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Concrete Furniture and Fire Prevention

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Structural Fire Prevention

A building is always exposed to the danger "fire". The task of planners and architects is to already consider fire protection or a possible fire in the design phase, because the prevention of a fire is as important as the actual firefighting by the fire department in an emergency.

While the fire brigade intervenes only when a structure is already burning, the structural fire protection should contribute to ensuring that fires do not occur at all or are confined to spaces as narrow as possible. Therefore, components, structures and, at best, the furniture must be able to withstand a fire to a certain extent.

The materials used in the construction and interior design and their fire behavior (flammable / non-combustible) have a significant impact on the fire. The risk potential present in the building depends primarily on fire loads. They significantly influence the course of a fire.

Fire Protection through concrete

In order to safeguard general security and, of course, from an economic point of view, meaningful structural fire protection must meet the following protection goals:

• Personal protection
• Property protection of buildings that have fallen victim to fire or adjacent buildings
• Environmental protection by minimizing the resulting smoke, toxic gases and contaminated extinguishing water.

When using components or furniture made of concrete, it is possible to build residential buildings in such a way that all three protection goals are achieved simultaneously.

What does concrete do in case of fire?

According to DIN EN 13501 part 1, building materials are classified in fire behavior classes. Concrete, as a mineral building material, meets the requirements of fire protection class A 1 because it is effectively non-combustible.

This means that it does not ignite under the temperatures that usually occur in the event of a fire.

In a natural fire, temperatures of up to 1,000 ° C may arise. Which properties does the material concrete develop in this case? :

• Concrete remains largely solid
• Concrete does not contribute to the fire load
• Concrete does not increase the fire
• Concrete does not smoke
• Concrete does not release toxic gases.

These positive properties of concrete allow planners and architects to create safe buildings for the building owner against fire hazards.

Fire behavior of concrete furniture

In terms of fire behavior, concrete can generally be classified in building material class A1 without further proof.

There are two bases for this classification:

1. According to the decision of the European Commission 96/603/EG on October 4th, 1996 all concrete products, including ready-mixed concrete, precast concrete elements and prestressed concrete products are classified in class A1 (no contribution to fire), provided that they do not exceed 1% (weight - or in terms of volume) contain homogeneously distributed organic material.

2. According to DIN 4102-4:2016-05, concrete, even with the usual proportions of mortar and concrete additives, is assigned to building material class A1 according to DIN 4102-1:1998-05. This classification is also used in line A2.2.1.3 of the model management regulation Technical Building Regulations Edition 2017-1.

For Germany, both classifications are based on the fact that the concrete complies with the European and national concrete standards DIN EN 206 (currently DIN EN 206-1:2001-07) and DIN 1045-2:2008-08 and that the concrete components consist exclusively of reinforced or unreinforced concrete. Unless standardized starting materials are added to the concrete, e.g. on the basis of a general building inspectorate approval, the restrictions from the approval for fire behavior may have to be taken into account. This applies in particular to organic substances.

Fire safe furniture from CO33

Compliance with the normative requirements for the concrete we use results from our certification documents (certificate according to DIN EN 206-1 and DIN 1045-2).

The raw steel we use for our table frames corresponds to fire protection class A. Commercial paint and powder coatings are not suitable for fire protection. For this reason, our table frames can be provided with a powder coating specially approved for fire protection, if required, to protect them from rust.

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Jessica Cram
International Sales & Marketing Assistant

Mail: shop@co33.de