Passive Fire Protection – A beginner’s guide

Posted Wednesday, 31st March 2021

Passive Fire Protection – A beginner’s guide

You might be new to all things Passive Fire Protection (PFP) and not sure were to even start. Hopefully, this blog will help clear some of that up for you and answer any questions you have!

PFP is an important component of any fire safety strategy. Playing one of the most vital roles in safeguarding people as well as limiting damage to building and its contents from smoke or fire, it is important you know the basics and how you can help make your building and people safer.

So how does PFP work?

PFP works by using fire-resistant walls and floors to suppress the spread of fire, smoke, and heat by containing it in a single compartment in its area of origin. PFP also helps protect escape routes to ensure the building users can evacuate unharmed while protecting the buildings’ structure and assets.

What are the elements of PFP?

Firestopping

Firestopping is the sealing of any openings to prevent fire, smoke, and heat from passing through multiple building compartments. The spread of fire is contained by creating fire resisting compartments. Penetration seals are vital in upholding compartmentations to minimise the spread of a fire within a building. At BDL, we provide fire stopping utilising a wide range of industry standard methods including Fire stopping, Cavity Barriers, Beam Clad and Slab Edge. Our qualified, skilled, and professional team can ensure that you are compliant with all building, health and fire safety regulations.

Fire Protection Surveys

A PFP surveys takes the findings from a fire risk assessment and develops a plan of works required throughout a property, ensuring residents and/or service users are protected by removing any potential hazards. The process includes making escape routes clearer and providing equipment needed to ensure complete safety in the event of a fire. BDL carry out Inspections and Surveys for all aspects of Fire Protection including Fire Doors, Service Penetrations, Cavity Barriers, Thermal Insulation.

Inspection and Surveying in PFP must have a methodical, robust, and technical approach. That is why BDL only allow our competent and senior staff to carry out this task. When practical to do so, we use Bolster Systems to record our findings. Bolster Systems allows contractors, building managers, construction teams and FM departments to track the functions related to Passive Fire projects. The system provides evidence of compliance when Passive Fire work in a building is completed. It also provides building owners with a system they can use to maintain and manage an inventory of the impact of maintenance works on post-occupancy Passive Fire work.

Fire Doors

A fire door is a door with a fire-resistance rating used as part of a PFP system to reduce the spread of fire and smoke between separate compartments of a structure and to enable safe egress from a building.

It is essential that periodic checks are carried out every 6 months on Fire Doors. Only trained and competent persons should carry out these checks. BDL offer Inspections, Maintenance and Replacement Fire Doorsets. We are also BM Trada and FIRAS certified! All fire doors must be installed with the appropriate fire-resistant fittings, such as the frame and door hardware, for it to fully comply with any fire regulations. At BDL, we offer Inspections, Maintenance and Replacement Fire Doorsets.

Fire dampers

Fire dampers are crucial PFP products and are used in air conditioning, ventilation, and heating systems. A fire damper works when heat from a fire causes the normal temperature of a room to rise to approx. 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The damper is designed to close automatically on the detection of heat. The fusible link which is attached to the damper melts causing the dampers' door to close. More specifically they are located in ductwork at the intersection of fire rated barriers in building zones like partitions at the point of duct penetration in order to retain the fire rating of the wall or floor.

The fire damper secures the integrity of the existing barrier thus preventing fire penetration before temperatures reach the fire rating level of the barrier itself.  Its primary function is to prevent the passage of fire from one side to the other of a fire-rated separation. The damper is manufactured to a high standard of integrity being designed to resist high temperatures for as long as possible.

Why choose us for your PFP needs?

At BDL, we are committed to helping our clients ensure that Fire Compartmentation within their project is 100% Compliant upon completion. BDL encourage the understanding of the implications involved if the PFP works are not installed correctly first-time round. If this is not achieved, it can have massive cost and legal implications to the Original Builder or Building Owner. This advice, along with guaranteed compliant installation of PFP products, ensures that our clients do not encounter such unnecessary costs.

If you have any requirements for PFP or would like any further information, please get in touch with us and together, let us make your building safer.

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Client Feedback

Novus Property Solutions

Neal Donlan

Carrying out construction works in the Health Care environment is extremely challenging. This means that you have to adapt your working methods/hours etc to suit to reduce the impact upon the primary function of the hospitals.

BDL Fire protection are always happy to do what we need them to, sometimes at extremely short notice to meet the demands of the project. They are extremely professional & reliable and I would certainly recommend the company.

Bolton at Home

John Martindale

BDL conducted initial fire stopping surveys on a dozen of out HMO's that were being used for specialized housing. They subsequently conducted the fire stopping based on this survey.

The end users, the care staff and Bolton at Home were delighted in the timely manner and professionalism in how BDL conducted their works.

I would highly recommend them to any organisation that required fire stopping surveys and or rectification works being conducted.

Engie FM

Richie Sealey

BDL Fire Protection have proven to be a pro-active and efficient contractor, procured through projects involving myself.

Services ranging from Reactive and Preventative maintenance, asset verification relating to passive fire protection, all of which continues to be of a high standard from quality assurance to customer focus.