M&E Services Enclosures Fire Protection

Fire protection of Mechanical and electrical (M&E) services is required to maintain function of certain essential electrical and/or mechanical systems and services, and also to prevent fire, smoke and toxic fume propagation from one building compartment to another.

It is necessary to ensure the continued function of essential electrical systems and services is maintained during fire, for a specified period of time, until all the building occupants have escaped. Good examples include electrically operated fire alarms, emergency escape route lighting, electrical operated extinguishing systems, smoke extraction vent systems, power supply for fire service elevators in high-rise buildings, water mains to sprinkler systems, essential life support and/or computer/communication/information technology networks.

It is worth noting that most electrical services and to some extent mechanical services have a high component of plastic materials such as polyvinylchloride, polypropylene, polyethylene, synthetic rubbers etc. The risks associated with these combustible plastics are that fire can and will spread or propagate through the services. Intensive combustion also means that plastics frequently release toxic and corrosive fumes that can include particulates, unburned fuel, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide which are not only harmful to the building and its contents but also to its occupants.

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