Fire Resistant Ducts Are an Important Passive Fire Protection Method
Ductwork is an important element of having a fire safety system in your building. Depending on the role of the system, there are two main types. These include smoke exhaust ducts and pressurization fire rated ducts.
Smoke Exhaust Ducts
A designer will use these to remove smoke from buildings, improve firefighting, and allow for emergency evacuation. There are several areas in a building where you can use this type of duct in. They include:
- High-rise buildings smoke control system
- Parking garages
Larger compartments can spread smoke and they can be a challenge for engineers to protect against fire. This is because they make sprinkler systems less effective. Ducts need to move the smoke out of the building, and some use fan-assisted systems. If all of the ducts are in the fire compartment, they need to be able to resist the temperatures of the smoke during a fire.
If the ducts penetrate a barrier that resists fire, like fire-rated ceilings or walls, the duct needs to have the same fire resistance that the barrier does. To effectively remove smoke, the room has to have a detailed inspection to look at the height and floor surface area to see how fast the fire might spread.
As part of a building’s smoke control system, there may also be stairwell and elevator hoistway pressurization systems. These positive pressure systems are in place to ensure a building’s egress or escape routes remain clear of smoke so the building’s occupants can safely evacuate.
Pressurization ducts draw clean air from the exterior of the building and deliver it to a stairwell or hoistway under slight positive pressure using fire rated ducts. The positive pressure ensures smoke cannot enter the stairwell enclosure when a door is opened during an evacuation. To ensure these pressurization systems continue to deliver fresh air during a fire, the ducts themselves must be fire rated to the same hourly rating as the stairwell or hoistway enclosure they are pressurizing.
Choose a Trusted Supplier of Fire Rated Duct
DuraSystems offers a wide range of fire rated ducts, called DuraDuct. We can offer you protection in almost any situation. If you want to find your local representative, use our Mechanical Rep Locator to get more information.