Smoke control in buildings and garages

Ausschnitt der IFI-Stadt, Entrauchung und BrandversucheIn order to secure rescue and escape routes in the event of a fire and comply with defined protection targets, smoke extraction or protection measures such as smoke extraction systems or smoke protection pressure systems must be planned in accordance with regulatory and normative requirements. From a "second opinion" on an existing concept to an investigation using a physical model of your building or CFD simulations - we offer a wide range of services. Depending on your requirements, we work with you to decide which type of investigation is best suited to the planning of smoke extraction measures.

To check and approve the results, we carry out fire tests for you in accordance with the applicable German and international guidelines (RE-ING, RABT/EABT, VDI 6019, vfdb 14-02), paying considerable attention to any sensitive equipment of the premises.

Whether naturally or mechanically driven - smoke extraction measures must always be designed correctly and function safely, especially in complex buildings such as large halls, buildings with limited space or in unfavorable wind and weather conditions.

Our smoke extraction tests on physical or numerical models allow the determination of pressure ratios, air flows and air exchange rates and provide the necessary evidence of sufficient smoke extraction effectiveness in complex buildings and rooms, even with hybrid ventilation concepts. Carried out as numerical simulations, these investigations can also be used as the basis for evacuation simulations in accordance with DIN 18009-2.

A particular area of expertise of our institute is also aerodynamic smoke compartmentation, without which shopping malls or airport terminals would not be feasible in their size and possible uses.

Thanks to the mobile, gas-powered test device developed at I.F.I., we can simulate realistic fire events with a thermal output in accordance with the requirements of the applicable guidelines (RE-ING, RABT 2016, EABT 80/100) and our modern measurement and control technology allows us to run predefined event scenarios precisely, safely and quickly. If required, tests can also be carried out with gasoline as  fire agent.

Our services include in detail:

  • analysis of the ventilation system and the safety equipment with the aim of compiling problem-oriented test programs if required
  • test planning and execution in coordination with the client/operator
  • coordination of cooperation with the fire department and public institutions
  • evaluation of the test results
  • if required and depending on the assignment: evaluation and identification of optimization potential
  • documentation of the procedure and the results in a report including photos and videos

Fire and smoke tests in buildings can be required for many different reasons: to determine the fire detection time, for the acceptance of fire protection measures or to answer project-specific questions such as the effect of a high-pressure fog extinguishing system (HDNA) on the input of heat and smoke in the event of fire.

In addition to thermal outputs of up to 2 MW, we can also use our equipment to generate smaller fires with thermal outputs from 50 kw. The sensitive facilities of special, historic buildings are spared: for example, we were able to carry out fire tests in the National Council Chamber of the City of Bern.

After carrying out the successful tests, we prepare a report including photo and video documentation. If necessary, we also investigate which measures can improve fire protection with regard to acceptance.

For exercises with emergency services and first responders, it may occur that a realistic simulation of a fire incident with the formation of a low-smoke layer for example is not desired, but rather only the most complete possible smoke exposure. This is interpreted as a worst-case scenario, under which communication and orientation (e.g. with thermal imaging cameras) are to be practiced realistically.

Thanks to our many years of experience in simulating smoke in real fire tests, we can also meet this requirement with our large fog generators and, if necessary, the high-performance fog generators we have developed. At the same time, we offer the option of an extinguishable vehicle fire in order to provide the emergency services with the most complete training experience possible.