Monday morning in the office. Fabian starts his working day as usual by booting up his computer and in the meantime he’s preparing a latte in the coffee kitchen. As a municipal administrative employee Fabian works in the city hall of his hometown. All public buildings have particularly high fire safety requirements. But Fabian doesn’t think about that at all; he feels completely safe at his workplace.
Various elements play an important role in building fire protection. Many details are specified in building regulations. Apart from the building design, which determines the escape routes, it is mainly the type of materials used and the use of fire detectors and sprinkler systems. The fire behaviour of numerous building materials is optimised by the targeted addition of flame retardants. These ensure that the materials are initially less flammable and, in the event of a fire, further slow down the spread of the fire. The choice of the appropriate flame retardant depends on the type of material and its use within the building.
Fortunately, our LANXESS flame retardant experts have the necessary know-how to provide safe solutions. For example, the various insulating foams used in the construction industry are supplemented with the appropriate flame retardant products from LANXESS, such as Levagard® or Emerald Innovation® 3000.
Equipment safely connected
Fabian does not work alone in the city hall, of course, but together with numerous colleagues. Accordingly, many electronic devices are in continuous use here for many hours of the day. Therefore, not only are the building materials in a public building subject to strict fire protection regulations, but the electronics must also be safe. After all, cables, plugs and housings of computers, printers, copiers and more are exposed to the highest stress in everyday office life. How safe these devices are in terms of fire protection is already decided when the basic materials are put together. So it’s all the better if the right LANXESS flame retardants are added to these different products. Plugs, cables and electrical and electronic housings are made of different plastics: polyamides, polyesters, PVC and other polymers or rubber. Products from our Firemaster® or Uniplex series ensure operational reliability in the manufacture of connectors, as do Disflamoll® or Reofos® in cable production. As highly effective flame retardants in the housings, numerous manufacturers worldwide rely on LANXESS Firemaster 2100® and BA-59P™.
For Fabian, this means that he can spend his daily working hours in the office without having to think about fire safety measures – and also get a sure caffeine kick from the office coffee machine at any time.
Fire protection in the floor
Today Fabian is going home a little early. His grandmother is in hospital with a broken leg, and he wants to visit her quickly before dinner is served. In clinics and hospitals, safety is of course the top priority. This also includes fire protection as an extremely important safety aspect in the building. One focus is also on what is under the feet of patients, doctors, nurses, caregivers and visitors: the floor coverings. Here in the hospital, it is not only the robustness against mechanical stress that counts, but above all the resistance against fire and heat. Typical requirements for the materials of floor coverings are low flammability, slow flame spread in case of fire and low smoke density development. In order to gain valuable rescue seconds for all persons in an emergency and to secure escape routes as well as possible, highly effective LANXESS flame retardants such as Disflamoll® or Reofos® are added to the floor coverings.
And Fabian and his grandmother? The two of them don’t even notice all the protective additives in the flooring, because they fulfill their safety mission in secret. So Grandma Grete is simply happy about the visit of her grandson – and Fabian is happy that he made it to his grandmother’s hospital as planned before dinner time.
Every second counts
So that people like Fabian can rightly place their trust in the modern products of our time, we at LANXESS are working systematically on safe and sustainable material solutions. Preventing and suppressing fires therefore plays a crucial role in material development. That’s why our research and development teams work every day to ensure compliance with strict fire safety standards in order to reduce the harmful effects of fires on people, property and the environment as far as possible in advance.
This is because flame retardants are not only intended to prevent fires from starting, but also to slow down the spread of fire in the event of a fire. This creates saving seconds or minutes for escape from the danger zone and the deployment of auxiliary personnel. Such a time window can make all the difference in saving lives. We offer one of the world’s most comprehensive ranges of flame retardants and our development, consulting and sales teams support manufacturers in a wide range of product areas.