Emerging technologies helping businesses fight flames

Emerging technologies helping businesses fight flames

Arriving at an office and finding it reduced to ashes isn’t a happy outcome for any business. Yet most offices don’t arm themselves with the proper flame-retardant or bombproof materials or technology to keep themselves safe.

Between 2013 and 2014, fire services in Great Britain attended 212,500 fires. Although this is a lot less than a decade ago, there’s still a high chance that your workplace could be the victim of a fire. What’s more, larger businesses want to know that they’re safe from any bomb threats. Despite the threat of terrorist acts being fairly low (unless you operate in London), peace of mind is more than worth the investment.

With that in mind, we’ve taken a look at the latest in fire- and blastproof technology to keep your office safe.

Blastproof walls

Durasteel have spent years perfecting their blast proof walls, gaining a variety of internationally recognised approvals from companies like Factory Mutual (FM), Underwriters Laboratories (UL and ULC), Certifire, Dubai Civil Defence and Lloyds Register.

Their feted approach stems from their composite panel of fibre reinforced cement, which is then bonded to punched steel sheets for maximum effectiveness. This non-combustible material provides up to 240-minutes of protection, while also minimising the harm caused by an explosion.

If you’re worried about the cost, don’t – it’s far outweighed by the durability of the product. Estimated to maintain its strength for around 40 years, Durasteel even meets both A60 standard and H120 hydrocarbon fire test marine classifications.

There are few products on the market with the strength to control fires, but that’s exactly what Durasteel can do.

Video image smoke detection

Video Image Smoke Detection (VISD) is one of the most recent breakthroughs in fire protection. The technology, which visually tracks smoke, was a response to the weaknesses of traditional fire safety technology, which was deemed impractical for warehouses and complexes with high ceilings.

Put simply, smoke or carbon monoxide wasn’t being detected when fires were smaller or blocked by ventilation systems. VISD, however, sidesteps that problem. Not only can it view flames or smoke, but anyone else looking through its lens can spot it too.

Exit point audible notification

Rushing for a fire exit might seem like a basic task, but there are plenty of mitigating factors that might stop you. If you’ve got impaired vision, for example, or don’t know where your nearest exit is, you’ll be left fumbling through flame and smoke until you’re too filled with carbon monoxide to move.

Enter Exit Point Audible Notification (EPAN), a technological development that companies still haven’t quite climbed on board with. This smart piece of tech uses “directional” sound devices to intuitively guide you to a fire exit, even if your sight is impaired or you’re not familiar with your surroundings.

According to ORR Protection Systems, EPAN reduces evacuation times in buildings by up to 75 per cent, markedly reducing the mortality risk in case of an emergency.

These are all largely the tip of the iceberg in the emerging technology market, especially where firefighting and fire safety are concerned.

If you’d like to inform us of any emerging fire safety technology we haven’t mentioned, we’re all ears. Let us know in the comments below.