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Traditional Quantity Surveying, Architectural and Passive Fire Protection services for todays environment

Passive Fire Protection

How Safe is your Building?

Many organisations regularly conduct fire risk assessments (FRAs) of their premises.  However, it should be noted that an FRA does not always address fire compartmentalisation as some building areas are hard to reach/inspect e.g. suspended ceilings, cavity walls etc.  With the advent of the new Building Regulations 2010, Fire Safety, Approved Document B building owners are required to take full responsibility for all aspects of fire safety within their premises.  This include the requirement to ensure that all elements of the builidng structure adhere to current legislation.

Fire is capable of spreading in numerous ways; prevention comes in the form of fire stopping materials correctly installed.  For passive fire protection methods to be efficient and operational the following areas do need to be addressed:

  1.   Design - initial design should meet structural fire protection standards
  2.   Correct application - installation and workmanship should be conducted by accredited installers
  3.   Post construction - make sure you have verification and certification in place
  4.   Proactive Management and Maintenance - You have a duty of care to ensure that the fire protection components within your building   are subject to a suitable system of maintenance and are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.

What is Passive Fire Protection?

Passive Fire Protection or PFP is a form of fire safety provision which remains dormant, or inert during normal conditions and active in a situation of fire.  It is an essential/fundamental component of structural fire protection in a building which is designed to inhibit fires or decelerate the spread of the fire, smoke and high temperatures i.e. firewalls, fire doors and fire rated floor assemblies.  The aim is to contain the fire for a sufficient period of time to allow the safe evacuation of all occupants.  PFP also serves to ensure the building remains as safe as feasibly possible for entry by emergency services.

During the lifespan of a building, there is a potential for the existing fabric of the buidling to change.  Change comes in various forms such as altering the interior office layouts, extending the building or even a change of use.  Any new build/modernisation/extension works must be carried out in accordance with the Building Regulations 2010, Fire Safety Approved Document B.
Examples of PFP

  • Fire Doors
  • Service Penetrations (cables/ducts/pipework)
  • Wall/Ceiling Linings
  • Walls/Floors and Ceilings on Escape Routes
  • Structural Frames

How to achieve PFP Compliance

JGPS Fire has Passive Fire Surveyors who are accredited by NAPFIS (Nationwide Associaton of Passive Fire Installers and Specifiers) and are able to conduct detailed surveys and audits of your commercial, industrial or residential premises to ensure that your passive fire protection is not compromised.  Should works be required then we can also recommend building contractors who will ensure that the NAPFIS certification is met.  The survey covers the following elements and a full report of the Passive Fire Surveyors' findings will be issued detailing any passive fire requirements.
Standard Survey:
  • A visual inspection of the condition of the existing fire compartment walls, floors and ceilings, including services risers.

  • An appraisal of the condition and effectiveness of the sealing of wall/soffit interfaces

  • An inspection and appraisal of the effectiveness of fire doors in fire compartment lines.

  • An inspection of the integrity of fire seals applied to service penetrations through fire compartment lines.

  • An appraisal of the materials used to seal service penetrations/liner joints and, in particular, whether appropriate fire rated materials appear to have been used and whether they appear to have been applied/installed in an appropriate manner.

  • An investigation into the presence of fire dampers within ducts passing through designated fire compartment lines.  Where dampers are present, an appraisal of the positioning and fixing methods used.
  • An appraisal of the materials and methods used to construct any dry lined walls which form part of the fire compartmentation

  • An investigation into the presence of unprotected structural steelwork within fire compartments which may have an impact on the overall effectiveness of the expected fire performance of the building.

  • An investigation into the presence of any damage to fire compartment lines that is likely to reduce the effectiveness of the fire compartment.

  • An appraisal of any specific issues relating to the ability to reinstate fire compartmentation (the presence of items of equipment or services which may prevent access to the required area).

  • A review of the Fire Strategy for the Building.

  • An inspection of the FRA.