Passive Fire Protection Characteristics
Passive fire protection is designed to aid with fire compartmentation by isolating the spread of fire and smoke to other parts of the building, effectively keeping the fire in the location where it originated. It is important to note that the fire rating of the materials used will determine how long they can withstand fire and smoke. For example, internal fire doors with an FD rating such as FD30, which means FD30 rated fire doors can protect against fire for 30 minutes. Fire protection is required to allow people and or firefighters to access and egress a building safely in a fire. Fire stopping and fire doors can also reduce fire and smoke damage to equipment and assets through fire compartmentation following the building’s design.
Passive fire protection represents an essential function in fire safety, so much so that it is now part of the structural integrity of buildings. The Building Regulations, Fire Safety, Approved Document B – Requirement B3, Internal Fire Spread (structure) states, “The building shall be designed and constructed so that, in the event of a fire, its stability will be maintained for a reasonable period.” Approved document B also states that all fire-rated elements must be reinstated once penetrated by cables, pipes, or ducting services.
As opposed to active fire protection, passive fire protection is not electronically or manually initiated, such as a fire extinguisher or a fire blanket. For more information read our news article What is the differences between active and passive fire protection.