Latest safety tech, services to be showcased at Firexpo 2024

10th May 2024

By: Lumkile Nkomfe

Creamer Media Reporter


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Events management company Specialised Exhibitions – a division of Montgomery Group – says that this year’s Firexpo will provide the fire protection, and health and safety industries, with demonstrations and information on the latest technology, services and knowledge around fire safety.

Firexpo 2024 is colocated with Securex South Africa, A-Osh EXPO, and Facilities Management Expo at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg and will take place from May 28 to 30.

In an effort to create a platform for fire safety, Firexpo 2024 explores the fact that many buildings face natural and human-induced risks that could lead to either partial or complete structural failure, disrupting regular operations.

“Among these hazards, fires stand out as one of the most severe risks that buildings may encounter. The fire hazard within buildings refers to the risks posed by unplanned or deliberate fires, which can endanger the safety of individuals, compromise the structural integrity of the building, and cause damage to property. To counteract these detrimental consequences, it is crucial to implement adequate fire safety measures within buildings,” asserts Specialised Exhibitons portfolio director Mark Anderson.

He adds that it is important to understand the four primary phases of a fire and the appropriate actions for each phase. The four phases include the incipient stage, where the fire is small, contained, and an early detection and intervention can lead to an easy extinguishment, the growth stage where flames increase in size and intensity, the fully developed stage characterised by significant destruction and compromised structural integrity, and the decay stage where flames diminish and heat and smoke production decreases.

Anderson highlights that fire safety encompasses a series of procedures aimed at preventing and minimising the occurrence of fires, managing the escalation and impact of accidental or deliberate blazes and ensuring that the resultant losses remain within acceptable limits.

Further, he notes that fire safety within buildings is achieved through a combination of active and passive fire protection systems. Active fire protection systems such as sprinklers and heat or smoke detectors are said to prioritise the preservation of life by detecting, suppressing and extinguishing fires in their initial stages. Conversely, passive fire protection systems are designed to maintain structural integrity during fire exposure and contain the spread of flames.

The company notes that even if a building withstands fire without any loss of life, the consequence of every fire involves monetary losses. In addition, fire hazards generate several environmental pollutants from combustion, firefighting operations, and spillage from containers of hazardous materials owing to fire damage.

It adds that several studies have identified the relationship between the non-installation of smoke detectors and the risk of injury or death. According to its research, “the primary aim of fire safety engineering is to assess a building, including its processes and occupancy profiles, and to determine the most effective strategy to limit the consequences of a fire, both directly and indirectly. Typically, a key consideration is the protection of life, although in more recent times the scope has widened to encompass issues such as the protection of assets, business interests and the environment”.

The company stresses the need for designers and facilities managers to ensure the adequate provision and operation of fire protection systems in office and multistorey residential properties, as they are high risk in fire events.

“It’s clear that business owners and building managers need to pay urgent attention to ensuring the implementation of appropriate and high-quality fire detection and prevention systems. This goes hand-in-glove with undertaking regular inspections and risk assessments, reducing inherent fire hazards (flammable construction materials, for instance), and training all employees and/or residents on appropriate reactions to fire events.

“Our Firexpo exhibitors are well versed in sharing their knowledge and expertise and recommending fit-for-purpose fire safety solutions. In addition, the Firexpo Seminar Theatre [will share] topical information on current regulations, together with the challenges and proposed solutions within the customer market,” Anderson concludes.

Readers are also invited to engage Firexpo 2024 on social media using the show hashtag #Firexpo2024.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor




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