The importance of robust smoke control

Posted by Conor Logan on 31/03/21 10:00

Smoke inhalation is the number one cause of death from fires. In fact, approximately 50-80% of deaths are a result of smoke inhalation injuries rather than burns alone. When smoke is inhaled, harmful particles and gases enter the respiratory system, which can lead to distress syndrome, disorientation, unconsciousness, asphyxia and respiratory failure. Compared to burns alone, smoke inhalation can present more complex clinical challenges, affecting every organ in the body.

In this post, we highlight why it is important to maintain smoke control systems to keep your buildings legal and ultimately safe for occupants.

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Topics: Smoke Control, smoke control maintenance, Fire Safety

How do UK fire safety design regulations compare to those of countries in the EU?

Posted by Conor Logan on 24/03/21 10:00

The Grenfell review from Dame Judith Hackitt concluded that the current legislation regarding fire safety equipment in the UK is not fit for purpose and that it needs to improve. Learning the best that we can from other countries (such as those in the European Union) while avoiding their shortcomings would be a good start.

But while well-considered fire safety regulation is essential, it is equally important for all those involved in the design and construction of buildings and construction products to have an understanding of what fire can do to a building and how damage and danger can be minimised.

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Topics: Smoke Control, smoke control maintenance, Fire Safety

What do Fire Curtain Certificates EN 16034 and EN 13241 mean?

Posted by Conor Logan on 02/10/20 10:00

Why do these standards exist?

The need for a harmonised set of regulatory standards in relation to fire curtains is a necessity to ensure that all products meet a clearly outlined list of safety requirements. The standards mean that those selling or buying products such as fire curtains, can be absolutely sure that their products are fit for purpose. Many companies do not currently adhere to these new certificates, and will be continuing to sell products that do not in fact meet the new legal requirements.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Fire Containment, Curtains, Fire Safety

What the Draft Building Safety Bill Will Mean for Service and Maintenance of High-risk Buildings

Posted by Conor Logan on 25/09/20 10:15

Last month I wrote a technical review of the latest Fire Safety Bill, where I outlined the specific details of how the Fire Safety Bill legislation will be implemented and enforced.

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Topics: Smoke Control, service, smoke control maintenance, Fire Safety

Corridor ventilation: smoke and temperature control

Posted by Conor Logan on 03/09/20 14:00

When it comes to corridor ventilation, two things must be taken into consideration: effective smoke evacuation in the event of a fire and preventing overheating, for day-to-day comfort ventilation.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Pressurisation, Residential Buildings, Fire Safety

Technical Review of Approved Document B (Fire Safety)

Posted by Conor Logan on 26/08/20 14:00

Back in April I wrote about the consultation that the Housing Minister, Robert Jenrick MP released inviting comments on the plans for the future of construction, encompassing the recommendations of the Building a Safer Future recommendations from Dame Judith Hackitt i.e. the forthcoming Building Safety Bill which has now had is second reading in the House of Commons.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Fire Safety

The impact of door size on smoke control design

Posted by Conor Logan on 24/06/20 10:00

One of the biggest challenges in the design of smoke control and pressurisation systems currently is the relatively recent trend towards installing full height doors which extend all the way to the underside of the ceiling, and/or very wide single leaf doors.

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Topics: Smoke Control, CFD, Pressurisation

7 reasons why you shouldn't use HVAC control systems for smoke ventilation

Posted by Conor Logan on 02/06/20 10:00

Smoke ventilation systems today require sophisticated control systems with highly complex sequences of operation. HVAC control systems could be seen as a viable solution, as they can be extremely flexible and offer a high degree of programmability. However, while they may be adequate for simple applications, there are a number of issues that mean they do not deliver on all the functionalities needed for more complex schemes.

Here are 7 reasons why:

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke ventilation, HVAC, Controls

BCO lecture on smoke control in high-rise residential buildings.

Posted by Conor Logan on 06/05/20 10:00

Smoke control in high-rise residential buildings is an important and, sadly, topical issue. Having recently written a post about the talk that I gave to the Institute of Mechanical Engineers on smoke control in general, I now want to focus on high-rise residential buildings , a subject that I also addressed with the engineers and, in particular, in the talk I gave to Northern Ireland Building Control Officers in Armagh.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Residential Buildings, Fire Safety

IMechE lecture on clarifying the importance of Smoke Control

Posted by Conor Logan on 22/04/20 10:00

I recently, before the Corona virus lock-down, had the pleasure and privilege of giving two lectures on smoke control, one to the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and the other to Northern Ireland Building Control Officers in Armagh. For this second audience I focused in particular on smoke control in high-rise residential buildings.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Fire Safety

Technical Review of Approved Document B (Fire Safety)

Posted by Conor Logan on 17/04/20 10:00

On the 2nd April, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP announced ambitious steps, initiated by the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire, to further reform the building safety system, with the aim of ensuring that residents are safe in their homes.

Firstly, MHCLG have published their response to the Building a Safer Future Consultation which sets out plans to reform building safety. This includes creating a new, more stringent, national Building Safety Regulator, currently being devised by the Health and Safety Executive, who will be responsible for implementing, enforcing and overseeing safety in all multi-occupied residential buildings over 18m (or 6 storeys). Importantly, the Building Safety Bill will also provide for the ability to amend the scope in the future, if deemed justified.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Fire Safety

No time to relax our vigilance

Posted by Conor Logan on 12/02/20 11:00

Despite the new regulations that have been introduced or proposed following the Grenfell tragedy in 2017, this is not the time to be complacent about fire. The latest available statistics on fire in England showed that fires actually increased in the year to March 2019. In the 10 years to 2012/13 there had been a steady drop in fires every year, but since then the figure has been slowly creeping up again.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Smoke Containment, Regulations

Colt, Compliance and Competence

Posted by Conor Logan on 20/11/19 10:00

Following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower, the subsequent Hackitt Review into Building Regulations and the ongoing Public Inquiry, Colt is proud to establish their viewpoint on Compliance and Competence.

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Topics: Smoke Control

Specifying, testing and commissioning smoke control systems – your ultimate guide.

Posted by Conor Logan on 05/11/19 14:00

Smoke control is a ‘wide science’: it requires in-depth knowledge of the building layout, the technical aspects and the bewildering array of regulations in force. Each type of building has its own peculiarities and some have specific regulations and guidance on smoke control.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Pressurisation, Smoke shafts

How to deal with engine exhaust emissions when local exhaust ventilation is not an option

Posted by Paul Langford on 10/10/19 10:00

Problem

Controlling diesel engine exhaust emissions in enclosed spaces such as maintenance workshops is easily done with local exhaust ventilation (LEV), which can be as simple as fitting pipes to the vehicles’ exhausts while they are being serviced in order to draw the fumes outside. However, there are situations where this is not an option, for example in a warehouse where there is heavy vehicle movement inside the building, as vans and lorries come in and out for loading and unloading.

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Topics: Smoke Control, Climate Control, Industrial ventilation