Fires are a common threat to commercial spaces, which is why fire prevention systems are essential in building design and upkeep. While fire prevention systems work efficiently most of the time, there are ways to supplement them to ensure optimum safety in case of a fire.
While fire can be devastating, smoke can be deadlier. That's why smoke vents, also called smoke vent skylights, are an ideal way for commercial building designers and owners to fortify basic fire prevention systems.
What Are Smoke Vents?
Smoke vents are openings in a roof that vent smoke and heat in the event of a fire. Most modern smoke vents are a type of window or skylight that open automatically through sensor-based technology to release the heat and smoke.
Why Install Smoke Vents?
If the building is already on fire, it may seem excessive to worry about smoke damage before it's been put out. But post-fire damage isn't the only kind smoke can cause. Smoke that's trapped with no way out can make a fire more dangerous, especially if the building is occupied. Commercial building owners should consider including smoke vents among their other fire prevention systems because they can help:
Provide a Clear Route for Firefighters & Building Occupants
Typical fire evacuation protocol can involve occupants crawling to leave the building. This is because smoke floats up, so the safest space to breathe is closest to the floor. Smoke vents, which constantly eliminate thick smoke, can create more breathable room and better visibility inside the building as occupants evacuate. This also helps the firefighters by providing a clear pathway without thick smoke that could impede their movements and ability to extinguish the fire.
Minimize Damage to the Building
Smoke vents can also help slow down the spread of the fire, which can help reduce the damage to the building and assets inside. They do this by creating a natural vaccum that sucks air out of the building out through the open smoke vent. Fire cannot combust without oxygen, so this vaccum phenomenon helps extinguish the flames faster.
Bottom Line: Smoke vents protect a building and occupants from hazardous conditions and dangerous smoke inhalation. Investing in them increases fire safety precautions and provides occupants with peace of mind in their working, learning, and recovering environments.
VELUX Commerical Smoke Vents
When it comes to protection from heat and smoke, VELUX Commercial Smoke Vent Skylights are engineeered to perform perfectly when you need them most. VELUX Commercial offers two types of smoke vent skylights to meet the needs of a variety of commercial spaces.
Mechanical Smoke Vents
Smoke vents may not always be required by code, but when they are, VELUX Commercial Mechanical Smoke Vents help keep you compliant — and then some. These innovative dome skylights are lightweight, double-leaf smoke vents that exceed the UL 793 Standard. They open automatically in the event of a fire to release smoke and heat.
Shrink-Out Smoke Vents
For maximum safety and protection, VELUX Commercial Shrink-Out Smoke Vents do just that: they automatically contract (or shrink) and fall out to vent smoke in the event of a fire. This creates a larger opening and allows more smoke to escape. Shrink-Outs are UL tested and approvied, and available with or without integral insulated curbs. They are also available with 360° or 500° UL listed fusible links for specific venting control, which allows the units to be used with early suppression fast response (ESFR) sprinkler systems.