Hardly a day goes by in Germany (or anywhere else for that matter) without the fire service being called out to extinguish a blaze. The repercussions go way beyond damage to property, with a staggering 400 people losing their lives in house or apartment fires every year. Legislators took a very effective step toward reducing this unacceptable number by making the installation of fire alarms compulsory. Another key line of defense has for many years lain in the detailed building regulations for fire safety in all 16 federal states throughout Germany. The common underlying aim is to ensure buildings are designed, constructed, modified and maintained in ways that "prevent fires and stop fire and smoke from spreading (fire propagation) and enable the rescue of people and animals and effective extinguishing operations in the event of a fire."

UNIKA sand-lime bricks meet these requirements perfectly, as the manufacturing process and composition of the materials make them non-flammable as a matter of course. Masonry built using these bricks exhibits optimum fire safety properties, both in terms of the required stability in a fire scenario and containment. To a large extent, these outstanding distinguishing features can be attributed to the relatively high proportion of water of crystallization in walls built from UNIKA sand-lime bricks. In a fire, this special component must first degrade before the structures of the material start to deteriorate. In fact, UNIKA sand-lime brick goes one step further than merely withstanding temperatures between 300 and 500 degrees Celsius by becoming even more structurally sound! It takes temperatures in excess of 600 degrees Celsius for a fire to have any noticeable effect on the structure of these remarkably robust sand-lime bricks - thus potentially making all the difference between life and death.

UNIKA GmbH (63110 Rodgau-Dudenhofen, Germany)
Website: www.unika-kalksandstein.de