Fire safety in buildings
Fire safety in buildings is one of the basic requirements for construction products in the EU Construction Products Regulation, CPR. Fire safety in buildings primarily concerns personal safety, but also includes the protection of material values. Data from fire accidents indicates that smoke and toxic gases cause the majority of deaths. Smoke and toxic gases kill long before the temperature has risen or flames have developed. Consequently, the main design requirement from a personal safety perspective is that buildings are constructed and configured to ensure that people can get to safety and the emergency services have the capacity to respond in the event of a fire.
Reaction to Fire classifications
The reaction to fire of construction and building materials, is divided into 7 classes (Euroclass A1, A2 and B through F). Class B-s1,d0 is normally the minimum requirement for public rooms. The actual trend is that more and more European countries start to require the A2-s1,d0 class for wall and ceilings in buildings with many floors, rooms for large crowds and escape routes, including the elevator and stairway sectors.
The development of a room fire in 5 stages
Incipient Stage: This is the first stage in the fire growth process, typically created by an outside heating source, such as an open flame or smoldering materials.
Growth stage: During this stage, the fire grows fast or slow, depending on the fuel load present, type of combustion and availability of oxygen.
Flashover stage: This is a transitional stage that takes place between the growth and fully developed stages. Flashover is a phenomenon created by thermal instabilities within the room.
Fully developed stage: During this stage the fire has reached its maximum potential and is only limited by the availability of oxygen.
Decay stage: During this final stage the fuel load and oxygen decreases and the gases and temperatures begin to cool. The fire will begin to put itself out if left alone and no more oxygen is introduced in to the room.
Why we at Gustafs care about fire safety
Fires accidents do happen. In Europe, thousands of people get killed by fire related accidents every year. See the International Fire Death Rate Trends in the pdf below.