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Why is maintaining your building’s smoke control system important?

 In Smoke Ventilation

Doing the right thing is seldom our first choice. If it were, we would all have been in the gym this morning or ran 5km before work. There would be no need for Gardai or referees in the world and so on. People tend to only make fundamental changes once they have experienced life changing and threatening events, most of which, thankfully, can be avoided with regular maintenance. 

Williaam Cox Smoke Control Service Engineers Williaam Cox Smoke Control Service Engineers

Photos captured by Williaam Cox Service Engineers of damaged and displaced actuators.

The completion of your building takes a substantial amount of time from initial concept to occupation and there are very good reasons for this. A team of professionals are employed to take your building concept and turn it into a reality. Highly skilled labour is used to create your new structure, adhering to planning approvals, building codes and specific compliance. It could be a 25 year journey to complete your building, before occupancy commences. Your building will ‘live’ for many years to come. Your attitude to maintenance needs to enjoy the same priority for the remainder of its life, just as it did in the creation and building phase.

Williaam Cox Smoke Control Service Engineers

Photo captured by Williaam Cox Service Engineers of a damaged warehouse louver vent.

Extensive research has yielded statistics and data which show that in the event of a fire approximately 60% of deaths are as a result of smoke asphyxiation. Fires are unexpected and unpredictable events. We all have an appreciation for firefighters who train daily and rigorously. They keep physically fit, mentally alert and up to date with the latest techniques and methods to save and rescue people and to prevent the loss of life. 

Here are some key questions to think about:

  1. What are you doing to enhance your chances of survival and the firefighter’s ability to save any occupants? 
  2. As you read this, pause, and look up. Could you escape from where you are right now? 
  3. When was your smoke detection and ventilation system last serviced? 
  4. Did you read the report from the smoke maintenance technician? 
  5. Did you replace that motor which was not working on the smoke ventilator? 
  6. Smoke moves at a speed of 10.8km per hour. Could you outrun it if necessary? 
  7. Can you get through doors with other people also trying to escape? 
  8. Would other occupants be slower than you during an evacuation, thus impeding your escape? 
  9. How do you increase the chances of a safe escape for everyone? 

Shall we try some questions which are a little more difficult? 

  1. When is your next smoke ventilation maintenance service due? 
  2. Do you understand the difference between smoke detection and smoke control? 
  3. Do you understand your buildings system and strategy? 
  4. Can you perform your own regular system checks? 
  5. Are you prepared? 

Learn more about topics that place you in a position to ask important questions which could one day be the difference between life and “breath“:

  1. Codes, standards, and their relevance
  2. The importance of the Fire Certificate
  3. Fit for purpose versus working
  4. How to approach the smoke control service
  5. The importance of owner/occupier training
  6. Who does what, when?
  7. Has the impact of a client changing their process affected the smoke control system?

For assistance on a service proposal for your building, email us at service@williaamcox.ie