Passive fire protection (PFP) plays a vital role in the fire safety of buildings by providing fire and smoke resistance for a pre-determined time. The responsible person for the building must understand their duty under UK statutory law regarding PFP, including fire stopping regulations and fire door regulations.
How does it work?
Passive protection provides fire compartmentation for the fire-resisting elements within buildings such as floors, ceilings, and walls. Breaches in compartmentation caused by the installation of services mean that there is a high risk that fire and smoke can quickly move between rooms in a building. The fire resistance of the PFP materials helps protect buildings from structural damage, which can aid the evacuation of personnel in a fire emergency.
When a penetration occurs through fire-resisting elements like walls, PFP installers will seal the breaches with the correct fire stopping products to reinstate the fire rating of the fire-resisting wall. All PFP works, including fire stopping, fire door installation, fire door inspection and maintenance, should be carried out by are certified passive fire protection specialists.
How effective is it?
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.