Few events are as terrifying as a large-scale fire. When fire breaks out in a building, it transforms a typically safe environment into an incredibly scary place to be – an easy place to feel trapped, unsafe and terrified.
Thankfully, advancements in fire safety technology and improvements to the fire code mean that the majority of buildings, particularly in states such as California that have a high fire risk, are designed for optimal fire safety.
One of the most important aspects of fire-safe design, particularly in large offices and industrial buildings, is the use of smoke vents. Smoke vents stop smoke from building up inside your building in the event of a large-scale fire breaking out.
Venting smoke has multiple benefits. It prevents smoke inhalation from claiming lives, makes it easier for rescue workers to locate the source of a fire and places a limit on the total level of damage that a serious fire can cause.
In this post, we’ll look at how smoke vents work and explain why they’re such an important choice for any large commercial or industrial building. We’ll also look at how installing smoke vents in your building can make its occupants much safer.
How do smoke vents work?
Smoke vents use a simple design and high quality materials to automatically vent hazardous smoke from inside your building in the event of a fire. Smoke vents can be opened in one of several ways, depending on the specific type of vent.
Exterior manual release vents use an exterior release handle, which when opened, allows smoke to vent out of the building. Once the handle is pulled, both vent doors open and vent hazardous smoke out of the building, improving its safety.
Many smoke vents are also designed with an interior fusible link. This is similar in purpose to the types of fuses found on old electrical circuits – when it’s exposed to an excessive temperature, it burns away and automatically opens the vent doors.
Fusible links are designed to allow a smoke vent to open itself automatically in the event of a serious fire breaking out. Since the fuse only burns away at a very high temperature, it’s impossible for the vent to open itself without a fire present.
Finally, many smoke vents work using an electrical mechanism. These vents can be controlled remotely using an electronic interface, allowing multiple vents to open at the same time in the event of a serious fire affecting a building’s safety.
How do smoke vents keep you safe?
Smoke vents play an important role in fire safety, particularly in large buildings that contain potentially flammable materials. When correctly installed and used, a smoke venting system can save lives and protect your building from structural damage.
On average, more people are killed in serious fires due to smoke inhalation than fire itself. Effective smoke venting prevents excessive amounts of smoke from collecting inside your building’s interior, which can lead to smoke inhalation for people inside.
Smoke venting also improves visibility inside your building, making it easier for any people still inside to access the emergency fire exits. This visibility improvement has a beneficial effect for firefighters and emergency workers that enter the building.
Finally, smoke venting helps firefighters locate a fire within a building. Since smoke vents show exactly where the source of smoke is, it’s easier for firefighters to locate fire in a building with venting than in an unvented building.
This makes fighting the fire easier, reducing the total damage to your building and potentially saving lives. For this reason, smoke venting is one of the most essential aspects of fire-safe building design.
Does your building use smoke venting?
Smoke vents aren’t an optional extra for optimal fire safety – they’re an essential aspect of keeping your building safe in the event of a fire. Does your building use smoke venting to increase safety and save lives in the event of a fire breaking out?