Although the number of deaths caused by house fires has decreased markedly over the last decade, residential fires remain the primary fire-related cause of death in the U.K. The truth is that more can be done to further reduce the number of annual fatalities from fires in the home.
Fire safety campaigns have played a crucial role in informing the public about the importance of correctly installing smoke alarms and checking that these alarms are functioning as they should. This increased awareness of fire safety among the public has unequivocally helped to reduce the death rate from residential fires.
But proper fire safety protection doesn’t begin with the installation and maintenance of smoke alarms. In fact, minimizing the risk of house fires and fatalities associated with fires in the home needs to be made a priority when the building is under construction.
By building the home with the correct fire-resistant safety materials from the outset, the house and its occupants receive the maximum level of protection against fires.
Fire resistant glass
Windows represent an often neglected fire hazard in the home. Fires that begin outside can easily make their way inside if the windows are not composed of fire resistant glass. The heat from outside gets so intense that it can ignite flammable items inside the home.
Ordinary glass windows just don’t offer the requisite protection against the heat of a fire, which is why fire resistant glass windows should be installed at the time of the home’s construction to maximize fire safety. Double-glazed windows should be used as they offer an extra layer of protection against the heat of a fire.
Fire resistant glass partitions should also be considered for use in homes where possible. Glazed partitions can replace interior walls, providing an effective fire barrier and improving the interior aesthetics of a property by allowing more natural light in.
The inherent usefulness of fire doors is that they help to slow the progression of a fire throughout the home, giving the occupants a greater chance of escaping during a house fire. Furthermore, fire doors stop the spread of smoke, which is a huge contributing factor towards deaths from house fires.
Modern fire doors don’t compromise on aesthetics, so designers need not be wary about sacrificing too much style for safety. The crucial difference between fire doors and regular doors is that the former are much slower to burn, meaning they can make a huge difference to survival rates from house fires.
Insulated Concrete Forms
Insulated walls provide an extra layer of protection in the event of a house fire. A well-insulated building helps to protect against the spread of fire to the interior, which is where most of the damage is usually done.
Constructing walls with an ICF formwork offers enhanced fire resistance and less volatile surface burning behavior.
Given that bricks are made when clay is heated up to over 1000 degrees, it makes intuitive sense that brick is an excellent building material for maximizing fire safety.
Constructing a home from brick walls offers between one and four hours of fire resistance, depending on how thick the walls are built. The extra time to escape can make all the difference to residents in the event of a house fire.
Also known as fire resistant paints, intumescent paints work by swelling as a result of heat exposure. This swelling increases the volume of the paint, which creates a coating that protects any material it’s used on from the heat of a fire.
Intumescent paints should be considered for use on doors, decking, paneling, cladding, and floors because they allow for more time to escape a house fire by delaying the spread of flames.
Homes under construction should be fitted with drywall (gypsum panels) to maximize fire safety. Drywall is composed of a layer of gypsum pressed between two sheets of paper.
When gypsum panels are exposed to high temperatures, the water inside the gypsum is vaporized and released as steam, which impedes heat transfer until the water has been exhausted. “Type X” drywall contains glass fibres that improve the fire resistance of the gypsum once the water runs out, giving residents even more time to escape their homes in the event of a fire.
Diamond Glass are one of the U.K.’s leading fire resistant glass manufacturers. For more information about our fire resistant glass solutions and how they can maximize the fire safety of residential properties, download our brochure now or contact our expert team.