Whether you’re a property owner, developer, or anyone else responsible for fire safety in a building, it is essential that you understand the nature of intumescent strips and smoke seals.
Lots of people have no idea about the differences between the two items, and so this article will discuss that while highlighting the pros and cons of each.
There are instances in which you will want to use an intumescent strip, and there are situations where smoke seals are appropriate.
By the time you leave this page; you should know when it’s suitable to use either product.
Both items can save lives and protect people from injury, and so you shouldn’t click away before reading all the info below.
What is an intumescent strip?
An intumescent strip is a chemically designed product that helps to prevent the spread of fire and limit any smoke that travels from one area to another.
Property owners and developers place the intumescent strip around the frame of doors in their building. Through a chemical reaction, the strip will expand and fill any gaps in the door frame when it becomes exposed to extreme levels of heat.
The idea is that intumescent strips give people an extra few seconds to escape from a property before fire spreads or there is too much smoke.
Intumescent strips are ideal for apartment buildings and offices that have shared stairwells and fire escapes.
They could help to limit the chances of building damage while also making sure everyone can get out of the structure unharmed.
Why is an intumescent strip important?
Here are the primary benefits of using an intumescent strip on the doors in any property:
● It limits the chances of fire spreading from one room or area to another.
● It protects the building from extensive damage until the fire brigade arrives.
● It can reduce the level of smoke transferring from one area to another.
● It is not expensive, and it can save lives!
How is an intumescent strip different from a smoke seal?
While an intumescent strip is going to prevent a certain amount of smoke from moving between rooms during a fire, that is not the primary purpose of the product.
People who only use an intumescent strip are likely to have to deal with some level of smoke regardless of how well their strip kicks into action when the temperature rises.
However, an intumescent strip is excellent for locking away heat and giving people in the building an extra few seconds to escape while also protecting areas of the property that are not ablaze.
What is a smoke seal?
Smoke seals are straightforward products that perform much the same function as an intumescent strip. However, where the strip expands with heat, smoke seals prevent smoke from passing from one room to another.
They do that considerably more efficiently than an intumescent strip alone. Again, you have to place the items between the door and the frame on all sides.
If a fire ever occurs, the smoke seals will give people inside the property extra seconds to escape before the stairwells fill with black smoke.
In many instances, smoke seals are good enough to prevent any significant smoke damage to a building, and so you probably need to include them around the doors in your residential and non-residential properties.
Why is a smoke seal important?
You only have to take a look at some official statistics relating to fatalities caused by fire to understand why smoke seals are vital for all buildings with multiple occupiers.
It is widely accepted that smoke inhalation kills many more people than fires. Through the practical use of smoke seals, it’s possible to prevent those instances and ensure everyone can exit an office or block of flats without damaging their lungs or risking passing out.
Smoke seals are not expensive products to purchase, and so there is no excuse for not fitting them in all buildings where fires are likely to occur.
How is a smoke seal different from an intumescent strip?
Both smoke seals and intumescent strips go in the same places between doors and frames. The first difference you will notice is that smoke seals are always visible regardless of the position of the door.
Intumescent strips are a little more discrete in most instances, and so many people won’t even know they’re there.
Unlike intumescent strips that only work to expand and block heat, smoke seals also help to stop any unwanted fumes from transferring from one place to another.
That means there is less chance that someone will suffer smoke inhalation and end up in the hospital.
Should I use smoke seals and intumescent strips together?
Yes! It’s sensible to use both smoke seals and intumescent strips together when you ensure your fire doors are as robust and offer as much protection as possible.
You can also purchase hygienic seals that are easy to clean and will remain in excellent condition until you need to use them.
Fire, smoke, and draught seals are a little different because they use a blade instead of a nylon brush. However, they tend to work well too.
Utilising both smoke seals and intumescent strips together will give the people in the building the best chance of escaping without injury if something goes wrong and you face a fire issue.
You should now have a reasonable understanding of the differences between an intumescent strip and a smoke seal. Use this information to ensure anyone using a building you own is as safe as possible from fire risks.
Blocking smoke and heat around door frames could give people extra seconds to get out of the property without sustaining an injury or hurting their lungs.
Smoke inhalation is a severe issue that is more likely to kill than the fire itself. People can pass out and leave themselves unable to get out of harm’s way if you fail to seal the doors and prevent smoke from moving from one area to another.
Be sure to use these products on all fire doors for the best outcomes, and most of the other doors too.
TEK Interiors Ltd conducts thorough fire door inspections, installations, maintenance & consulting in Essex and the surroundings areas.
We provide a FREE initial report with a no obligation quotation – get in touch with us today!