Why Your Facility Should Invest in Fireproofing Steel Beams | Kaloutas

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Why You Should Fireproof Steel Beams in Your Commercial Property

Steel beams after fireproofing Why You Should Fireproof Steel Beams in Your Commercial Property

The steel beams that sup­port your com­mer­cial facil­i­ty are some of your property’s most impor­tant fea­tures. With­out this stur­dy struc­tur­al frame­work, your busi­ness’ build­ing wouldn’t have much of a leg to stand on — lit­er­al­ly. Despite the inher­ent strength and dura­bil­i­ty of steel, this iron alloy is not invul­ner­a­ble. In the event of a fire at your build­ing, it won’t typ­i­cal­ly rise to the tem­per­a­ture of 2,500 degrees Fahren­heit to cause steel beams to melt; how­ev­er, reach­ing 1,500 degrees is very pos­si­ble, and at that tem­per­a­ture those steel beams can quick­ly become sig­nif­i­cant­ly weak­ened, warped, and unsound. If and when this occurs, your entire build­ing and every­one in it are in dan­ger. So, the more you can mit­i­gate the effects of fire on your struc­tur­al steel via active fire pro­tec­tion (i.e. sprin­klers) and pas­sive fire pro­tec­tion (i.e. intu­mes­cent coat­ings and cemen­ti­tious fire­proof­ing) the better.

Let’s go over three key rea­sons why you should (and must) be fire­proof­ing steel beams in your com­mer­cial property.

Why You Should Be Fire­proof­ing Steel Beams

To Pro­tect Your Property’s Struc­tur­al Integrity

As we just men­tioned, your building’s steel beams are pri­mar­i­ly what give your prop­er­ty its struc­ture and keep it stand­ing tall and secure. Should these beams lose their ten­sile strength or shape, your build­ing runs the risk of col­laps­ing. The high heat from a fire pos­es the great­est threat to your struc­tur­al steel. So, in addi­tion to tak­ing steps to pre­vent fires from start­ing in your facil­i­ty (i.e. reg­u­lar main­te­nance, safe stor­age, prop­er use of elec­tron­ics, etc.), it’s equal­ly impor­tant to shield your struc­tur­al steel in a fire-resis­tant pro­tec­tive coat­ing that keeps the hottest flames from reach­ing these materials.

There are a num­ber of fire­proof­ing prod­ucts and meth­ods out there, such as intu­mes­cent coatings/​intumescent paint, cemen­ti­tious, and gyp­sum-based fire­proof­ing tech­nolo­gies. While these dif­fer­ent meth­ods behave dif­fer­ent­ly, they all serve the same basic func­tion: to form a mono­lith­ic phys­i­cal bar­ri­er between the fire and the under­ly­ing sur­face (steel beams, in this case). The prop­er imple­men­ta­tion of one or more of these meth­ods will help pro­tect your prop­er­ty from falling apart in the event of a fire. When a busi­ness own­er suf­fers fire dam­age or struc­tur­al issues, this can cause sub­stan­tial down­time and pre­clude the busi­ness from oper­at­ing as usu­al. If you take these pre­cau­tions now, you will expe­ri­ence less work stop­page if there is ever a catastrophe. 

To Give Your Peo­ple More Time to Escape a Fire

Mere­ly pre­vent­ing a col­lapse isn’t the only rea­son to apply spray on fire pro­tec­tion for steel beams (or oth­er fire­proof­ing meth­ods), of course. Indeed, the main rea­son to main­tain your property’s struc­tur­al integri­ty is to keep every­one inside safe. In that same vein, fire­proof­ing your facil­i­ty can pre­vent injury and save lives by extend­ing the amount of time peo­ple have to exit the build­ing. Intu­mes­cent coat­ings, for instance, expand into an insu­lat­ing foam” char lay­er when exposed to high heat, which pro­tects the steel from the flames, and in turn reduces its impact on your property’s struc­tur­al com­po­nents. In doing so, your employ­ees and cus­tomers can more eas­i­ly and safe­ly get away from the burn­ing prop­er­ty and fire­fight­ers have more time to effec­tive­ly douse the flames. Not only will this save lives, but also save as much of your build­ing as pos­si­ble allow­ing you to keep your busi­ness going again as soon as possible.

To Remain Com­pli­ant With Build­ing Codes

The final major rea­son to fire­proof­ing steel beams for your prop­er­ty is to pro­tect your busi­ness from fines and rep­u­ta­tion­al prob­lems. Sim­ply put, build­ings in all indus­tries across the coun­try must abide by strict fire codes as man­dat­ed by fed­er­al and local law. If your prop­er­ty is not prop­er­ly pro­tect­ed via intu­mes­cent coat­ings, fire pro­tec­tion spray for steel, and/​or oth­er required fire­proof­ing meth­ods, you run the risk of not only lit­er­al­ly but fig­u­ra­tive­ly burn­ing your busi­ness to the ground as you com­bat var­i­ous legal issues. Make sure you’re up to date on all rel­e­vant build­ing codes and fire­proof­ing man­dates to steer clear of these cost­ly violations.

The bot­tom line: the safe­ty and secu­ri­ty of your prop­er­ty, your peo­ple, and your orga­ni­za­tion depend on prop­er­ly fire­proof­ing your steel beams. If you need assis­tance in get­ting your work­place up to par in this regard, Kaloutas has you (and your steel) cov­ered with our fire­proof­ing ser­vices. We will work on your sched­ule and bud­get. We have years of expe­ri­ence with fire­proof­ing and exten­sive knowl­edge on best prac­tices. As a con­trac­tor equipped to deal with many trades, we won’t only check your build­ing for prop­er fire­proof­ing pro­to­cols but for oth­er safe­ty mea­sures as well. To learn more about us and all that we do, con­tact us online, or give us a call at 9785321414 today.

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