Pressurized Stair Shaft

Does Every Building Require A Pressurized Stair Shaft?

The pressurized Stair Shaft system works as a barrier that helps control the smoke environment. These systems are mainly installed in the refuge spaces, elevator shafts, stairwells, and other egress routes.

The high-pressure side of the barrier is usually the refuge point or an exit route. The low-pressure point, on the other hand, is exposed to smoke. Airflow from the high-pressure point to the low-pressure point via construction gaps and cracks around doors helps prevent smoke infiltration.

A path that channels smoke from the low-pressure point to the outside makes certain that the gas expansion pressures do not cause an issue.


Having a fan-powered exhaust or properly-vented pressurized stair shaft provides the path. However, considering the aspects of exhaust ventilation and dilution systems, the pressurization system has been designed to keep the stair shaft away from the fire source.

Why Is Pressurized Stair Shaft Important?

The pressurized stair shaft serves different purposes:

Save lives and reduces property damage

Helps with the fire and rescue operation by providing greater visibility in the structure for the firefighting services

Maintains a sound environment in the time of refuge and secure the entrances during the time of evacuation

Inhibits the smoke from affecting the elevator shafts, areas of refuge, stairwells, or similar areas

Whether you are living in a hotel, a condo complex or a multi-floor building, all structures with stairwells are required to fulfill the International Building Code standards when it comes to stairwell pressurization. Stairwells happen to be the prime means of escape during an event of a fire. Hence, they must be designed in a way that the stairwell’s pressure is more than the rest of the building.

Always Hire Professionals!

We just cannot turn down the significance a pressurized stair shaft holds! It helps create a barrier to control the smoke environment in case there has been an emergency. Therefore, it is crucial to hire professionals like AHS Fire Protection who use tools to accurately measure and test the stairwell pressure, accommodating it for air leakage.

Stair shafts are fitted with specialized Stairwell Pressurization Fans or Stairwell Pressurization Systems to ensure a greater stairwell pressure than the interior building. This creates higher pressure in the stair shaft, pushing the smoke back into the less pressured area, making emergency escape easier and smoke-free.

Call AHS Fire Protection today and let them help you get your stair shaft under pressure!

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