At Trustland Construction we understand that building and refurbishing structures require an intricate balance of design, functionality, and safety. Safety is paramount, and it is essential to ensure that the structure is safe from fire hazards. One of the ways to achieve this is by incorporating effective, reliable passive fire protection measures into the design and construction of the building. Passive fire protection (PFP) refers to the measures put in place to slow down the spread of fire and smoke, allowing occupants enough time to leave the building. Unlike active fire protection measures such as fire alarms and sprinkler systems, passive fire protection measures do not require any action to be taken to activate them and do not rely on external sources of power, water, or detection to be effective.
The primary aim of PFP is to contain fires or ensure their spread is slowed down to limit danger and damage. Examples of PFP include installing fire-resistant walls, floors and doors. Where services like water, gas, electrical or communications technology are installed through the fire compartment lines of a building, it’s essential that the hole that the service passes through is sealed with an effective fire-stopping solution.
In most commercial cases PFP measures are now a matter of regulatory compliance, but we believe there is a strong case for incorporating PFP into every build regardless. Below we have compiled a few of the key benefits to passive fire protection that you may or may not have yet considered:
1. Protect Lives, Buildings and Assets
It sounds obvious, but it’s a critical one…. The main purpose of passive fire protection is to save lives, which is achieved by slowing down or reducing the spread of fire and smoke, enabling occupants to escape safely and ensure emergency services have sufficient time to react. Passive fire protection can also ensure a fire is localised so damage to a building is kept to a minimum, protecting other valuable assets such as stock and machinery.
2. Reduces the Spread of Fire
The primary benefit of passive fire protection is that it slows down the spread of fire and smoke. This is achieved through the use of fire-resistant materials such as fire-rated walls, doors, and windows. These materials are designed to resist fire for a specific amount of time, thereby reducing the spread of fire to other parts of the building. This buys time for the occupants to evacuate the building safely and for the fire department to arrive and put out the fire.
3. Enhances Structural Integrity
Another benefit of passive fire protection is that it protects the structural integrity of the building in the event of a fire. Fire-resistant materials are designed to withstand high temperatures and prevent structural collapse. This is particularly important in multi-story buildings where a collapse could result in significant loss of life and property. A good example of this is where structural steel is protected by fire resistant board of intumescent paint.
4. Reduces Insurance Premiums and compliance with insurance company requirements
Buildings that have passive fire protection measures in place are considered a lower risk by insurance companies. As a result, they may qualify for lower insurance premiums. This is because passive fire protection measures reduce the likelihood of a fire occurring and minimize the damage caused by fire when it does occur. Insurance companies may also offer discounts to buildings that have undergone fire safety inspections and have been found to have effective passive fire protection measures in place.
In conclusion, passive fire protection measures are an essential aspect of fire safety in all commercial buildings for good reason. They help reduce the spread of fire, enhance the structural integrity of the building and reduces insurance premiums. You are legally obliged to have effective fire protection measures in place if you’re in charge of a commercial building. If fire protection is installed poorly, it can be largely ineffective during the event of a fire which is why it’s essential to get the job done right the first time.
The Building Regulations and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRFSO) state that anyone installing fire-stopping products has the competence to do so. One way to prove someone tasked with these duties is deemed ‘competent’ is to show third-party certification from a scheme such as BM Trada Q-Mark. The BM Trada Q-Mark Fire Door Maintenance, Fire Door Installation and Fire Stopping Installation Schemes are designed to give reassurance that fire safe products have been installed and maintained correctly and are therefore likely to perform in the way they are required to.
Why choose Trustland Construction?
At Trustland we have been carrying out passive fire protection across high fire risk sites for many years and have BM Trada Q-mark certification for fire door installation, fire door maintenance and fire-stopping installation. As such, we are frequently audited by BM Trada to ensure we’re continuing to meet the highest standards. We also have certification for the fire protection of structural steel with Warrington Fire Firas.
To find out more about Trustland and our commercial construction and PFP projects get in touch today. You can reach us by filling in the form below, giving us a call on 0151 653 5566 or by sending a message to email@example.com