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How to remove fumes from car parks 20/06/2014

Multi-storey and underground car parks – if badly designed can be traps for car exhaust fumes that could have fatal consequences. And in a confined space, the fall-out from a car fire doesn’t bear thinking about, so it is vital that fume and smoke removal systems meet and exceed safety standards.

In the past, this has been achieved through the use of ducted air conditioning systems. As anybody who’s been inside a car park with a duct system will tell you, they’re large, bulky, and in a space which may have a low ceiling height, massively inconvenient. Their efficiency is also questionable, and the casual observer might notice spots in the car park where the air is somewhat chewier than it should be.

However, as with most other sectors in the ventilation and cooling industry, car park air clearance has moved on leaps and bounds in recent years. Older ducted systems have fallen out of fashion, and are being replaced by induction systems.

Induction ventilation is a method of simplifying the ducted system by “pushing” the smoke and exhaust fumes to a central extract point from where it can be removed with powerful fans. These systems achieve this aim by utilising thrust units mounted under the ceiling which creates a jet of air that pushes the smoke and exhaust fumes towards the extract point.

The one huge advantage of this is that the need for bulky distribution duct work through the car parking area is eliminated. This makes for a safer, lighter environment, with better sight lines for drivers, and far lower power consumption figures than required by the previous technology. In the case of a fire, the system can be boosted to draw deadly fumes away from the area, allowing people nearby to escape.

As with any form of ventilation, each car park is unique, and the best results can be achieved with a tailored solution based on fume removal and fire safety needs.

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