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Fire-mitigation – the new priority

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Fire-mitigation – the new priority

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The New Priority in construction and building maintenance – Passive fire protection through fire compartments.

Architects, engineers, developers and contractors need to look beyond the Building Regulations to proactively seek and apply new solutions to mitigating the spread of fire in buildings.

Estate Living spoke with Averil Webbstock, managing director of Den Braven South Africa.

“The recent devastating fires both here at home in Knysna and abroad in the UK, have made us all sit up and re-think our views as to how to contain the spread of such fires in residential and commercial buildings alike,” said Webbstock.

By taking a fresh view on ways in which the spread of fire can be retarded in residential and commercial buildings through the creation of “fire compartments” ,  architects, designers, developers and contractors alike are well placed to take a proactive lead in potentially mitigating and arresting the spread of fire in a building.

Devastation wrecked havoc in the Knysna estates recently, and specialists agree that mitigation and fire-management processes could have avoided at least 50% of the damage. Over 400 homes in Knysna and nearly 100 in Plettenberg Bay have been gutted by the fires that ripped through the region.

“The creation of “fire compartments” and passive fire protection in a building is essential for containing a fire and preventing it spreading, at the same time providing a valuable time cushion to enable evacuation of the occupants of the building and time for emergency services to reach the scene and bring the still-manageable blaze under control,” continued Webbstock.

She noted that Den Braven, has developed a special range of sealants designed to do exactly that.

Known as FireProtect®, this patented range of products, available in either a silicone, acrylic, or hybrid sealant as well as expansion foam, is applied to joints and gaps such as window frames, doors and cornices and linear joints during their installation in the finishing stages of construction.

“Den Braven’s FireProtect® will retard fire for up to four hours. It is a complete, fully-certified and approved range of passive fire protection products used in expansion and connection joints, openings and penetrations between fire compartments,” said Webbstock. “We encourage contractors, architects and developers to play an active role in staying a step ahead of potential fire.”

FireProtect® products for passive fire protection which are included in the construction of a building are integral to the structure and have a primary function to reduce the spread of flames, heat and smoke and thus enhance the fire safety.

Den Braven Passive Fire Protection:

  •             Protects lives;
  •             Reduces material damage;
  •             Minimises personal and business loss; and
  •             Protects the building structure.

Images – Fire damaged properties in Knysna

*A Big THANK YOU to all the brave men, women and children who open their hearts and their homes to those affected by the devastation.

Lessons learnt by the community – http://www.groundup.org.za/article/knysna-fires-wake-call/

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