What is passive fire protection?


Passive fire protection is the name for the fire safety measures and features that are integrated into the constructional fabric of a building. It’s different to active fire protection, which covers things like smoke detectors, fire alarms and sprinkler systems.

While active fire protection can help put a fire out, passive fire protection is exceptionally important to ensure that the risk of fire breaking out and spreading is minimised, protecting the people and property within a building.

Where are passive systems used?


Passive fire protection systems are used wherever services such as pipes, ducts or cables penetrate a fire rated barrier – in other words, in floors, walls and ceilings. In these situations, the system needs to be sealed in a way that maintains the fire resistance level or rating of the wall, floor or ceiling.

Passive fire protection products and systems are therefore used to close off gaps in walls and floors, around cables, pipes and ducts, and in control joints. When installed correctly, passive fire protection ensures the fire resistance integrity and insulation of the building is protected.

What kinds of passive fire protection products and systems are available?


There are many different kinds of passive fire protection products and systems available, suitable for every kind of building. As part of our fire risk assessment service we can advise you on the right products and brands necessary to deliver the most effective passive fire protection to your building or premises. These products include the following:

Fire doors

Fire curtains

Firestopping

Intumescent coating paint

Fire-resisting ductwork

Fire dampers

Fire-resistant suspended ceilings

Fire-resistant partitions

Fire-resistant glazed partitions

Benefits of passive fire protection

Passive fire protection is vital to the design of any building, because it offers protection by:

Giving people more time to get out in the event of a fire

Ensuring there are safe places for people to escape from a fire.

Making the structure more fire-resistant.

Limiting the movement of flame and smoke.

Protecting a building against the effects of fire, maintaining its serviceability and minimising rebuild costs.

Reducing opportunities for fire to spread, thus protecting your assets.

Minimising the danger of fire causing building collapse or structural failure.

Benefits of passive fire protection

Passive fire protection is vital to the design of any building, because it offers protection by:

Giving people more time to get out in the event of a fire

Ensuring there are safe places for people to escape from a fire.

Making the structure more fire-resistant.

Limiting the movement of flame and smoke.

Protecting a building against the effects of fire, maintaining its serviceability and minimising rebuild costs.

Reducing opportunities for fire to spread, thus protecting your assets.

Minimising the danger of fire causing building collapse or structural failure.

Fire risk assessment surveys


Modern building structures are larger, and internal service networks more complex than ever before, making fire protection even more critical. In order to keep your personnel safe and safeguard essential services, it’s vital to prevent and control fires.

It can be tempting as a building manager to think you can work it out yourself, but fire risk assessment is a professional field. The Pro.Tek fire risk assessment service is designed to provide you with a fire risk assessment report that’s compliant with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

That means your report will cover the current safety rating, what fire safety measures you have in place, what significant findings there are, and when these issues should be addressed.

Whether you have an old building that needs an upgrade or a new building that needs to meet the fire safety regulations, our fire risk assessment service will help you ensure you’re providing a safe and secure environment.

We are proud to use Bolster Systems software to record and complete all risk assessment surveys.

Fire Curtains


Fire curtains, also called barrier systems, are a critical element of fire protection as they can inhibit the spread of flames, heat and smoke through concealed spaces in buildings. They can also deliver other benefits for your building, such as sound reduction.

Pro.Tek are skilled installers of fire curtains. Normally, these are applied as a hanging curtain, secured to the head of the soffit. If the fire barrier is required to form a continuation within a void of a fire-resistant wall or partition, the barrier must also be fixed to the wall or partition head, to maintain integrity. All fire barriers should satisfy the requirements of the Building Regulations 1991 (2000 edition) Approved Document B for cavity barriers inclusive of all fire protection. At Pro.Tek, all our fire curtains comply with these regulations.

Intumescent coating


Intumescent paints for steel work in a fire situation by changing their nature from a decorative or non-decorative paint, swelling into a protective layer of carbonaceous char, which forms when it’s subjected to heat. This layer of char can be 50 times the thickness of the initial coat, and is formed as the paint is heated to around 200C and above. This can slow down heat transfer and damage during a fire. At Pro.Tek Interiors we provide both water- and solvent-based intumescent paints, which can provide up to 120 minutes of fire protection. They are applied by airless spray, roller or brush as a thin film, and are available in a range of different colours, meaning they can meet your aesthetic needs, as well as delivering fire protection.

The required DFT (dry film thickness) of the paint is calculated using the HP/A (heating perimeter over area) as per BS 476 Part 21 and will vary depending on the size of steel and the exposure of the member requiring protection. A top-seal can be used for extra protection.

Where Fire protection is not required, industrial coatings can be also be applied in a range of different colours to steelwork or metal decking.

Firestopping


Approved document B (2000 edition) of the Building Regulations outlines the need for large buildings to be divided into compartments, and specifies the level of fire performance the compartment walls and floors need in order to protect a building from fire.

However, where there are mechanical and electrical services present, these by necessity breach compartment walls and floors, which can lead to the failure of integrity and insulation in these gaps. This is where firestopping comes to the fore. When correctly installed, a certified firestopping system will contain a fire at its source, and limit the risk of destruction caused by the spread of fire and release of toxic gases.

At Pro.Tek we can installed certified firestopping systems, many of which are tested to provide up to 4 hours’ integrity. We also have load-bearing products available within this range.

CAVITY FIRE BARRIER


Cavity barriers work to improve a building’s safety by preventing the spread of fire within concealed voids. By specifying and installing the TCB Cavity Barrier or PWCB Cavity Barrier, they provide essential protection whilst also helping to minimise air leakage and heat loss between the external cavity and the separating party wall.

Fire and smoke damper installation, inspection and repair


Fire and smoke dampers are a critical component of a building’s air conditioning and ventilation system in fire safety design. In 1996, fire at the Düsseldorf Airport killed eight people in the VIP lounge. A fire, 700 metres from the lounge, spread through the ventilation ducts catching the eight individuals that perished by surprise. Had the fire dampers worked, these deaths may not have occurred. Fire dampers are passive fire protection products that prevent the spread of fire inside ductwork.

The enactment of The Regulatory Reform (fire safety) Order (RRO) came into effect in October 2006, having a huge impact on fire safety throughout Great Britain. The RRO changed who is responsible for the fire safety system; the responsibility now lies on who the RRO says is the “responsible person”. Typically that person is the employer, or the owner of the facility. The fire safety systems that must be kept in order include all active and passive fire protection systems. Included in the list of items in the passive fire protection systems are the maintenance of the fire and smoke dampers. Pro.Tek is a leader in fire and smoke damper inspection and repair services.

Get in touch today

Find out more about any aspect of our complete fire protection services
Contact UsBook a Consultation