Smartlouvre Technology

Microlouvre and Fire

Posted on 4th April 2023

The hate, hate relationship between MicroLouvre® and Fire

Bushfires in Australia and Wildfires in the United States are two sides of the same coin – both causing massive environmental and property damage, disruption, and loss of human and animal life. The fires are the same but they just occur on different continents and are now occurring in more and more unusual locations and times of the year. Did you know that Boulder Colorado’s most destructive wildfire in history, which killed two and destroyed 1,084 structures, started in the winter of 2021 but was contained in 2022?

Just to refresh your memory, let’s explain those disasters; Bushfires and Wildfires can move fast, faster than a human can run and if fanned by winds they move at that speed. Fires themselves can generate fire storms travelling at over 14mph / 20 kph. They quickly consume millions of acres of land and destroy everything in their path, including trees, houses, animals, and persons. Families and whole towns are at risk of losing their homes and being forced to escape for their safety. They pose significant health risks, particularly for persons who already have respiratory issues.

Bushfires and Wildfires

Australia suffered countless bushfires in 2019-20, where nearly 19 million hectares were burnt and over 3,000 homes destroyed. Numerous regions have been affected over the years, including New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland, meaning fire protection has never been more critical.

Wildfires occur in multiple locations across the United States, with western states and Texas particularly prone to them. In recent years, we’ve seen the devastating impact of wildfires in the likes of California, destroying homes and wildlife for weeks at a time.

For continuous re-occurring events of that sort, a lot of questions should be asked. Why don’t the authorities insist on preventive measures? For instance, what are the safety standards that buildings are built upon? Do building owners or architects follow the required standards? We’re in 2022 and still, a huge number of buildings are exposed to burning ember attacks every day without having a form of barrier to protect them.

Prevention of disasters

There isn’t a perfect solution, but there is one answer. ‘Hardening’ buildings are essential. Some of it is just plain common sense, remove dead vegetation from plants and lower branches from tall trees, keep the gutters, roof, and outdoor spaces free of debris like leaves and twigs, and clear out window screens and attic vents.

Here’s the nub of it - what window screens? Simple textile insect screens may stop insects and pests but not much else and they won’t do anything for solar heat gain, daylighting, and vision out and they’ll do even less for fires – in fact, they’ll actually add to the surface spread of flame!

To ‘harden’ a building, you need a screen that stops insects, pests, solar heat gain, and fire and flying burning embers and attenuates heat – all in one.

MicroLouvre®Koolshade® Bush and Wildfire screens do all this and much more

MicroLouvre® Wildfire Screens and Bushfire Screens protect life and property, at the highest performance level, from flying burning ember attacks whilst also providing the highest heat attenuation performance.

Testing carried out by CSIRO proves MicroLouvre®Koolshade® has the industry-leading performance.

As the paper-thin micro louvres are spaced 1.2mm apart, the MicroLouvre® FHA bushfire system provides the top protection level to AS3959 up to BAL-FZ, plus complete solar shading and fire protection of a whole window up to BAL-40.

The superheat absorbing, heat-dissipating copper bronze louvres give industry-leading 49.4% heat attenuation as tested by CSIRO. Whilst MicroLouvre® Screens provide the highest performance for heat attenuation and burning flying ember attack, the unique paper-thin louvres provide twice the open area vision out compared to other Bush and Wildfire screens.

MicroLouvre® Fire-Safe Screens (fire attenuation screens) are the only whole window covering to combine A1/A2 Fire Rating (legally required for all residential buildings such as apartments, hotels, and hospitals over 18 meters / 4 floors high).

Now, hopefully, you understand that MicroLouvre® fulfills two essential, life-saving fire protection functions, as well as the unbeatable solar control functions.

MicroLouvre®Koolshade® - the best way to harden your home

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