Missing Hazards

Be aware of the hazards evolving inside your building

Society is changing leaving our buildings in the dark ages, and standards which are always retrospective, have yet to catch up. We live within an evolving age, for example, the desire for improvement means that modern vehicles contain more plastics, foam, composites, and even Lithium battery cells, than ever before.

In Liverpool, UK, a single-vehicle fire started in the Kings Dock multi-storey car park eventually destroying all 1,300 vehicles in the building, the fire brigade commented that the plastics, foam, and plastic fuel tanks used in modern vehicles contributed to the loss of the entire building. It is not an isolated incident either, a french study noted that losses from fires occurring car parks in recent years are increasing, and the New Civil Engineer magazine laments that the lessons from the King Dock fire still have not been learned.

Electric Vehicles

In addition to the plastic issue, the environmental agenda is driving wider adoption of Electric Vehicles (EV) consider a modern car park may house 100’s of electric vehicles with Lithium cells under one roof, a high density never before considered.

Melting PVC Cable

During a fire PVC conduit, PVC insulated electrical cabling without metal support [ http://www.kelcroft.com.hk/20200807-news-clips.htm ] allows cables to sag (premature collapse) possibly entangling and trapping firefighters who are work in complete darkness.

Cavity Wall Fire Barriers

In the event of a fire in a building with cavity walls, cavity fire barriers should be provided around openings to prevent the rapid and hidden spread of fire and smoke inside the cavity. However, the lessons of past failures have not been learned, with modern buildings still erected without cavity barriers.

Electrical Interference

The exponential growth of mobile devices, smart devices, and USB powered devices has been staggering, hardly a home or office does not have some type of mobile device. Yet these devices generate Direct Current (DC) and we know that DC interferes with the operation of the electrical safety devices, in turn increasing the risk of a building fire.

The Next Step

This raises a key question, are existing buildings really safe? What new hazards are present today in existing buildings?