Smoke inhalation is the most life-threatening factor during a fire followed by high temperature inside the burning building. The flashover caused by the very high internal temperature could generate an explosion or cause extensive damage to the building structure, potentially leading to a collapse.

By avoiding these dangerous events during a fire incident, the escape routes can be kept clear for longer, while allowing first responders to quickly and safely locate and extinguish the fire. This can be ensured by integrating a natural smoke and heat exhaust system (NSHEV) in the building’s fire protection system.

In accordance with the current European standard EN12101-2, an NSHEV is regarded as a unit comprising an opening element and an electric motor, with these two components being tested and approved as a whole. The NSHEV is part of a system of automatic opening windows linked to the Building Management System or Fire Indication Panel, which can be opened within seconds of the smoke being detected.

Smoke ventilation based on natural forces does more than create safety and security for the occupants of the building. The openings in the façade can also be used daily to provide natural ventilation for a pleasant and energy saving indoor climate.

Safetyline Jalousie motorised louvre windows can be used for the above functionality, with the JX louvre window and SLJ01 EXT louvre motor. Together as a complete solution encompassing both the glass and aluminium louvre blade variants, they have been tested at an accredited Applus+ facility to the (NSHEV) standard EN12101:2 Annex G.

The objective of the Annex G Heat exposure test, Reaction to fire, is to establish the ability of the installed ventilator to open under exposure to heat and to remain in the fire open position with not more than 10% reduction of the throat area.

The vent in the chamber is taken up to 300 degrees Celsius, then after 5 minutes opened to its fully open position (which must be done in under 60 seconds), and kept that way for the rest of the 30 minutes.

Navigating the legal requirements and best practice to smoke control systems can be a complex task for designers, contractors and building owners. The rigorous testing set out by the stringent EN12101 standard provides the assurance that the product has been developed, tested and manufactured to deliver the performance necessary to protect both the occupants and property in the event of a fire.