Australian steel framing systems manufacturer Dynamic Steel Frame explains the safety advantages of steel frames in construction. Safety is an important consideration in any construction project, and steel, with its high strength and durability, is an excellent construction material that meets this objective.
Steel framing and electricity
Australian regulations require steel frames to be earthed into the ground. In the event a steel frame is exposed to an electrical current, proper earthing will ensure the electricity is conducted straight into the earth, drastically reducing the chances of electrocution. Additionally, Australian law requires all houses to have residual current devices (RCDs) installed, which will further ensure protection against electric shock or even electrical fires.
Steel house framing and lightning
All steel framed houses must have circuit breaking safety devices installed to prevent damage from lightning and other electrical currents. In the event of a lightning strike, the electricity will flow straight into the ground without causing damage. There is a common misconception that steel homes are more susceptible to lightning; however, steel is actually safer than timber framing as it’s a better conductor of electricity and doesn’t allow energy to be dissipated destructively around the frame.
Steel framing and fire
Bushfire is a constant threat in many areas across Australia. Many homeowners live in areas at risk of bushfires, and therefore, it makes sense to build with fire resistant materials. Steel framing is an excellent fire resistant alternative to wood. Being non-combustible, steel will not: contribute to the spread of fire, add fuel to the fire or produce noxious smoke and dangerous combustion chemicals. House fires are virtually uncontrollable once the fire reaches the roof space. If this space is non-combustible, it’s far more difficult for a fire to even take hold.
Steel framing is robust
When robustness is a consideration, steel frames meet all expectations. Steel is ductile, can be flexed without breaking or cracking, and will retain its strength during extreme weather conditions, such as storms or high winds. Steel is also termite-proof, adding to its durability. Steel framing is particularly specified in extreme cyclonic regions, due to the incredibly high strength-to-weight ratio. It’s also the frame of choice for offsite constructions for the product’s ability to withstand stress during transportation.
An excellent alternative to timber, steel framing provides the assurance of safety, and is both durable and affordable.