Fire resistance in buildings is measured based on how long fire takes to penetrate through a room confinement. Windows and doors are the easiest methods that fires use to travel from one space to another.
The best types of window glass to protect from fire are the wired glass types . These have a wire grid sandwiched in between 2 layers of glass. These types are commonly seen in corridor doors.
The wire sandwich can be patterned to increase aesthetic appeal.
Spaces that are ideal for solid fire barriers eg corridors are best suited for this type of window on the doors.
Fire resistant doors have a seal to prevent smoke from moving from one room to the other. The glass on the door is usually fitted with metal sandwich to provide high temperature resistance.
Common fire rating for doors are 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes of fire containment.
The heavier and more solid a door is, the better it is in preventing fire from moving from the outside space into the inside.
These ceilings are fire resistant and are best used in areas prone to fires such as kitchens.
In large high rise buildings, fires usually spread vertically from one floor to the other using service ducts such as water pipes, electrical conduits and sewerage pipes. These can be detailed using special materials to prevent fire spread.
Most fire deaths are usually caused by the smoke choking inhabitants, resulting to fainting hence not being able to escape.
This smoke comes from wall paint, plastic fabric and other plastics such as electrical wiring within the building.
Burning plastics produce Hydrogen Cyanide and Carbon Monoxide gas which kills within minutes.
Causes of fires.
Most fires are caused by
1.Cooking equipment. When stoves are forgotten and the food burns to high temperatures, this excess eat can ignite surrounding materials.
2. Smoking . Carelessly discarded Cigarette buts can cause fires.
3. Faulty electrical wiring
Francis Gichuhi Kamau, Architect.