(Gloucestercitynews.net)(August 27, 2020)--A ventilation system is a critical feature of every building or structure. Residential properties, commercial establishments, public buildings, and offices all need efficient and effective ventilation for safety and comfort. Most importantly, it's vital to control smoke in case of fire. And contrary to what most people assume, fire isn't the primary cause of death in these emergencies. Smoke inhalation causes more than 50% of fire-related deaths. Also, without a way for smoke to escape, firefighters have a harder time controlling the flames and risk their lives in the process.
There are three different types of ventilation systems used in constructing buildings. Each kind has unique features and benefits, which we'll discuss further in this article. Learning about each system's differences is essential in deciding which option is most suitable for your business or home.
Natural ventilation system
Let's start with the most basic type of ventilation used in buildings. Natural ventilation relies on air flowing in and out of openings such as windows, doors, and vents. This type of ventilation is most commonly used for residential and other low-level establishments. You can add a smoke control system that best fits the natural ventilation installed in your property. For instance, you can have electric window openers for easy control. These openers may be paired with smoke sensors that will automatically activate when there's a fire.
Natural ventilation systems are cost-effective and low-maintenance. They maximise the benefit of cold air flowing inside the building and pushing warm air out. When there's smoke from a fire, the cold air will naturally allow the smoke to dissipate and escape through openings. It's easier to escape the buildings and put out the fire when there's no smoke filling hallways and exits.
Mechanical ventilation system
For larger buildings, natural ventilation is typically coupled with a mechanical system. When a fire breaks out, fans automatically activate to push smoke out and force clean air inside. This system is most efficient in removing smoke from large areas and multi-storey establishments. A mechanical system will ensure that a highly-populated building can evacuate all occupants within a short period to reduce accidents and mortality during a fire.
Smoke ventilation system
A smoke ventilation system is typically installed in rooftops, stairwells, and corridors. This type of system is reliable as it's a feature added to enhance fire safety. In addition to the other two types of ventilation systems, this system further reduces the possibility of smoke inhalation. When a fire breaks out, smoke and heat will naturally rise up. Hence, having openings and shafts placed in higher areas of the building will facilitate smoke escape and dissipation. If the building is low-level, a smoke ventilation system may be controlled with automatic window openers and manual window openers.
There are many commercial establishments that make use of a smoke ventilation system. Examples include hospitals, schools, restaurants, and hotels. Although any type of building, whether low or high-rise, should consider adding smoke ventilation as an extra precaution for fires and other related emergencies.