Fire Prevention and Firefighting

Despite the impression of a potentially high fire hazard in parking garages (gasoline!), statistics show that even in conventional drive in car parks, the danger is remote.

A study of national fire data (McLean, Parking Garage Fires) shows that in over a three year period, only 404 fires occured in parking garages in the United States. Additionally, insurance statistics in Germany document that 98% of all fires in parking garages are caused by arson, a danger we can almost completely disregard in a GRANDO® park house. Modern cars almost self-ignite anymore.

The most valuable asset to be protected in a building, though, are the human. Everything else represents just monetary value that can be replaced and insured.

GRANDO® protects humans by clearly separating them from the danger zone, the storage area.

In conventional car parks, people have to enter the storage/parking zone together with their cars. In case of a fire they are "in the center of the danger ", their health or even lives being threatened by fire, smoke or fire fighting procedures (sprinklers, foam, pressure hoses, etc.). To escape, they have to run unprotected through long driveways, designed for cars in motion, not for humans, and to descend hazardous steel staircases before reaching safe areas.

In System GRANDO® they are just a car length away from safety, while the shutters protect them against a fire inside the storage area. If we talk about fires, fire protection, and fire fighting strategies, we refer to objects and not humans.

Fire protection depends on local regulations, but we have a whole range of possibilities available that allow adaptation to all and any requirements.

As pointed out, while fires in car parks are very rare in general, insurance companies statistics in Germany show that 98% of all fires in car parks are caused by arson, which can be disregarded in GRANDO® units.

Another advantage of humans not being able to enter the storage area is that we do not have to be concerned with them, when fighting the fire. CO2 gas, foam or other fire extinguishing chemicals can be used without hesitation. We do not rely on sprinklers - as water combined with burning gas and oil is not a good mix in any case.

The greatest concern in Germany was that the fire fighters need to have access to a burning car. That has been resolved by installing a special fire-proof chamber that can be closed hermetically and is accessible from outside the building. In difference to Hollywood's film maker's imagination, cars do not burst into a "ball of flames" if ignited. All materials used in cars, have to be hardly flameable and self-extinguishing. A burning cigarette dropped on the seat burns an ugly round hole into the upholstery and creates a lot of smoke, but no fire. Carburetor fires only start when a car is started, etc.

In any case, a car left alone does not explode without a time bomb. It starts smoldering, and if this is detected, the fire is still small. The computer calls the Fire Department, the tender stops its regular work, and the cause of the smoke is remote-checked from the service center by the video cameras installed to the tender. The smoldering car is pulled onto the tender and wisked to the fire-proof chamber where it is stored in the fire proof and air tight chamber and can be extinguished from the outside once the firemen arrive.

Various other low cost options are also available and should be discussed case by case.