What are the fire risks of facade cladding? How to cope with them?

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Facade cladding and fire safety: much has been written or told about this combination. When combustible materials are used for façade cladding or when materials are applied in the wrong way, there can be increased risks regarding fire safety.

But luckily, when you make the right choices, facade cladding can be a completely safe option. Knowing the facts will help you make the right decisions.

The risks of using combustible materials in facade cladding

If combustible materials are used in either the facade cladding or insulation, the impact can be very serious when a fire occurs in a high-rise or high-risk building. Combustible materials can add to the spread of smoke during a fire and increase the risk of spreading to another floor or room. Thus, the fire can spread and escape routes become impassable, trapping inhabitants in the building.

In addition to this, all combustible materials produce some amount of toxic smoke when they burn. The exact amount depends on the material, the amount of oxygen available and how long it burns. In sufficiently high concentrations over a long enough time, toxic smoke creates hazardous health conditions for people exposed to it. The inhalation of toxic smoke therefore causes more fire-related deaths than fires themselves.

When using facade cladding, make sure to use the right materials and have them applied in the correct way

A safe way of facade cladding

To be compliant with the highest standards of fire safety, non-combustible materials for facade cladding (and insulations) are always the best choice. Always install them in the correct way, in line with manufacturer guidelines. The best way to prevent risks is to ‘design them out’ completely. Therefore, only include non-combustible facade cladding materials in all phases of a construction project, from the creation of blueprints to the final construction of the building.

Any questions about safe constructions?

Everything you need to know about fire safe facade cladding

Are you an architect or contractor and would you like to get an in-depth presentation about fire safety in relation to facade cladding? We’d be happy to come to your office for a free, informative Lunch & learn CPD session about this topic.

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