more effective extinguishing.
Despite the obvious advantages of passive fire protection system, it should be used only in conjunction with other types of fire protection means.
Automatic fire suppression systems include:
- An extinguishing agent that provides fire suppression;
- A system for supplying the substance, fitted with special valves;
- detectors responding to a fire;
- equipment for audible and visual alarms.
Since the mass introduction of fire suppression systems, it has been possible to reduce the number of large fires and reduce damage. The work of automatic systems is highly appreciated by developers and insurance organizations. Some of the insurance companies do not service the object in the absence of an automatic system.
Today, the fire protection system is combined with the security system, preventing unauthorized intruders from entering the territory. Combining these systems is becoming more and more popular. An important argument in favor of this choice is the economic benefit, because installing separate security and fire alarm systems would cost significantly more.
Fire requirements for objects:
- creation of partitions and walls resistant to critical temperatures and filling the openings with fire-resistant structures;
- arrangement of fire protection compartments;
- use of building materials that do not support combustion and do not emit toxic substances;
- protection from fire of the bearing elements of the building;
- the use of fire retardant compositions for painting reinforced concrete elements;
- the use of non-combustible materials as insulators for building facades;
- the use of fire-resistant glazing to create belts on the facades.
Passive methods of protection also include the replacement of metal frame with reinforced concrete structures in the design, to ensure a higher level of fire resistance.