Smoke and Access


Why natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust

Ventilations Systems (SHEVS)?

Smoke control systems create and maintain a smoke-free layer above the floor, or help to reduce smoke and heat build-up, by removing smoke and hot gases released by a fire in the development stage. In doing this, smoke control systems help to:

  • keep escape and access routes free from smoke
  • facilitate firefighting operations
  • delay and/or prevent flashover and thus full development of the fire
  • protect equipment and furnishings
  • reduce thermal effects on structural components during a fire
  • reduce damage caused by thermal decomposition and hot gases.

The use of smoke control systems has become widespread. Their value in assisting in the evacuation of buildings, reducing fire damage and financial loss by preventing smoke build up, facilitating firefighting, reducing roof temperatures and retarding the lateral spread of fire is firmly established. For these benefits to be realised, however, it is essential that smoke control systems operate fully and reliably whenever called upon to do so during their installed life.

EN 12101-2

From 1st July 2013 it became mandatory for all manufacturers to draw up a Declaration of Performance and apply CE Marking to all construction products covered by a harmonised European Standard (hEN). Because smoke vents are life-saving devices they classify as Level 1 under EN12101-2, which stringently regulates the manufacture and sale of these products. They must meet criteria in the following six areas: determination of aerodynamic free area; reliability; opening under load; low ambient temperature; wind load; and heat exposure.