How Steel Structures Help Prevent Fires?
The word “Fire” sounds horrifying because everyone can imagine those frightening visuals. According to NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), every 24 seconds, a fire department in the USA responds to a fire accident in the nation. Home fires are responsible for 74% of all fire deaths. There is a total loss of $25.6 billion due to property damage. Hence, you can easily understand the probability of facing a fire accident. Now, it’s your responsibility to protect your family, friends, and relatives against this devastating disaster.
The first step to fulfill your responsibility is you should secure your surroundings or housing building. The steel structure is a perfect option to prevent fires. It is noncombustible metal, so it does not contribute to the ignition of fires, the spread of fires, or the size and severity of fires.
Let’s discuss how the steel structure is the utmost to tackle the fire.
How do Steel Buildings Help Prevent Fires?
Structural steel has great properties to stand against fire. As you know, metal is non-combustible and not entertain fire, although wood is prone to fire.
Metal structures don’t originate fire, but wood ignites as comes in contact with a little spark due to short circuit. Last but not least, metal doesn’t help flames to spread. On the other side, timber feeds the demon.
One thing you should know while buying a metal building is not to pick up a random building. Buy the one with commercial-grade steel because sometimes fraud dealers fool people with law gauge or lightweight metal framing, which doesn’t perform well against heat.
Metal has the upper hand in fire protection than wood, but the metal itself can’t guarantee complete protection. If your area faces frequent fires or your building houses inflammable stuff, then you should enhance building fire protection. Below are some add-ons or standards that you should know for getting the desired fire safety.
UL Rated Materials: The MBMA (Metal Building Manufacturer’s Association) and UL (Underwriter’s Laboratory) tested and introduced two fire-rated building design standards for the roof, panels, and frame. The UL design standards are given below-
- UL Design No. W404 – One-hour exterior wall fire rating
- UL Design No. W413 – Two-hour exterior wall fire rating
The above standards stand for the building parts consisting of steel furring, gypsum boards, exterior wall panels, and appropriate insulation according to UL design standards to fight against fire.
Fire Rated Materials: Below is the most common fire-rated materials that can extend the structure’s security against fire disasters.
- Gypsum wallboard
- Concrete masonry for walls
- Spray-applied fire-resistive materials
Insulation & Coating: There are some insulation and coatings that can be used while fireproofing. If your workplace or home is in a fire-sensitive area and there are high chances of fire accidents, then you should employ appropriate insulation.
- Intumescent spray film coatings
- Endothermic fireproofing
- Mineral or high-temperature wool blankets
These are some materials and standards that can help you get what suits you best according to your premises.
Now, let’s move to some metal building fire safety tips that you must consider.
Steel Structure Fire Safety Tips:
There are some fire safety tips that you should always consider to protect yourself and property.
Install Fire Safety System: Fire safety system consists of smoke sensors, alarms that detect and warn us as fire ignites. This system informs you at the early stage of fire, and you can save your assets and family from any significant harm.
Upkeep the Fire Safety System: The whole system is a waste if it’s not working when needed. Schedule a check and maintenance in a fixed time interval.
Decide Escape Plan: You should plan the quickest way to get outside during the fire. All the members and workers should know about the escape plan and a safe assembly point.
Organize Fire Drill: You should practice your practice plan by simulating the fire accidents, so no one gets confused during real emergencies. Organize the fire drills or fire safety awareness seminar twice a year to educate and train people.
Value Your life: Once you hear the alarm buzz, immediately get out of the building. You shouldn’t stay there to collect any belongings. If you have time, then help others to evacuate quickly.
If You Are trapped: Try to be at a place with less smoke. Put some mask or cloth on your nose and mouth to avoid smoke inhalation. You should use some indicators like flashlight or cloth to signal for help & call 911.
Fire-resistant steel structures are the best option to guard your property, and a loved one against fire disaster. However, solely relying on the building wouldn’t be a wise decision. Metal buildings are fire-resistant, but you must also employ the materials mentioned above and tips to ensure all over the security.
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