Fire safety in construction has always been paid a great deal of attention, but nowadays its importance increases even more due to fires seen in densely populated metropolises in Europe and other parts of the world. For example, the cost of the Grenfell Tower fire in London in 2017 was 79 lives, not to mention the irreversible impact this tragedy had on all of the inhabitants of this block of flats. The disaster was caused by a fridge that caught fire, but the further spread of fire was stimulated by a combustible external cladding which failed to meet the standards.
Disasters like this make us think and act to improve the fire safety of buildings. According to statistics, around 2 million fires and resulting 4000 deaths are registered across Europe every year. These are numbers that we must cut down together. Although much has already been done, there is still more to do. The current situation varies between countries, but one thing is clear: the more developed a country is, the more regulations, standards and norms there are, imposing more strict fire safety requirements on buildings. Of course, an important role is also played by control mechanisms and harmonised and well-coordinated joint action policy in the field of fire safety.
Do Not Undervalue Fire Safety
Generally, 90% of our time is spent indoors, and various inflammable and combustible materials can be found in our homes more and more often. Remember — it takes just three minutes for fire to spread throughout a room. Therefore, the biggest challenge for fire safety is our ignorance of safety issues or even indifference to it. Our goal and task at Knauf is to encourage every single one of you to consider fire safety. It is no secret that the loss caused by fire considerably exceeds the investment in making buildings fireproof. Nowadays, fire safety cannot be ignored in any construction project and building site. This is another rather convincing reason for finding the best fire safety solutions available in the market and taking care of our safety both today and tomorrow.
‘One Stop Shop’ Trend
Knauf has always been active in the field of fire safety. Therefore, it is only natural that under the increasing topicality of fire protection, the experienced manufacturer of building materials also builds up its wide range of fireproof products, trains experts and offers expert consultations, as well as guarantees full service and documentation and fast delivery of products.
Photo: Baltic fires safety technology forum 2018, http://balticfireforum.eu/
Following visits to the trade exhibitions for preventive fire protection FeuerTRUTZ in Nürnberg and FIREX International in London, Artūrs Zeps, the Global Passive Fire Protection Strategy leader at Knauf, admits that one of the main trends in this industry is the merging of several small companies. Manufacturers, builders, constructors and other specialist companies consolidate to allow experts to go into every detail of joint fire protection and construction-related issues. This is primary for clients looking for complete services. The market needs a system that can allow clients to save time and money, by providing a full range of services and a reliable expert opinion at the same time.
Thanks to experience and thorough market research, Knauf as a leader in construction has created FireWin — a project that will provide clients with a complete range of fire protection solutions in 2019. “We focus on real-life situations in construction projects, taking into account the fire protection tasks we are carrying out, we recommend the most appropriate solutions and relevant materials for each client,” explains Artūrs Zeps.
According to the one stop shop principle, Knauf provides a wide range of interconnectable products, fast delivery, and the services of competent and experienced fire protection specialists. Actually, you can find Knauf consultants on fire safety in every European country already. One of the key advantages of Knauf is the availability of construction materials, as stock is constantly replenished in each European country. The company uses the most suitable materials and solutions and pays great attention to documentation, tests and systems of each object, to ensure clients’ construction objects comply with all fire safety standards both on paper and in reality. In addition, special client training will be provided soon.
Digitalisation in Fire Safety
Exhibitions in Germany and the United Kingdom, especially FeuerTRUTZ, showcased modern digitalisation trends, such as various applications, calculators and other electronic solutions, emphasising that they are widely available, easy to master and can be understood by both professionals and amateurs. Webinars another modern tool used for educating clients is increasing in popularity. FireWin keeps constant track of the most up to date trends and is working to improve the Knauf FireWin website. The practical and convenient Knauf FireWin application will be launched in 2019 allowing both our clients and employees to orientate themselves in the wide range of fire protection materials and find the ones best suited for them. All the solutions, products and instructions offered by FireWin will be soon just a click away!
Artūrs Zeps expects that in the future fire safety will be controlled and regulated even more, as it will be an integral part of any project. Thus, we invite you to start looking into the issues related to fire safety and to address Knauf FireWin specialists to find the offer most suitable for you!
Trust Knauf. Feel safe.