It is important to keep our premises secured from many hazards like fires, intruders and vandals. Having a fire resistant roller shutter is very effective in achieving all these through a single fire protection device.
Fires can be extremely destructive, creating irreparable damages to properties and causing fatalities. With a fire resistant roller shutter incorporated as part of a fire protection plan, a building or premise can be deemed safer.
According to the Specification for Fire Shutters [SS 489: 2015] released by the Singapore Standard Council, there are well designed and creatively customized fire resistance roller shutters which can be used either externally or internally, securing your premises and also adding some aesthetics value to it.
What are Fire Resistant Roller Shutters?
Fire resistant roller shutters are fire protection entrance barriers that shields both properties and lives from flame and smoke hazards in the case of a fire incident. They control the spread of fire and smoke between two areas or compartments of a building, allowing safe egress.
Besides the fire rating, fire shutters differ from standard steel roller shutters in that the materials used for them are heavier and usually bulkier.
Fire shutters offer a very convenient and automated means of fire protection. It can be connected to the fire alarm system which instantly triggers it whenever a fire is detected. When not in use, they are kept well hidden inside their openings.
It is Not Only About Its Quality
It is also good to note that a fire roller shutter is only as effective as the structure supporting it. The supporting structure like the walls must also be made of fire protective elements with a fire resistance rating that is either equal to or greater than that of the fire roller shutter itself.
What is the Fire Rating?
This is the first and most important thing you need to consider. A fire shutter limits the spread of fire and slows down the destruction rate by isolating the affected areas. But for how long can a fire shutter keep out the flame? Usually, most fire shutters have a resistance period of between 30 minutes to 4 hours.
For places with a lower risk of fire, a 1-hour resistant fire shutter is often appropriate. However, in premises where there is a higher fire risk, it is advisable to select a shutter with a minimum of a 2-hour rating.
On What type of Wall should a Fire Resistant Roller Shutter be used?
Another important thing to note is that hollow and lightweight blocked walls are not suitable for holding the fire resistant fire shutter. Openings should preferably be made of masonry, dense concrete blocks or reinforced concrete materials with the fire resistance rating either the same with or more than that of the shutter.
Are you considering fitting the shutter on a steel wall? If so, you must ensure that the steel is adequately insulated and introduce thermal bridging mechanisms wherever there could be the possibility of a breach of insulation.
In addition to this, fixing a fire shutter on a fire-insulated timber partition is also possible. First, the timber partition must be built in such a way that it can conveniently carry the weight of the fire resistant roller shutter. Secondly, the partition should not be load-bearing.
Where will it be used?
This third factor is very important. Fire roller shutters can be used both internally and externally. External fire shutter can be used in places such as warehouses, domestic properties and offices, while the internal types can be used in areas like serveries and kitchens. Internal fire shutters tend to be costlier than external shutters.
There may be a need for a single premise to have fire shutters of a different rating. Shutters used internally always have higher fire ratings when compared with those used outside. This is to allow adequate time for egress into a safe place.
No matter your choice of fire roller shutter, you must ensure that they are professionally installed to suit your unique requirements. Quality maintenance and aftercare should also be given to the shutters. More importantly, note that even if you have a fire shutter installed, you must still call the fire service department when a fire occurs before the spread spirals out of control.