Fire is a danger to all buildings and today I'd like to discuss how it is possible to design fire out of buildings or to reduce the possibility of a fire causing serious damage. So, let's look at the diagrams and see how the fire risks in buildings can be minimized.
In the first diagram, we can see a steel external fire escape. This type of fire escape is very popular but they tend to be dangerous in wet or icy conditions. People escaping from a fire may slip and injure themselves. A better solution is a fully enclosed fire escape set apart from the main building.
The next diagram shows that in this building the architect has forgotten about emergency vehicle access. In this case the fire brigade will have to fight the fire from the street. As it is a large building, there is a strong possibility that they will not be able to put it out.
Now look at the diagram of the stairs and the lift shaft. If there is a fire, people will probably need to use the stairs to escape. Consequently, these areas should always be clad with fire resisting materials.
Many buildings contain escalators. Fires tend to spread upwards through them and a small fire is far more likely to become a large one. To prevent this, fire resistant roller shutters should be used to cover the top of the escalator when a fire starts.
The next diagram shows a steel door holding back a fire. In this situation, the doorcan become an efficient heat radiator. The chances that the heat from the door will ignite combustible materials nearby are high. Therefore, all combustible materials should be kept at a safe distance from a steel fire door.
11. Look through the passage again and for each pair of diagrams take notes on:
1. the design mistake
2. the possible event resulting from the mistake
3. the action needed to correct the design mistake
Now use these notes to make paragraphs like this:
External fire escapes can become wet and icy. As a result, people may slip and injure themselves when escaping from a fire. Therefore, if it is possible, a fire escape should be enclosed and protected from the weather.
Read the text.
Concrete must be hard, strong, durable, dense, non-porous, fire resisting and economical.
Concrete has proved to be durable when made of good materials, well mixed, and properly cured. Failures can be found in concrete work, but the trouble is usually caused by poor material, faulty foundations, lack of knowledge of the properties of concrete or poor workmanship. For example, some cements will give better results in sea water than others. This fact had to be established by experience and experiments.
It is more difficult to secure durable reinforced concrete than mass concrete. This is due to the reinforcing steel and the additional water required to make the concrete flow around the steel bars. When moisture reaches the steel, it will rust and the expansion caused by the rust will crack the concrete, resulting in an unsightly structure and necessary repairs. Inall structures exposed to the weather the reinforcing steel must be carefully placed and well secured so that it cannot be displaced while concreting. No metal should project to the surfaces. Small wires will soon cause rust spots on the surface of the concrete if they are exposed,
Concrete, to be durable, must be made of good materials, uniform in quality, mixed with a minimum amount of water, and properly placed and protected while curing. Concrete exposed to sea water and the rise and fall of water levels, especially in cold climates where ice forms on the structures, requires special attention in the selection of the cement, aggregates, mixing, placing and curing.
With the use of dense aggregates the proportions which will produce the densest products are generally those which contain the maximum amount of coarse aggregate and still contain enough fine aggregate to produce a smooth surface. With porous aggregates used in the production of light weight units, the amount of material in the mix passing a 50-mesh sieve is generally limited and in addition more of the coarse aggregate is used to produce a unit of less density and lower weight. This is generally desirable for light weight units except where fire resistance or watertightness are important.
The strength of plain concrete depends upon the quality of the cement, the strength and character of the aggregate, the quantity of cement in a unit of volume, and the density of the concrete. The strongest concrete is that containing the largest amount of cement in a given volume of concrete, the strength of the concrete varying directly as the amount of cement. With a given quantity of cement in a unit of volume, the strongest concrete is that in which the aggregates are proportioned so as to give a concrete of the greatest density that is of the greatest weight per unit of volume. The strength of concrete also depends upon the methods used in mixing, upon the care taken in measuring the ingredients, and in mixing and in placing the concrete. Concrete exposed to the air hardens more rapidly than protected concrete. The setting of cement is a chemical change brought about by the addition of water to the cement, the strength increasing very rapidly the first few days, after which the mixture slowly hardens and increases in strength.
Concrete has poor elastic and tensional properties, but it is strong in compression. Its tensile strength is only one tenth of its compressive strength. The compressive strength of plain concrete varies between wide limits, depending upon the cement, the proportions of cement and aggregates, and the methods of mixing, and depositing, and the age.