Fires are devastating. Losing your possessions is traumatic and a big blow financially. Trying to repair or replace the building is time-consuming and emotionally draining. Injuries to people or pets in the building and loss of life is completely horrendous. The simple truth is that more injuries and loss of life are due to smoke inhalation than those due to the flames of the fire. Smoke can also damage your belongings, some beyond repair. Having fire and/or smoke alarms and a sprinkler system will not stop the damage caused by smoke. You need to have a smoke control system as well. Here is a bit of information about them.
What Smoke Control Systems Do
Smoke control uses carefully planned exhaust and pressurization systems to force the smoke to move away from people and where it will do the least damage. They allow people and animals in the building more time to get out to fresh air and safety.
How it Works
As smoke detectors in the building are triggered, they send a signal to open certain windows or vents. This creates a draft of air that will pull the smoke to that area. Some systems will also have motion detectors so they do not create ventilation that cause smoke to rush to where people are. If a system uses pressurization it will release bursts of pressurized air to force the smoke to the desired areas. Large buildings usually have systems that utilize both types of controls.
Designing a Residential System
If you have a two or three-story home, having a smoke control system will help anyone on the upper floors get out of the building if there is a fire. A system designer will come to your house to map the layout so he or she can determine where to force the smoke. Because smoke rises quickly, the idea is to pull it from the house before it all gathers in the upper floors, suffocating anyone trying to get out. If the fire starts on an upper floor, the design will be such that it keeps enough fresh air available for as long as possible.
Although smoke control systems are mainly designed for large, commercial buildings such as high-rise apartments, offices, and hotels, you should consider one for your home. The better equipped your house is to deal with catastrophes, the better things will be when it is all over. In the case of a fire, you want to be sure everyone has the best chance possible to make it out unharmed.