Could fire accidents be that severe? Be it home, a workstation or any public property – it is undeniable that all these places or any location, for that matter, are prone to a fire incident. And if one works in hazardous areas that are prone to fire, it is recommended that they follow all the fire safety measures/protocols. That being said, fire door hardware is gaining popularity lately as it provides protection from fire hazards.
It is alarming to note that over 20% of Australian forest land was on fire in the past year. And it is disturbing to remember and recall the deadly Australian bushfires that lasted for more than a year. There were over 480 deaths, and the worst part is that 445 of these people were rescued but had passed away due to smoke inhalation. They would have survived if they escaped sooner, and this could happen to any of us.
The Reasons That Make It So Severe
The most common reason that makes it harder for people to escape during a fire is the difficulty of prying open a door or a window. The door and the window frames are affected and damaged due to the fire, and even the knobs become too hot to touch and too rigid to move around. So, the best solution for this would be to use fire door hardware.
Solutions to Combat the Severity
So, before getting started with these fire safety door hardware components, let’s first understand what fire doors are.
Fire doors are doors that have a higher fire resistance than a regular door. They minimise the spread by not letting it pass to another passageway and reduce the chances of smoke carried away or fire sparks and flames escaping the space. These are crucial elements in places that can be even slightly prone to fire damage and are recommended to be installed even at homes or offices where fire incidents aren’t very likely. It acts as a barrier containing the fire and smoke and not letting it exit the affected area, thus preventing the destruction of other people and their valuable belongings. So, the main hardware components are:
Fire door locks and fire door latches: Fire door locks or latches are generally attached to the fire doors. They greatly help in the prevention of the fire spreading to all the other parts of the building. Moreover, they allow more time for people to evacuate the workplace or their homes and flee to safety on time.
By containing the fire, the fire door locks and latches significantly reduce the risk of the workers or family members inhaling excess smoke that can be harmful to health.
Exit and panic devices: Ever noticed the horizontal or vertical ledge-like handles on a door or a window with the title “for emergency use only”? It is to ensure that the people have an unhindered exit path in the case of any accidents.
If the fire spreads and the current exit door or window is inaccessible or is hard to open, the exit and panic devices provide a quick and effective get-away. People can exit here without obstacles and with the minimal risk of coming in contact with the fire.
A smoke seal: A smoke seal is an essential device that loops and fits itself around the knob of a door. They play a crucial role in containing the toxic gases released and preventing people from breathing in them. In short, it secures people from smoke inhalation, and thus from the long-term effects that this can have on them.