Foundation, Concrete and Earthquake Engineering

Why does Concrete Building Inherently Offer Fire Safety?

Dear reader in our previous post we have discussed about superiority of concrete over other construction material; here we also learn this term but in context of fire safety. When residential, commercial or industrial buildings are designed, human safety is one of the most important considerations and fire is a life threatening hazard. In Skyscrapers construction, evacuation during fire is critical consideration as a part of building safety.

Toxic fume from fire in steel building

In this regard concrete has records to perform well. Construction material like wood and plastic are combustible and in sometimes generate toxic fume when exposed to high temperature. Dear reader it should keep in mind that many people are died during fire not by burning but due to lack of oxygen or due to smoke.

Unlike above construction material concrete doesn’t release toxic fume and also incombustible. When compared to steel, even at 700~8000C temperature concrete shows adequate strength for considerable long periods. The time is important as evacuation or rescue operation can be done within this time.

Let us consider an example; in 1972 in Sao Paulo a 31 storied building (RCC frame) while maintenance work for structural integrity was exposed to fire of high intensity for more than 4 hours and the rescue operation had successfully finished within this time (saved over 500 persons).

Dear read in upcoming posts we will discuss fire performance of normal and high performance concrete and their microstructural behavior with high temperature.

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