• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss about the ways how the number of injuries and deaths can be reduced by careful selection of materials in the construction of buildings in case of a fire.

Extracts from this document...


Introduction Fire can be very useful; however it can also be very hazardous at times. The table below shows the number of injuries and deaths in the UK in 2002. Fire incidents 519, 400 Death toll 562 Injuries 16, 595 Population 5, 991, 200 Table 1 Fire can start anytime and anywhere. It can be either accidental or intentional. In both circumstances, safety of people counts. This essay will therefore discuss about the ways how the number of injuries and deaths can be reduced by careful selection of materials in the construction of buildings. Materials such as concrete, clay bricks, gypsum plasterboard, steel, wood and glass can now be used as fire resistant for longer period of time. However, these materials must be reinforced so that they can prevent a fire from spreading further, at least for some time. This essay will discuss about the behaviour of these materials. It will also include ways of how they can be improved. However, it will not talk about safety devices such as fire sprinklers, heat and smoke detectors or fire doors. As these cost a lot, they are only used in multi-storey buildings and not in domestic houses. Concrete Concrete is used in building for several reasons which are normally to speed up construction, for architectural appearance and even because it costs less. However, the main benefit of using concrete in the construction of houses and buildings is its fire fighting feature. ...read more.


Complete dehydration occurs at an approximate temperature of 210 oC - 300 oC. This process is called calcination. It is very dangerous as the gypsum will tend to crack. Hence, glass fibre and vermiculite are used to provide a much better resistance to fire. Glass fibre tends to expand when exposed to high temperatures. The role of vermiculite is to lowers the rate of calcination. Thus, this process prevents the plasterboard from shrinking and gives it more strength. These addictives can help to save many people from getting injured or losing life during a fire. Steelwork www.crosbie-casco.co.uk/crosbie/i/largesite.jpg Unprotected steelwork normally reduces its strength by half when subjected to temperatures of 500 o C - 550 o C. Therefore, it is very vulnerable to fire. Steel is also known for its good thermal conductivity, which is a very dangerous property when a fire breaks in a building. However, steel is vital in construction. To sort out the problem of conductivity, steel structural assemblies are protected by insulating materials. Other structural materials such as brick or concrete can be used; however this is a very expensive method. The most commonly used insulator is intumescent paints. These are available in liquid form and are usually sprayed using airless spray equipment. Smaller areas are rolled or brushed. Only a thin layer is to provide insulation and they are durable materials. ...read more.


These are ceramic glasses and normal glasses which are conducted with protective treatments such as vinyl film sun shades and aluminium foil. The application of aluminium foil in the exterior panel of glass is a very effective treatment, as the shiny surface of the aluminium foil reflects the radiant heat, hence keeping the window relatively cool. Compared to aluminium foil, ceramic and vinyl glasses are not that effective. They can nevertheless be used for windows in the upper floors of buildings. Conclusion Hence, for the maintenance of safety during a fire, fire - resisting materials should be used either in their natural or reinforced form. Construction materials such as concrete, clay bricks, gypsum plasterboard, steel, timber or wood, plastic or glass must be thoroughly used. Also some of these stuffs such is timber as quite costly, however when the question on safety arises, someone's life is seemed to be more precious than these materials. Thus, taking all these materials and their fire-resisting properties into account, they must be used in the construction of buildings as they provide adequate safety. Reference List: * B. H. Jones, Performance of Gypsum Plasterboard Assemblies Exposed to Real Building Fires, University of Canterbury. * A.C Parnell and E.G Butcher, Smoke Control in Fire Safety Buildings, E. & F. N. Spon, 1979. * G J Langdon-Thomas, Fire Safety In Buildings Principle and Practice, A. & C. Black,1972. * Malhotra H.L, Design of Fire -Resisting Structures, Surrey University Press, 1982. * W. Grosshandler, Fire Resistance Determination and Performance Prediction Research Needs Workshop: Proceedings, 2002. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Resistant Materials section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Resistant Materials essays

  1. The Evidential Value of Glass Fragments.

    GRIM is an example of phase contrast microscopy in which a piece of glass is immersed in silicone oil. Using a microscope, upon immersion in silicone oil (of known refractive index), and a light source the glass is examined and on the edges of the glass a corona effect is observed.

  2. The task has been set to make a hole punch (used to punch holes ...

    I will also ask the group their preferred colour. ?= Pass ??= Fail Child Weight (grams) Yeargroup/Gender 100 400 700 1000 1300 1600 Year 7 / Female ? ? ? ? ? ? Year 7 / Female ? ? ? ? ? ? Year 7 / Male ? ? ? ? ? ? Year 7 / Male ? ?


    Bed thickness in drying trays is normally not a factor if kept below 1inch(2.5cm). The type of Nylon affects the initial moisture level and drying rate and hence the drying time, but this problem has not been carefully quantified because the degree of variation has not been a significant factor with the currently available aliphatic.

  2. My aim of this experiment is to recognize which material is the greatest sound ...

    I put my skill in this experiment, where I carefully had constructed the cardboard box so it was air tight, and had also carefully attached each insulating layer to another using cello tape ensuring that no damage was caused. Further, I perceive I had used my skill to the full


    7 frames @ 8 metre centres or 9 frames @ 6 metre centres were two possible arrangements. After quite some discussion we opted for the 7 frames @ 8 metre centres. Dimensions: Wall 7 frames @ 8m Spacing from top 0.95m, 1.8m, 1.8m & 0.95m Roof 7 frames @ 8m

  2. Investigation into the physical properties of glass.

    It isn't the glass that is bulletproof; a layer of tough transparent polycarbonate is embedded in the middle of two pieces of annealed or tempered glass. The manufacturing process of inserting the polycarbonate is called lamination. After lamination the glass is obviously quite a bit thicker than the ordinary glass

  1. Stretching Materials

    The weight will stay the same through so that there is only one variable. For the variable of length we chose a range beginning at 2cm, adding 2cm to this length each time until the material is a length of 20cm.

  2. ORMOCER®s - A new class of polymeric material.

    that connect crosslinking sites (spacer length), and the functional groups present in the polymer. The hardness of type III ORMOCER(r)s is greatly influenced by both of the above factors. By using polymerizable organic monomers which crosslink at increasingly more sites, the Young's modulus is increased.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work