The world is slowly, but decidedly moving towards green infrastructure, making sustainability a crucial topic of discussion for innovative designers who are looking to conserve resources when it comes to the built environment. For this reason, the green technologies and materials are becoming increasingly affordable and the market demand for sustainable infrastructure has increased greatly. The question remains, however, how this will influence the fire protection industry. With decades, centuries even, of using traditional materials behind us, there are many well-established fire safety codes, which relate to the old way of building construction. With the introduction of new materials, a change in these codes is inevitable.
When it comes to building materials, the name of the game of modern building construction is lightweight construction. When it comes to residential areas, the mentioned innovative type of construction has been made more popular over the course of the last decade. However, the new fire safety protocols, related to new ways of construction have yet to become an everyday thing. The new rigid foam insulation methods are based on spray-applied foam insulation, which does have substantial sustainability benefits, can contribute to fire spread and increased smoke production. This is why not leaving the expanded polystyrene stay-in-place concrete forms untreated or uncovered during or after construction should be made basic fire safety knowledge nowadays. When it comes to materials, the only precautionary measure to be taken is recognizing the potential threats with those that are sustainable.
When it comes to large fires, a great deal of water is required. However, with sustainability in mind, many water supply systems are being made with water preservation in mind. This is why modern designers should make sure to include additional water storage in their system designs.
New buildings are being made with natural ventilation in mind – using this type of ventilation helps the air circulate, without the use of mechanical equipment, which pays compliments to sustainability, but greatly dwindles the fire control. This is why mechanical ventilation systems should be used only as a precautionary measure nowadays – they haven’t really been made redundant just yet.
Green roofs are a great way to insulate a building, collect rainwater and reduce general heat island effects. If not maintained properly, however, plants can dry out, contributing to fire spreads. This is why properly maintaining these vegetative roofs isn’t only crucial for the green, but also for fire safety.
Fire Safety in Mind
We teach our children that which our parents have taught us. However, when our parents were young, the building materials and systems used were pretty much the same all the way through the 20th century. Our kids, however, have a brave new world to encounter – full of innovative, sustainable materials, previously mentioned. This is why it is vital that you first educate yourself with regards to modern emergency situations, so that you provide a safer world for your kids. A smoke detector outside every bedroom door should be applied; emergency egress ladders for upper floors is no longer a thing solely applicable in apartment blocks and a fire extinguisher in kitchens should be regarded as basic fire safety tools.
With all these things in mind, family fire drills could do a world of wonder for the new brand of fire safety – although your kids mind find these tedious and boring, chances are they will thank you later in life.
There are a lot of things to be kept in mind when it comes to the future of fire safety. You have to think about new building materials, systems and methods and innovative fire safety protocols. However, innovative fire safety methods and rules are a low price to pay, when it comes to the global concern of sustainability.