Lorient seals help save lives in tower block blaze
Lorient combined acoustic, smoke and fire seals were installed on the fire doors that helped to save lives when a major fire broke out in a high rise tower block in Whiteinch, Glasgow in the early hours of 27th February.
Dozens of fire-fighters tackled the blaze, which started on the eleventh floor of the twenty-storey block. High winds made the incident one of the worst tower-block fires that Strathclyde Fire & Rescue have had to deal with – but they praised the fire doors in the building for their vital role in holding back the flames. Group Commander Gerry Rooney, of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, said: “These doors certainly performed their function in exceedingly high heat. They stopped the fire spreading to other properties and allowed us to focus our resources on tackling the fire”.
The 30-minute fire doors, installed in August 2006 were manufactured and supplied by Pyramid Joinery and Construction Ltd, and were fitted with Lorient seals as an essential component of the fire-rated door assembly. These doors played a vital role in preventing the fire spreading to other flats; safeguarding human life, reducing damage to the building, and thus both disruption to residents and financial loss.
The evidence of the fire doors' effectiveness is quite dramatic. The flat where the fire broke out was extensively damaged – yet Fire Chiefs said that while some of the fire doors in the building may have been smoke damaged on the outside, in many tenants' homes there was little sign of the blaze
Martin Armstrong of Glasgow Housing Association said: “These doors played an important part in keeping our tenants safe and secure. They are specially designed in conjunction with police and fire authorities to offer the best possible protection in the event of a fire, as well as an excellent standard of security."
One resident remarked “I don't think any of us appreciated how effective the doors could be but they saved our lives”.
Fire doors and all passive fire protection products play a unique role in the fire safety of a building. Fire doors are constructed to hold back fire for a specific period of time; the intumescent seals perform by expanding to 5 - 10 times their original size in a fire, sealing the gaps around the perimeter of the door, and holding the door construction firmly in place. The whole assembly works as an integrated system to present an effective barrier to fire and hot smoke.
The combined Lorient seals installed in the Glasgow tower block also provide a permanent barrier to the passage of cold smoke, with the added benefit of acoustic containment too.
Lorient products are supported with a complete library of test evidence to prove their exceptional performance. With British Board of Agrément and CERTIFIRE certifications too, fitness-for-purpose and durability are assured.