Both flat roof access hatches and smoke vents can be installed as part of a fire escape plan. It is easy to install them in specific locations such as stairwells and corridors to cover a wide range of scenarios including fire emergency and smoke buildup. Hinged frames on hatches open up to allow people and equipment access to the roof, and smoke ventilators provide safe and immediate passage. Browse through the Buildworld catalogue of reputed brands for high functioning flat roof access hatches and smoke vents.
Caged ladders remained the dominant means of reaching building rooftops before the arrival of Roof Access Hatches which completely revolutionized the roof access drill. The long inconvenient ascend on caged ladders, which would typically begin outdoors starting at ground level, transformed into a single flight of stairs bridging one floor with roof access hatches to access the roof from the inside of the building. Albeit serving different purposes, the case for the effectiveness of roof hatches is equally strong in residential as well as commercial buildings. Residential rooftops are by and large treated as leisure stations for which the access hatches are glazed to facilitate an easy entry through a spacious entrance. Roof access hatches associated with commercial buildings fulfil the role of providing untrammelled access to roofs for a variety of monitoring, installation, and maintenance issues.
A roof access hatch must be equipped with a reliable and safe mechanism; its handling must be easy if manual or electrically operated; it should be easy to install, and should enjoy a robust constitution to relay efficient insulation and withstand sound and be fortified to ensure reliable security. To prevent the possibility of heat loss— the roof access hatch bears a coat of insulation on its cover and upstand. Hatches with high insulation values are preferred in modern constructions, especially in institutions of learning and those providing health care services.
Hatches are produced in a variety of designs with various materials to satisfy demands of diverse nature. Fire-rated roof hatches are designed for fire emergencies with the sole purpose of preventing the spread of fire through these hatches. Steel roof hatches are known for their durability, energy efficiency, and anti-corrosive properties. Roof hatches made from aluminium are lighter than steel roof hatches, provide high insulation, and are extremely easy to operate requiring very little maintenance.
Escaping fire-affected areas inside a building become doubly challenging and in some cases life-threatening in the absence of smoke vents. The smoke returning from the roof owing to absent exit vents clouds visibility induces breathing difficulty, and in some cases leaves people unconscious along with long and short term lung-related health dangers. Escapes during fire emergencies become easier with better visibility and less laboured breathing in buildings with smoke vents. A variety of mechanisms including single leaf, double leaf, and louvres installed in roofs as well as walls are in wide circulation in the smoke vent segment. Predominantly manufactured in glass and polycarbonate, possessing diverse mechanisms and a wide range of designs— the smoke vent catalogue— spans every location susceptible to fire hazards within a building.