Exhausting Smoke

Special exhaust systems that function only in fires are becoming more common. They use a combination of air velocity and air pressure to control smoke. Smoke exhaust systems work well in large-volume atriums, removing smoke at the ceiling and supplying fresh air below. They involve significant initial expense for special fans and smoke exhaust shafts.

Smoke exhaust systems remove toxic gases from refuge areas. They help firefighters by providing better air quality near the fire, and by creating air currents that help control the fire's direction. Exhaust systems remove unburned combustion gases and prevent backdraft or flashover smoke explosions. By creating higher pressure in refuge areas and lower pressures in fire zones, exhaust systems keep smoke out of refuges, even when the door is open. They also prevent the stack effect from overcoming smoke management efforts, and remove smoke after the fire is over.

Figure 42-5 Curtain board smoke barrier.

Curtain board -

Smoke

Open atrium

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