Critical role of fire shutters
“Fire compartments need to be integrated into malls to prevent the spread of fire, but they are not always possible,” says Amaya.
“It is often easier to introduce fire resistant shutters or smoke curtains that can compartmentalise specific areas of large stores.”
Key areas of fire risk include car parks which require specific active and passive fire protection measures. In terms of compartmentation requirements, careful attention needs to be paid to the lifts connecting both parking and the shopping centre.
“The most importance aspect, is that safety has to be designed into shopping malls from the very beginning. Along with ventilation and smoke extraction systems as well as compartments, the priority is always to get people out safely,” says Amaya.
“Again, what is critical, is to have mall owners and their management involved at every step of the way. There is a moral duty to take responsibility for public safety and companies need to actively take ownership of this responsibility.”
Knauf Insulation’s fire safety expertise
Knauf Insulation offers expertise to specifiers who need to understand how fire standards and regulations have been updated or how building products have been tested or certified.
In every country the company sells its products, there are experts who can provide the specialist knowledge specifiers need. For example, helping customers to select and design the best solution for each challenge.
Knauf Insulation’s fire-safe solutions
Knauf Insulation produces a wide range of A1 and A2 fire-safe solutions for all building applications — from small stores to major shopping malls.
These solutions minimise fire risk and its spread giving people time to leave a burning building, firefighters more time to contain the fire and providing greater building resilience after a blaze has been extinguished. Solutions include:
• Knauf Insulation’s Tektalan Wood Wool board, which combined with Rock Mineral Wool, has a fire resistance of up to 180 minutes. Tektalan does not melt in a fire which means there are no dangerous burning droplets and hardly any smoke created during combustion — a significant factor considering most fire fatalities are caused by smoke inhalation.
• The company’s DRS Fire Board provides A1 non-combustible fire protection and has a melting point above 1,000ºC. The board is used as an insulation in doors and is popular with public buildings such as schools and hotels.
• Knauf Insulation’s Technical Division produces Fire-teK® products and solutions for circular and rectangular ducts that can meet any fire safe requirements in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems.
• Meanwhile, the company provides Rock Mineral Wool A1 non-combustible solutions for sandwich panels. PBE Boards are widely used as the core for prefabricated sandwich panel building elements due to their fire, thermal and mechanical performance.
• To learn more about how Knauf Insulation can help improve the fire resilience of public buildings such as shopping malls explore the company’s site here.