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Fire safety systems at Cape Town International Airport

The 1st floor check-in area at Cape Town International Airport where FireSpec has installed both passive and active fire safety systems.At the new departures terminal for Cape Town International Airport, opened in November last year, Cape Town-based FireSpec installed various electronic fire safety systems as well as passive protective measures.

Effective fire protection for such a high traffic facility is critical. FireSpec CEO, Leo Slootmans, says that the company’s integrated service offering was one of the factors supporting its involvement in this project. “The PA system is sophisticated and loudspeakers in the high volume areas are located inside the columns on the main floor. This is important, not only for routine travel announcements, but also for safety purposes such as an evacuation call.

“Allied to this are active integrated systems – for monitoring, fire detection and fire suppression. These are linked to other systems throughout the terminal, for example, an emergency shutdown of cooking gas in all restaurants when triggered,” he says.

Adam Rodger, general manager for the FireSpec Passive Division describes some of the passive measures in place to prevent the spread of fire in the terminal building. The steel supporting structure is coated with FireSpec’s intumescent paint, providing a two-hour fire rating. The supporting structures of the pedestrian escalator framework and the luggage handling chutes are clad with FireSpec Fireboard CSTM, which also has a two-hour fire rating certified by the SABS.

Fireboard can be used indoors or out for cladding structural steel as well as for ceilings, roofs, floors, partitions and external walls. The panels measure about 1.2m by 2.4m and are 9mm thick. They are design flexible and do not emit any toxic or hazardous substances, either passively or under combustion. Fireboard is also moisture resistant and can be skim-finished and painted.

In other zones of the new terminal, two-hour penetration seals have been installed to maintain the integrity of compartmentalised areas in case of fire.

The Cape Town International Airport contract is one of a number of projects undertaken successfully by FireSpec, supported by an exclusive range of modern products and underpinned by more than 30 years’ expertise in the field.