Fire Curtains, Fire Safety

Is it Possible to Build a Fireproof Building?

February 17, 2020
Fireproof Building 2020

There’s never been a better time to build. Materials, construction techniques and fire safety have reached a pinnacle unthought of in times past. Architecture and design continue to push into brave new frontiers – with masterpieces like the Louvre Abu Dhabi becoming a more regular addition to the world. So, with all the advances in the art and science of construction, are we now able to make a fireproof building?

The Short Answer? No

There’s no way to make a building completely fireproof. Even though there are stringent fire regulations for new builds, they can still be poorly designed, or even ignored by builders.

But even with every possible safety measure implemented and agonised over, ruling out a fire would be impossible. The ideal, least likely to catch fire building would be highly impractical and unaffordable to the extreme. Imagine a structure carved from a single piece of stone, moulded entirely in concrete – and crucially, filled with nothing but inert materials.

No wood, fabric, paper or plastic could enter the building, because they’d represent a fire risk. Even if you remove every element of accidental fire risk, there’s still malicious damage and arson to think about. Advertising a building as “completely fireproof” could serve as an invitation to test the claim out. A well-planned fire could damage and stress even the strongest stone structure, and water penetration could take decades to resolve.

A building made for the sole purpose of resisting fire would, of course, technically be safer than a standard build – but that safety gain would be at the expense of usability, design and just about everything else.

Achieving exemplary fire safety standards isn’t a case of removing all risks – because that’s not possible. It’s about good planning, excellent design and a proper fire strategy.

Fire curtains can be applied to any architectural design: office blocks, high rise buildings, retail environments, heritage buildings, airports – even high risk industrial facilities.

Built-in Fire Safety

Keeping fire at bay starts at the design stage. Compartmentation is an essential part of design – and it can still be achieved in an open-plan environment. Fire curtains make this possible by slowing the spread of fire down, protecting fire escapes for longer periods in the event of a fire.

Fire Curtains for Compartmentation

At Coopers Fire, we’re always developing, testing and improving our products. To find out more about our industry-leading fire curtains or to enrol in one of our educational training courses, call us on 02392 454 405.

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