Stairwells have better fire ratings than the rest of the building. In new buildings stairs are entirely built of concrete. So people can get out when the rest of the building is on fire, as stairways don't burn.
Even if the stairways does not burn, it can still fill up with smoke very quickly as stairs can mimic chimney shafts. When smoke enters a stairway it makes it harder to see and breathe as one is trying to get away from a fire. It’s important to keep the smoke out of stairways to allows residents to escape and firefighters to battle the fire.
The problem is, as people are escaping the fire, they have to open the door to the stairway. When the door is open, smoke rushes in and prevents the stairway from being used by later escapees.
The idea behind the stair pressurization is that during a fire the stairway should have more pressure than the rest of the building. That way, when the doors open, the higher pressure in the stairwell pushes the smoke back onto the floor, keeping the escape route clear of smoke.
Both the NYC Department of Buildings and the FDNY require that stair pressurization systems be inspected and tested every six months. Required Documents for High-Rise Inspections | Fire Safety Directors Association of Greater New York
Citywide Fire Sprinkler is your one-stop shop for all your compliance needs. Our staff is one of the most experienced in the industry. We'll perform the test and be able to issue the required certification for you stairwell pressurization system.
High-rise buildings and supertall towers are our specialty.
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