Today, stairwells have better fire resistance than the rest of the building. In other words, stairwells do not burn so that people can get out while the rest of the building burns. When a fire breaks out in a building, the stair pressurization fan forces fresh outside air into the stairwell to prevent smoke from blocking the escape route.

What are Stair Pressurization Fans

In the event of a fire in a high-rise building, a stair pressurization fan (SPF) uses fresh outdoor air to pressurize the air in the stairwell. The pressurized air also helps people to escape from the fire and firefighters to fight the fire. ERF Group products are highly professional and state-of-the-art in this regard.

What are Stair Pressurizing Fans?

Stair pressurization ensures that the stairwell has more pressure than the rest of the building during a fire. In this way, when the doors open, the high pressure in the stairwell pushes the smoke back to the floor and clears the escape route of smoke.

The smoke-free escape route also serves as a smoke-free entryway for firefighters fighting fires. It opens automatically when the fire alarm system detects smoke. While firefighters are fighting the fire, if the fire alarm system has not switched on the staircase pressurization fans, they are activated by the firefighters.

As people flee the fire and open doors to reach the stairs, smoke will naturally rise from the fire floor towards the stairwell. ERF Group stair pressurization systems pressurize the air in the stairwell, with the stair pressurization fan pushing the smoke back to the floor and away from the stairwell.

Stair Pressurization Functions

The functions of pressurization are to prevent the entry of smoke into fire stairs and elevators, to provide human access to a fire-free environment and to provide the firefighter with a suitable transportation route.

According to the regulation on fire protection of buildings other than residential buildings, if the height of the staircase bucket is more than 30.5 m in all buildings, fire escapes must be pressurized.

In houses, this height is 51.50 m. When the pressurization system is in operation, the difference between the stairwell and the building use must be at least 50 Pa when the doors are closed. This pressure difference is to prevent smoke from escaping from the occupied area into the stairwell or elevator bucket.

ERF Group prevents leakage by creating the necessary pressure differentials with different product options. EC cell fans, roof-mounted axial fans, cabinet aspirators and tube axial fans are available for stair and lift pressurization purposes.

Ladder Pressurization Specifications

In a high-rise building, stairs often represent the only way out. In ERF Group stair pressurization processes, it is imperative that exit stairways are smoke-free and comply with the design. Most building codes require the following:

  • Fire escapes in a high-rise building need to be pressurized to keep smoke out.
  • Stair pressurization of smoke is done in stairways, refuge areas, elevator shafts or similar areas.
  • Maintain a habitable environment in shelter areas and exit routes. All pressurization must be in place for the time required for evacuation.
  • Fire and rescue operation is facilitated by increasing visibility in the building.
  • They are generally characterized by long-lasting use.
  • ERF Group products have design and technical features suitable for every area.

The Importance of Stair Pressurization System

Smoke generated during a fire in buildings tends to travel towards stairs, elevator shafts and other vertical shafts due to factors such as thermal expansion, natural convection and chimney effect. The smoke spreading throughout the building prevents the intervention of fire brigades and does not allow people to escape safely.

Stair pressurization systems are one of the most effective ways to solve this problem. In the 1960s, the use of pressurization systems to protect the stairwells of high-rise buildings from smoke became widespread.

ERF Group pressurization systems are designed to create high pressure with mechanical ventilation to prevent the access of smoke in stairways, elevator shafts and vertical shafts, as well as to restrict smoke in the area where the fire started and to remove smoke from the fire area.

ERF Group pressurization systems thus prevent smoke from spreading throughout the parking lot, ensuring that fire escapes are smoke-free so that people can escape safely. It also helps firefighters to access the source of the fire to intervene.

Stair Pressurization Obligation

ERF Group stair pressurization installations are carried out in accordance with the regulations. In a high-rise building, stairs often represent the only means of egress during a fire. It is imperative that exit stairways are smoke-free and incorporate design features that increase the speed of egress for building occupants.

Most building codes require fire escapes in high-rise buildings to be pressurized to keep smoke out. ERF Group stairwell pressurization serves several purposes. It prevents the passage of smoke into stairways, refuge areas, elevator shafts or similar areas.

Provides a habitable environment in shelter areas and exit routes for the time required for evacuation. It facilitates the fire and rescue operation by increasing the visibility of the firefighting team in the building. For this reason, we can see it as a mandatory system for human health in every building due to its working principles.

Types of Stair Pressurization

Pressurization systems use mechanical fans to create positive pressure in stairs. Two basic pressurization principles are maintained:

  • Pressure difference across the barrier.
  • Average speed with adequate size.

In the ERF Group installation phases, the lobby and stairwell (marked in green) can be classified as escape routes, refuge space and habitable environment. These always repeat themselves in the same location at each floor level for at least several consecutive floors.

Stair Pressurization System Design

The stairwell pressurization system is a mechanical ventilation system. To pressurize the stairs of vertical buildings, it is necessary to install fan sets that suck in the fan air in the stairwell, keeping the pressure at a water gauge of 0.10 - 0.45 inches.

The main purpose is to prevent smoke from seeping in in case of fire. The system consists of the installation of a fan with an electric motor mounted in an isolated compartment. The outside air is captured through a louver with a particulate filter.

Excess air is discharged by means of manual and automatic dampers, which are properly calculated and installed in the appropriate places. All the details that need to be taken into account in this case are fully organized by ERF Group.

Stair Pressurization Components

  • Supply air (where air is injected into the area to be protected)
  • Exhaust air (to prevent overpressure when the doors are closed)

Fans are fed for air intake. Distribution systems consisting of ducts, terminal diffusers and ventilation arrangements are installed. Automatic air vents/dampers are installed to remove excess air and prevent overpressure when doors are closed.

In locations suitable for fire service, an automatic control system consisting of fire alarms, smoke detectors, safety switches and devices is also provided. In this regard, ERF Group provides highly professional and complete work on what needs to be considered.

Points to Consider in Stair Pressurization

The pressure must not be too high, exceeding the maximum level will make it difficult for manpower to open the door. For this reason, ERF Group ensures that the pressure is carefully calculated and kept at an appropriate level during construction and installation.

After entering during smoke, the door should be closed immediately. Because if the door is open, the gaps will be wider and the air coming from inside the stairs will tend to come out. After a while, it is possible to balance the air between the escape area and the area outside the fire.

This will cause the air to contain smoke and fire, toxic gases will return back into the stairs. At this point, ERF Group products are both reliable and appropriately designed.