Developments in the production of fire protection materials are directed to improve the resistance of the materials against high flames. However, in several cases of extreme fires, these materials are unable to control its spread. At times, the presence of organic constituents in these materials often adds to the combustion levels. The Grenfell tower fire tragedy made it to the most devastating news of 2017 and raised concerns on the efficacy of fire protection materials used in the building. Months after the incident, several leading investigation agencies in the UK revealed that the key cause for the fire outbreak was the cladding systems that were added when the tower was refurbished after 2009. People across the globe became concerned about the risks of working in similarly-clad buildings. As a result, the demand for advanced and high-grade fire protection materials propelled, and several companies began developing new solutions to avert such calamities.
In the wake of recent disastrous calamities caused by the use of ineffective fire protection materials, manufacturers are becoming more cautious in terms of their development. After the Grenfell tower fire in London, a US-based company has developed a new tool that will make the buildings safer and create new materials for fire protection. In the years to come, such developments will have a significant influence in fostering the growth of the global fire protection materials market.
A Risk Evaluation Tool for Fire Protection Materials
According to the recent news, the National Association of State Fire Marshals, based in the US, has developed a new tool through its research foundation. The organization has created a matrix from fire protection materials, which can evaluate the intensity of fires and assess the risks involved with it. The development of this new risk evaluation tool is likely to influence the selection of fire protection materials used in cladding systems. Combustible exterior panelling of the cladding systems, which factored the Grenfell tragedy, will be rectified with the help of this tool. Firstly, the matrix will be used to evaluate the potential risk of such panels in claddings across the buildings in the US. The Risk Evaluation Matrix will consider parameters such as building’s occupancy, height, and exposure to combustible materials while gauging the risks to fire outbreaks.
Assessment of Risks may Save Lives of Millions
According to the officials that contributed to this research project, a tool that assesses the risks can save the building from catching fires, even in worst case scenarios. Data procured from the assessment tool can rev up the work of fire marshals in alerting the building owners and occupants. New fire safety systems will be deployed and conventional fire protection solutions such as sprinklers will be improved. Interior and exterior spaces of the buildings will be encased with fire protection materials, and the presence of synthetic materials will be discarded to the fullest.
With the emergence of such tools, the attitude of people towards the effectiveness of fire protection materials will change. In the near future, more buildings in the US will be cladded with fire protection materials developed on the new Risk Evaluation Matrix.