Why You Need Stairwell Pressurization
Whether it’s a hotel, condo complex, or multi-leveled commercial space, all buildings benefit from stairwell pressurization. Further, every building with a stairwell must meet the International Building Code Standard (IBC) for stairwell pressurization. Why? Stairwells are the primary way that people escape a building if there is a fire. The stairwell’s pressure must be higher than the rest of the building for life-saving reasons. Here are more details about why you need stairwell pressurization.
Why Stairwell Pressurization is Vital
Stairwell pressurization reduces the amount of smoke that enters the fire exit stairwell. It also creates a safer fire escape route. Imagine that an electrical fire in a hotel leads to the third floor, leaving the high-rise resort engulfed in flames and hazed with smoke. People on the third floor would then begin to escape to safety using the nearest stairwell. Heavy steel doors used to minimize smoke leakage would open as occupants attempted to exit the building, making their way to safety.
However, it’s vital to consider what would happen to the smoke during this time. Flames are dangerous, but so is smoke inhalation. If the stairwell is of lesser or equal pressure than the hallway, the billowing black smoke will engulf the stairwell, making the safe escape for hundreds of people on other floors more challenging.
How this Process Works
Stair pressurization creates a barrier that controls smoke movement during an emergency. Our professionals use specialized tools to measure and test stairwell pressure, accommodating for air leakage. Stairwells should be fit for Stairwell Pressurization Systems or fans to ensure that the stairwell’s pressure is greater than the interior building. Pressurization systems use mechanical fans to produce positive pressure on the stairwells. The higher pressure in the stairwell will push back smoke into the lesser pressurized hallway, allowing the escape route to be smoke-free.
Is this a Required Inspection?
Yes, because it’s not only outlined in the IBC. However, it’s also a safety measure. Not only does every building with a stairwell need a clear egress path. Furthermore, it also ensures that people aren’t breathing in a lot of smoke. It can also help firefighters see anyone who might still be inside the building. Contact Chesapeake Sprinkler today to ensure that all your fire protection systems are up-to-date and working efficiently.
Contact Chesapeake Sprinkler Company Today!
Chesapeake Sprinkler Company is a leading fire sprinkler contractor in the region, which is now a member of the Century Fire Protection family. As a full-service fire protection company, we offer design, fabrication, installation, testing, maintenance, and inspection of fire protection systems. Everything you need from your fire suppression specialist.
For more information, please email or call our Odenton location at 410-674-7041, our Ashburn location at 703-729-5150, or for service/maintenance at 410-674-7577. For emergencies, call 800-298-3473 (FIRE). Feel free to keep in touch through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!