For more than ten years, fire safety engineering of smoke and heat exhaust (mechanical or natural) ventilation systems (SHEVS) has made it possible to validate, with numerical simulations of a real fire, innovative architectural concepts or specific arrangements for which the regulations cannot define standard technical provisions. Such numerical studies cannot, however, check the functionality of SHEVS. An effective method is to perform in-situ smoke tests, which does not involve real fires, which would put the building at risk, or cold smoke generators, which cannot characterise stratification.

In recent years Efectis has developed a methodology and specific tools to reproduce fires without endangering the buildings and the equipment in terms of temperature and dirt, while being relevant enough to assess the efficiency of the smoke extraction system.

These tests involve, on the one hand, producing smoke with standard smoke generators and, on the other hand, generating heat by using either propane burners with premixed flames that combust without smoke, or heptane pool fires that produce little smoke when combusted. Having been calibrated, the volume of smoke and the heat release rate can be quantified, depending on the use of building, the dimensions of the rooms and the location of the fires.

Thus the heat is generated in a controlled manner and without producing soot, while the smoke does not leave traces or odours behind.

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IStadium service road (Bordeaux)

Efectis has already successfully operated this approach in a lot of public buildings such as hospitals, offices, theatres, schools, museums, residences and car parks.

Contact: Gildas Auguin – gildas.auguin@efectis.com

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