A building’s safety is closely linked to the compartmentalization of its floors. In case of fire, compartmentalization will significantly reduce the migration of smoke from one floor to another, thus reducing the mortality rate from smoke inhalation.

Case example

The story of a Toronto apartment building that burned down during the 1980s is a perfect example. The fire started on the third floor, yet many occupants on the 14th and 15th floors died of smoke inhalation because the chimney effect had sucked oxygen in from the bottom. A few years later, another fire broke out in a similar apartment building. In this case, however, work had been done to compartmentalize the floors, which kept the smoke from migrating upward, thus saving the lives of many occupants. To prevent smoke from spreading during a fire, the edges of door units and stairwells must be sealed using airtight weatherstripping. This sealing method must also be applied to underground parking lot slabs to keep carbon monoxide from spreading inside the building through holes in the concrete slab. These holes are intended for a building’s mechanical components.

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