Fire safety comes as standard with concrete and masonry construction. In fact concrete has in-built fire protection!
Concrete has unsurpassed and proven fire resistance properties. Concrete is a non-combustible material (i.e. it does not burn). It cannot be set on fire unlike other materials in a building and concrete elements retain their strength at high temperatures, so concrete structures can withstand the effects of a fire without requiring any other form of active or passive protection. This in-built safety feature comes at no additional cost and will always be there, even if the building changes over time due to refurbishment or accidents. In addition, concrete does not require special coatings or sealers. This means that concrete has much more to offer than other structural construction materials when it comes to fire protection. In essence, concrete can be described as virtually ‘fireproof’.
Protecting People and Buildings
Fires can have a damaging impact on people, business and the environment. In a fire concrete acts as a shield, preventing the fire from spreading from one room to another. This can slow the progress of the fire and give building occupants more time to escape. Furthermore, concrete acts a shield for fire fighters which allows them to tackle and control the fire, whilst minimising the risk to themselves. Concrete maintains the robustness and stability of the building or infrastructure during a fire. This means that the risk of a concrete building collapsing in the event of a fire is minimal. Concrete does not emit smoke or toxic gases, which is important for the health and safety of occupants and fire-fighters alike and reduces the impact of a fire on the environment.
Given the robustness of concrete it is easy to repair. This lowers the costs of reconstruction and helps normal activities to resume sooner, thereby alleviating any negative impacts on people, workers and businesses.
The facts about concrete’s built-in fire resistance are:
- Concrete does not burn and does not add to the fire load.
- Concrete is an effective fire shield, providing a safe means of escape for occupants.
- Concrete does not produce any smoke or toxic gases.
- Concrete does not drip molten particles, which can spread the fire.
- Concrete’s robustness in fire facilitates firefighting and reduces the risk of structural collapse.
Concrete is designated by the European Union as a Class A1 building material (non-combustible).
Concrete acts as a shield for firefighters when they are tacking fires.
Every year more than 4,000 people die in fire is Europe, 80% of which start in their own homes.
‘Fabric First with Concrete’ – The first step to maximise the building’s performance!