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Passive Fire Protection: What is it?

How does Passive Fire Protection work?

Passive Fire Protection efforts are delivered through the structure of a building to provide stability. It’s used in walls, ceilings and floors to compartmentalise the buildings into areas of manageable risk. Protection can come through the materials in which the building is constructed or added to enhance its resistance.

What is the difference between Passive Fire Protection and Active Fire Protection?

Active Fire Protection

In basic terms, active fire protection is about detecting, stopping and escaping any fire. This may involve a manual action, such as using a fire extinguisher. It could also be a smoke detector that triggers an alarm or automatic sprinkler to alert people of the presence of a fire and take action. Active Fire Protection is crucial in life protection and ensuring a quick response through automatic and human intervention.

Passive Fire Protection

Passive fire protection aims to prevent the spread of a fire throughout a building with less intervention if correctly installed and used properly. Passive fire protection is a vital element of any building fire safety strategy. Its fundamental role is to safeguard a building’s occupants and control the chance of a fire progressing and causing more damage. Methods are described as passive as, if installed and maintained correctly, they work without human intervention or external energy input.

Types of Passive Fire Protection

Fire Doors

The layout of the building determines which fire doors will work best for passive fire protection. Several regulation-approved options can work, with FD30 and FD60 front entrance and communal screens, steel doors, frame armour systems and high-security doors.

A professionally installed fire door that is fully certified for fire protection will delay the spread of fire and ultimately save lives. Internal and external fire doors work on containing a fire to one room or ‘compartmentalising’ it, making it easier to control and extinguish. Internal fire doors and screens can be made in a choice of styles and designs, with additional features available to suit the design of your property. Communal screens are another internal fire protection option. A door leaf can be incorporated into a glazed screen using standard frame sections and comply with fire certification for up to 60 minutes.

Fire Barriers

Various types of fire barriers provide different fire integrity and insulation levels, depending on your project specifications. Fire barriers are installed within ceiling voids, roof voids or under flooring, which provides compartmentation of structure. This prevents the movement of smoke or flames across the building. A successful fire barrier should be tested following BS476 parts 4, 20 and 22 and/or EN 1366-3 to guarantee their success and the safety of occupants.

Fire Curtains

Fire curtains are designed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke through voids by providing compartmentalisation between different areas within a building. There are two options of fire curtains available; lightweight, flexible fire curtains and insulating fire barrier curtains, each suited for different situations. They can provide up to 120 minutes of fire protection in occupied and void properties, including lofts, risers and ceiling voids.

Inspections and Assessments

Regular inspections and assessments should be scheduled for a building’s passive fire protection plan to stay at its most successful. When you choose a contractor to install your fire protection methods, pay attention to their aftercare and maintenance services.

A fire door and fire stopping maintenance service should include;

  • A complete survey of your current methods, presented in a detailed photographic report

  • A report which highlights the work needed to work towards full compliance under regulatory reforms

  • Comprehensive repair information if needed

  • Fire door and fire-stopping training that can be passed on through your staff

What is Secured By Design?

Secured by Design (SBD) is the official UK Police flagship initiative supporting the principles of ‘designing out crime’. It focuses on crime prevention of homes and commercial premises and promotes security standards for a wide range of applications and products. It’s an important accreditation when looking for passive fire protection solutions for your premises.

Integrating passive and active fire prevention methods is the most successful approach to ensure complete safety and fire protection in your premises. At London Fire Solutions, we pride ourselves on being a UK market leader in passive fire protection, providing a ‘one-stop service. We offer surveying, manufacturing, installation, certification and maintenance of fire doors, screens, fire alarm systems and other fire protection solutions. Contact our professional team today for more information on how passive fire protection can work for your premises!

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