There are many of regulations that should also be considered to ensure a building is safe for purpose and or habitation. It is always important that you use a company that is both competent, trained and knowledgeable within this area. Ensuring a company has a third-party accreditation is essential. The Exova BM Trada Q-Mark Fire stopping installation training scheme verifies and demonstrates competency. Fire Crest Fire protection are proud to have this accreditation.
Fire stopping, also known as Passive Fire Protection is required in all buildings. As the name suggests, Passive Fire Protection is a safety provision that remains dormant in a building, until there is an active Fire situation.
The purpose of Passive Fire Protection is to Compartmentalise or contain and slow the spread of fire and smoke, meaning there is a greater chance of safe evacuation from a premise. Passive Fire protection also allows a greater window for the Fire Brigade to enter a building in safer conditions because the spread of the fire has been slowed by the Fire stopping implemented.
Every service installed in a building, including electrical sockets, water pipes, lighting and cable trunking, can cause compromises in the fire compartmentation barriers. This is because they create openings in the floor, ceiling or walls. Any openings should be sealed or have the facility to seal in the event of a fire and create a resistance for a specified length of time, as specified by a Fire Engineer.
Passive Fire protection uses intumescent materials, these are passive/dormant until heat reaches them, they then swell much larger than their original size to form a barrier of fire protection.
The Building regulations 2010, Fire Safety, approved Document B, outlines the requirements for Passive Fire protection within all new builds, modernisation of a building and any extension works.
Buildings need to show that measures have been taken, appropriate to both the size and use of the building, comprising of either or both of the following;
- Sub-division of a building with fire-resisting construction
- Installation of suitable automatic fire suppression systems
Section 10.2 of the regulation stipulates requirements for the protection of openings and fire stopping to prevent the spread of fire. This means every joint, or area with an imperfection of fit should be protected by sealing or fire-stopping so that fire resistance is not impaired, this is also true of any opening that allows service elements to pass through. The two main types of openings are;
- Joints between fire-separating elements should all be fire-stopped
- All openings for pipes, ducts, conduits or cables that pass-through fire-separating areas should be;
- as few as possible
- as small as possible
- fire-stopped (allowing for thermal movement in the case of pipe or duct)