Having the ability to prevent smoke from filling a building during a fire can be beneficial in reducing the amount of damage caused by the fire and the potential for serious injury caused by smoke inhalation. Modern buildings are equipped with smoke control systems that are designed to help manage smoke levels during a blaze.
Here are three main types of smoke control systems that you need to know about when constructing a building of your own in the future.
1. Stack Effect System
A stack effect system is referred to as a passive smoke control system because it relies on the natural properties of the smoke itself when it comes to removing smoke from a burning building. The stack effect system utilizes the same technology as your home's chimney.
Differences in temperature between the interior of a building and the exterior of a building activate the natural buoyancy of the gases within smoke. The smoke then rises out of the building through specialized vents and is released into the air.
Relying solely on a stack effect system for smoke control can be tricky, since you will need to account for the pressures created by your building's HVAC system when designing a passive smoke control system.
2. Exhaust System
Another option that you have when choosing a smoke control system for your new building is to incorporate an exhaust system into the building's design. Since the exhaust system takes proactive measures to relieve a building's interior of smoke buildup during a fire, this type of system is considered to be active.
In order to be effective, your exhaust system needs to be designed with your building's specific characteristics in mind. The fuel load present within your building and the geometry of the rooms within your building should be taken into consideration when designing an effective exhaust system for smoke control.
3. Pressurization System
If your building will feature multiple levels, then you will want to take advantage of a pressurization system to help protect your building from smoke during a fire. The most common types of pressurization systems are pressurized stairwells and pressurized elevators.
These systems are designed to create an environment within stairwells and elevators that is not conducive to the presence of smoke. Keeping stairwells and elevator shafts smoke-free will help slow the spread of smoke through your building and leave occupants with a safe avenue for escape.
Selecting the right smoke control system is important when it comes to protecting your new building. Be sure that you carefully consider whether a stack system, an exhaust system, or a pressurization system will best meet your smoke control needs in the future.