Safe escape is fundamentally important when fire takes hold. Those in the building at any time when fire breaks out must be able to move quickly and safely away from the fire to somewhere outside, away from the building. That’s before conditions become untenable, and without being seriously affected by fire. Fire safety building design therefore depends crucially on preventing fire growth and spread to other parts of the building, as well as safeguarding people.
The tragic fatalities in the most recent catastrophic fires – both at Lakanal House and Grenfell Tower – occurred because occupants became trapped, isolated and unable to get out. They couldn’t find protected escape ways; and couldn’t move away from fire, to a place of safety. Firefighters couldn’t reach them because of the extensive fire growth and spread, and widespread smoke penetration throughout the building. Once fire takes hold it can grow to high intensities and spread unbelievably fast in only a very short time of seconds or just a few minutes.
Protecting the means of escape is therefore vital. And for normal use the corridors and doors need to be light and open, transparent so that users can move about the building in comfort and safety without feeling closed in. Glass is ideal. But not all glass types are suitable for the developed flashover fire conditions that can develop.
Pilkington Pyrostop® and Pyrodur® have been designed and developed specifically for a high-level performance in fire. Both are based on an insulating interlayer that reacts to only mild heat exposure to provide an opaque, insulating barrier that holds together to keep flames at bay, cuts out transmitted heat and protects against flames. Pyrostop® and Pyrodur® are therefore ideal for protection of escape ways - in doors, corridor walls and for enclosed transparent exit and access lobbies – also for what is described as compartmentation (often misunderstood, but in basic terms fire-proof construction to keep fire in the place where it occurs, effectively boxed up, without the dangerous spread of flames and smoke).
What is most important in fire safety building design is not to leave safety to chance. Time is critical in fire. That is the main reason for using fire-resistant product systems. In turn, products are required for protection against fire which are well tried and testing, with a long track record behind them and a basic technology that is known to have the key characteristics of performance and reliability.
T A Anders Limited is a longstanding Licensed Supplier of Pilkington Pyrostop® and Pilkington Pyrodur® fire-resistant glass. We stock the entire range at our modern processing facility in Trafford Park, Manchester, and can process, distribute, install in proprietary frames and provide fire safety and product guidance if required. For further information, please contact T A Anders Limited on 0161 736 2487 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.andersglass.co.uk for product specification and test evidence.
These opinions are offered in good faith but it is the responsibility of the reader to satisfy themselves as to their veracity and form their conclusions