Any fire produces smoke and combustion gases as well as heat energy. Due to the their thermal buoyancy, these gases rise upwards, filling the room or the building completely with smoke within a very short time. In addition, it is possible, due to the build up of heat pressure, that the ambient temperature rises to such a degree that the structural building fabric is at risk, with the possible outcome of building collapse.
It is only rarely that somebody dies as a result of direct contact with the fire. Almost 90% of all fatal accidents in fires are caused by suffocation from smoke gases.
On the other hand, the danger is increased for those trying to escape as well as for the rescue team, if the fire develops into an uncontrollable “full fire“ due to the lack of a smoke and heat extraction system.
The extensive quantity of smoke generated and spreading in the building must be quickly dispersed. This helps:
- to ensure clear visibility for those trying to escape, i.e. to save lives and protect from personal injury;
- to prevent follow-on fires, i.e. preventive fire protection;
- to stop damage to property.
Smoke vents are designed basically to remove smoke, fire fumes and heat energy from closed interiors (production halls, warehouses, public utility buildings, etc.) and carry them outside. Can also serve as ventilation flaps and skylights.
types of smoke vents:
single- or double-leaf;
with straight or diagonal bases;
with a wide range of openings and base height.
panel types for the openable leaf:
polycarbonate cavity sheets 10 to 25mm thick, of varied transparency and various overall heat-transfer coefficients;
single, double or triple acrylic domes;
solid polycarbonate plates;
layered plates (e.g. aluminium – insulation material – aluminium), the so-called “blind” panels.
leaf opening systems:
electric and pneumatic;
mechanical (gas springs).
All these systems can remove smoke and ventilate interiors, or only remove smoke. The vents can be triggered manually by the user, or automatically by thermal fuses, exhaust control panels or SAP.