What is fire protection?
The aim of fire protection is to prevent fires and avoid possible fire damage. This includes both property damage and personal injury. A distinction is made here between defensive measures,such as the use of the fire brigade to extinguish fires, and preventive measures,which prevent or counteract the onset of a fire.
For the planning of a building, preventive fire protection measures are particularly taken into account. Architects, planners and design engineers develop a fire protection concept before constructing a building. For this purpose, necessary measures are planned which are necessary to prevent a fire.
Preventive fire protection is divided into three categories:
- Organizational fire protection
- Structural fire protection
- Mechanical fire protection
Organizational fire protection
The tasks of organisational fire protection are the responsibility of the fire protection officer and the fire protection assistants. The fire protection officer is responsible for drawing up fire protection plans and checking fire safety. The essential components include training on the correct behaviour in the event of a fire, as well as regular test reports on the situation of escape routes and the testing of fire extinguishers.
Structural fire protection
Structural fire protection comprises all planning, structural and constructive measures to prevent a fire and to ensure the stability of a structure in the event of a fire. The first protection goal in the "Musterbauverordnung" (MBO) is therefore defined:
"Structural works shall be designed, arranged, built, modified and maintained in such a way that public safety or order, in particular life or health, are not endangered". (§ 3 MBO)
In addition, these safety measures are intended to ensure the rescue of people and the safe operation of the fire brigade.
Mechanical fire protection
The mechanical fire protection of buildings is the possibility to minimize dangers without influencing the construction.
– Use of building materials with a high fire resistance
– smoke detectors
– smoke ventilation systems
– Smoke dampers or throttle valves
– fire protection enclosure
– Fire extinguishing by sprinkler systems
– Powder extinguishing systems
Fire protection in plant engineering is becoming more and more important and, in combination with structural fire protection, is essential in the planning of new buildings. New fire protection solutions and technologies allow more possibilities to retrofit old buildings, historical or listed buildings with technical fire protection without influencing the building fabric.
Dangers due to fire loads
In the event of a fire, the necessary corridors and stairwells serve the building users as a structural escape route and the fire brigade as an attack route for fire-fighting and rescuing people. A considerable amount of highly toxic fire smoke is generated by the fire load introduced. Monitors, projectors, etc. and their cable supply lines represent such dangerous fire loads that can considerably restrict the use of escape routes in the event of a fire. Causes of fire are, for example, hot power supply units which, in the event of defects or short-circuits, can quickly lead to smoke development and thus to smoking of the escape routes.
The legislator in Germany has issued various standards for this, which serve as a basis for us and form the framework for our developments.