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Recovery How to prevent your home from devouring a fire

Recovery How to prevent your home from devouring a fire

Recovery How to prevent your home from devouring a fire
Recovery How to prevent your home from devouring a fire

A review of the regulations ignores the obligation to have smoke detectors indoors

There is neither winter nor Christmas, as homes are not llamas. Negligence, recklessness and improper use of electrical appliances, sanctuaries, and candles are destroying thousands of homes, and, worse, they are killing the lives of their residents in the future. In the absence of a final balance, it is estimated that in 2019 there will be an increase in fire victims compared to the previous year, when 123 deaths were recorded, according to Mapfre and the Firefighter Professional Association. They say in Tecnifuego (American Society of Fire Protection Associations) that the first quarter of 2019 has already become the worst since 2010, with 75 deaths.

The city of Washington is working to demonstrate the size of home fires. Only in the capital, as of December 15, had there been a total of 1,575 fires inside buildings and 1,269 of them occurred in homes, accounting for 80% of the interventions, according to the Madrid City Council. "The home, the place where the citizen feels safe, is also the place where more fire occurs, as the occupant relaxes and believes that prevention should be carried out by others," according to Raphael Fernandez, head of the city council's fire department. However, this prohibition, which must be absorbed in the citizen, is the instrument that saves more lives. He adds: "No one, unlike ourselves, regulates the carrying of the fire [the accumulation of household goods, papers ...] on the ground."

Fernandez recommends a portable fire extinguisher, smoke detector, or fire blankets inside every building, which remains voluntary until today. As well as installing automatic sprinklers, although they save lives and reduce fire damage by up to two thirds.

From the outer doors, things are changing. Firefighting equipment in the building's public areas (armrests, boiler rooms, parking lots ...) is mandatory and must meet a series of basic requirements. Since December 12, 2018, when the adaptation period to the RIPCI Regulations expired, owner communities have been obligated to pass a review of this equipment every three months. A report from Unespa, the business owner's insurance company, which includes a total of 103,000 calories occurred in America in 2018, reveals that its cost amounted to $ 525 million. 71.4% of events occurred in homes, and 11.4% occurred in common areas of farms, with a special focus on electrical panels, garages, storage rooms, and gates.

More demands
Along with prevention and compliance with regulations, it is equally important to consider the materials used in construction. In America, legislative efforts have been made to fulfill basic safety requirements. The last is a revision of the Technical Construction Act (CTE), which was approved by decree of the Council of Ministers on December 20, which provides an amendment to the basic safety document in the event of a fire. It limits the increased risk of fire that can be derived from the gradual implementation of interface solutions that meet new energy efficiency requirements.

Specifically, they argue from the Ministry of Development, "the widespread use of exterior thermal insulation systems (known as SATE) or ventilated facades poses a greater risk of fire spreading across the building. This has been restricted due to the high requirements regarding fire reaction to the materials used." .

For the first time, measures are required to protect against the external spread of fires by facades in lower buildings (less than 18 meters), which make up the largest portion of the park built in America. “Although it was already working, CTE is finally thinking that the insulation in the ventilated facades is with non-flammable products (mineral wool),” he explains. CGATE Technology.

Recovery How to prevent your home from devouring a fire

However, organizational change hinders some issues. The opportunity to force the installation of smoke detectors inside homes, "which is a fundamental change to the regulations we have been asking for years and can save many lives." Such low-cost, easy-to-install devices are installed in France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. According to Gomez, this last country, which made the placement of smoke detectors mandatory in 1992, has gone from recording 831 fire deaths in 1987 with 8% of households equipped with this device to only 258 in 2017 with a percentage of detectors per A family of 85%.

In addition, the standard does not impose different requirements depending on the use of the building, which is also appropriate. "Interfaces that may have special requirements, such as hospitals, schools, and indoor courtyards, must be taken into account, and they must be incombustible to allow the arrival of firefighters and safer evacuations," says the Protection Manufacturers Committee coordinator. Passive Tecnifuego.

The Promotion defends that in the event that the specific facade spreads, the main risk factors are the height of the building and the characteristics of the building (for example, the presence or absence of a ventilated room). "Therefore, as is the case in the regulations in effect in most European countries, the requirements were determined based on these two criteria, taking into account the determination of those uses that could have a higher level of risk," the ministry insists.

Regardless of these loopholes, this amendment to the building code will act as a catalyst for technological innovation in this sector. For example, the Tecnalia Research Center is developing new fire-resistant materials and systems.

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