Pressurised Fire Escape Staircase Systems

Some multi-storey buildings are fitted with pressurising systems which protect Fire Escape Corridors, Lobbies, Lifts, Escape Routes and Fire-Fighting Staircases against the ingress of Smoke in the event of a fire.

When the building Fire Alarm is activated, large fans operate which gently pressurize the Escape Routes and Fire-Fighting Staircases with fresh air, which keeps deadly smoke out and allows people to breathe as they vacate the building. The resulting air pressures, door forces and air velocities produced must be tightly controlled.

 

Pressurised Fire Escape Staircase Systems

More about Pressurised Staircase Systems

Pressurized Fire Escape Staircase Systems should normally be designed to comply with BS EN 12101-6:2005, Approved Document "B" and other relevant standards.

Classes of system and modes of operation are:

  • Class A: For means of escape. Defend in place
  • Class B: For means of escape and fire-fighting
  • Class C: For means of escape by simultaneous evacuation
  • Class D: For means of escape. Sleeping risk
  • Class E: For means of escape by phased evacuation
  • Class F: Fire-fighting system and means of escape

 

  • Mode 1: Fire Detection Phase. Create a differential pressure of 50 Pascals with all doors closed.
  • Mode 2: Fire Escape Phase. Maintain an air velocity of 0.75 Metres per Second through open doors on to the fire floor with various other doors open, or a pressure difference of 10 Pascals with the fire floor door(s) closed and various other doors open.
  • Mode 3: Fire Fighting Phase. Maintain an air velocity of 2.0 Metres per Second through open doors on to the fire floor with various other doors open.

Every building is unique and no two Pressurized Fire Escape Systems are the same.

Depending on the Building Fire Risk Assessment, proper inspection, testing and repair, if necessary, by competent persons every six months is usual for this type of "Life Safety" System.

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