Fire stopping is an incredibly important part of fire protection and can help to ensure the safety of people within a building. This is especially important in a commercial environment as not complying with fire protection rules and regulations can be very damaging to a business reputation and can also have severe legal consequences, depending on the level of violation.
Fire stopping refers to the use of fire-resistant materials to fill openings and joints between walls and floors in buildings. The idea behind doing this is to slow down the spread of fire between building ‘compartments.
The idea of fire stopping methods are to prevent fire from spreading through cavities in buildings, and as pipes and cables run through these cavities and openings, it can allow fire to spread. This is where fire sleeves come in. Fire sleeves are used to fill and seal the gaps that can be created where the pipes and cables run through. In the event of a fire, the sleeve will expand in order to fill the available space. If there is a plastic pipe, then the fire sleeve will crush and seal off the pipe, which will prevent fire and smoke from passing through. Insulated fire sleeves are intended for use on most plastic pipes, copper and steel and can usually provide up to 2 hours of fire protection.
The purpose of a fire cover is to stop fires of luminaires in suspended ceilings that are fire rated. In the event of a fire, a fire cover will expand internally and fill all available space with a fire-resistant, highly insulating char.
A fire collar is a circular device that can be fitted around the base of pipes. A fire collar can then be attached to a masonry, plasterboard or concrete partition. In the event of a fire, pipe and cable openings can become weakened and the fire can affect the pipe or cable quite significantly. Using a fire collar can reinstate the integrity of the resistance of the wall and is fire tested for up to 4 hours.
Fire sealants and gap fillers
If lines are installed after a building has already been built, no matter how well it was built, the integrity of the building can weaken. Building on top of something that may have the best fire protection strategy in mind, can compromise safety. This is where fire sealants and gap fillers come in. Gap fillers and sealants can close any penetrations and restore the building to its original fire safety standards.
The best materials for fire stopping
In order to ensure that maximum safety is in place when it comes to fire-stopping, you must make sure that openings for things such as cables, beams, pipes, ducts are kept as minimal as possible to ensure maximum safety for a building’s occupants. Common fire stopping materials can include, cement mortar, cement or gypsum-based vermiculite mixes, intumescent mastics, fire shutters and curtains, fire-resistant glazing, linear gap seals, cavity barriers and fire-resistant air transfer grilles.
There are some things that you should always be aware of when it comes to implementing certain fire-resistant materials. Make sure that all pipes, cables and ducts are inspected by a professional, in order to make sure that they are completely safe.
The importance of fire stopping
Fire stopping is incredibly important as it can quite literally save lives. Fire stopping is also an essential component of maintaining building safety. However, once installed, the fire safety measurements will need to be checked regularly by a professional. Failure to do this, could mean breaking fire safety laws, which could have legal consequences. This also means that in the event of a fire, you could be held accountable.