Fire Safety – Integrated Fire and Smoke Door Systems

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Special to Ontario Construction News

In almost any building fire, smoke accounts for most of the threat to the occupants and damage to property. If not impeded, smoke moves quickly. Unfortunately, as human nature may have it, some building occupants may spend precious minutes checking if a fire alarm is legitimate before evacuating a space. It certainly is not uncommon for occupants to wait for proof of a fire, not reacting until smoke has entered the area they are occupying and possibly obscuring their exit.

Integrated door systems prevent smoke and fire from spreading, allowing time for building occupants to exit safely and assisting firefighters to better navigate buildings. Importantly, integrated door systems are tested as a complete system under a single approved testing label. In accordance with building code smoke containment requirements, these labels permit the safety auditors to quickly identify whether compliance has been met.

Integrated door systems are ideal for protection in corridors, elevator lobbies, elevator shafts, and stairwells as they confine fire and smoke, thus limiting the risk to the building occupants and reducing spread of the danger.

Although a fire may be confined within a fire resistive compartment, smoke can readily spread to adjacent areas through undocumented air leakage openings in the enclosure of the compartment, such as cracks, openings around pipes, ducts and doors. The approved fire safety plan clearly outlines the requirements for checking, testing, and inspecting the integrated fire and smoke door systems of each building.

This article was contributed by Firepoint Inc., serving the GTA since 1997, developing fire department approved fire safety plans for newly constructed and existing buildings. The contents in this bulletin are the views and expressed opinions of the authors and offer no guarantee of completeness or accuracy of any information published herein.

Neither Firepoint Inc nor its authors shall be responsible for any errors, omissions, or claims for damages or losses, including exemplary damages, arising out of use, inability to use, or with regard to the accuracy or sufficiency of this publication’s contents. See www.firepoint.ca or call (905) 874-9400.

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