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What Is Fire?

Fire is often depicted using the 'Fire Triangle' or 'Combustion Triangle', which is a simple model for understanding the 3 elements necessary for most fires to exist. This model simply illustrates that in order for a fire to ignite and burn, three elements are required: Oxygen, Heat and Fuel.

Fire Triangle

A fire naturally occurs when all three elements are combined at the right mixtures, but can be prevented or extinguished by removing any single one of them:

  • Remove the fuel
  • Exclude the oxygen
  • Remove the heat source

Active Fire Protection

Active Fire Protection devices and systems are reactive and require a certain amount of motion and response in order to work. This type of fire protection is installed additionally to the structure of a building. There are two types of active fire protection:

Fire Suppressants

These devices and systems are used to control or extinguish a fire that has already ignited. Examples of active fire suppressants include fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems and gaseous cleaning agents.

Fire Detectors

These devices and systems detect the existance of a fire by locating the smoke, flame or heat, and an audible alarm is sounded to alert people to evacuate the building.

Active Fire Protection

Passive Fire Protection

Passive Fire Protection attempts to contain fires and limit/slow their spread throughout a building, through use of devices such as fire resistant walls, doors and floors. Unlike with active fire protection, passive fire protection systems do not require turning on, or power, gas or water to operate. They are always 'on' (cannot be turned 'off') and are inherent to the structure of a building. In the event of a fire, passive fire protection systems can contain the spread of both fire and smoke.

Passive Fire Protection

Typical passive fire protection products include intumescent sprays and paints, for example Nullifire and Thermoguard, and fire boards, for example Flamebreaker and Lafarge, which when combined together can provide a passive fire protective system. The fire protective qualities of these systems are tested according to three key criteria:

  • Stability (R) - The protected loadbearing element fulfills its function during the requested time
  • Integrity (E) - The system does not allow spread of fire or hot gasses during the requested time
  • Insulation (I) - The temperature increase of the not exposed side of the system remains under set limited during the requested time

A Durasteel fire protection system independently meets all of these criteria by combining lightness, strength, impact, blast resistance and durability with exceptional fire resistance in one product.

Durasteel systems are installed all across the world providing premier passive fire protection in many diverse areas, including airports, distribution and storage warehouses, power stations, petrochemical plants, tunnels and rail stations.