The primary focus of fire protection, whether active or passive, is safety of life. That’s why many fire safety regulations and products focus on the elements of a fire that can be the most damaging for humans, such as smoke. There are also other objectives that can be achieved with fire protection, such as preserving a building and the assets within it, as well as being able to give assurances about the level of fire resistance of the building. In short, there are a lot of very good reasons to make fire protection in your building a priority this new year.
Passive fire protection for your building this new year
If you’re going to put fire protection first this new year then passive fire protection measures will be an important component. The objective of passive fire protection is to restrict the spread of fire so that it can’t reach a catastrophic level. There are a number of key elements involved in passive fire protection planning, such as:
- Using well designed products that have been certified for fire resistance
- Working with experienced and 3rd party accredited contractors able to fully and properly install those products and measures – fire protection is only as good as its installation
- Developing an overarching strategy that shows where passive measures fit into general fire protection for the building
The purpose of passive fire protection
Passive fire protection performs in a number of different ways:
- Minimising the opportunity for fire to spread by secondary ignition
- Creating a physical obstacle to heat and flames so that they cannot spread
- Using methods such as compartmentalisation to contain the by-products of a fire, such as smoke
- Providing protection against fire that might spread from a neighbouring location or a combustion source outside the building
- Supporting the structure of the building if there is a fire, to help prevent collapse
- Mitigating the potential impact of the water from fire hoses
- Protect life safety equipment and cable routes
Passive fire protection can even include security measures, such as those that have been designed to protect against arson.
Where does passive fire protection apply?
Passive fire protection is integrated into the fabric of the building and will be required all over. Some key measures include:
- Fire proof glazing systems, especially along escape routes
- Treated or reinforced floors, depending on the vulnerability of the material the floors are made from (e.g. timber burns quickly)
- Installing fire rated doors and shutters if doors or shutters are positioned in a fire wall
- Protection for the skeleton of the building – the level of passive fire protection required will depend on the materials used e.g. steel frames can lose structure quickly in heat so may require the protection of boards or intumescent paints
- Using compartment walls, floors and ceilings to provide a comprehensive fire barrier
- The creation of fire walls, particularly along escape routes
- Fire stopping in areas of vulnerability, such as service ducts, pipe work and shafts
Comprehensive fire protection is crucial for any building, whether residential or commercial. These are just some of the ways in which you can focus on fire protection as a priority for 2019.
Get in touch with Hillmoore Fire Protection today for more help and advice.