Firestopping is a fundamental part of passive fireproofing. It refers to the process of filling openings and joints between walls and floors with fire-resistant material. The effect of this is to...Continue Reading
Firestopping is a fundamental part of passive fireproofing. It refers to the process of filling openings and joints between walls and floors with fire-resistant material. The effect of this is to slow down the spread of fire between ‘compartments’ within a building. In this post, we’ll provide an overview of the most common firestopping methods, and explain why they’re so important.
Firestopping around pipes and cables
Pipes and cables can pass through different ‘compartments’ within a building. The openings around their entry and exit points between compartments can act as channels for fire to spread. To prevent this from happening, passive fireproofing professionals have a variety of tools at their disposal. Fire sealants, for instance, expand on exposure to high temperatures and block airways for fire and smoke. For pipes, fire collars and sleeves can also be used as a fire stopping solution. Both expand on exposure to extreme heat, working to block or delay the transfer of heat from one compartment to another. If the protected pipe is made of plastic, it will be crushed during this process, barring the way for fire and noxious gases.
Firestopping around door frames
Although fire doors are fitted to be flush with the door frame, any gaps between the two are filled with a silicone-based fire-resistant sealing. To further enhance their fire resistance, intumescent strips are often attached to the base of the door.
Firestopping around windows
For firestopping purposes, windows are treated in a similar way to doors. Gaps around the frame are sealed with a fire-resistant material (which is suitable for the particular substrate), and any cavities around the window space are filled with a thermal cavity barrier (more on this below).
What’s the difference between a cavity barrier and a firestop?
Cavity barriers and firestops differ in their applications. Cavity barriers are designed to effectively close a cavity between two elements of a building, such as between a floor slab and cladding materials, or a loft space. Firestops, on the other hand, are intended to close a penetration made through a compartmentation element, such as a pipe going through a firewall.
The importance of firestopping
Firestopping is an essential component of a building’s safety. Once installed, firestopping measures need to be monitored regularly and assessed for their effectiveness. Failure to do so could mean that your property is not in compliance with current fire safety regulations, and you could be held accountable in the event of a fire.
CLM Fireproofing is the UK’s leading passive fire protection and firestopping specialist. With over 30 years of experience, our experts are able to accurately assess fire risk in your buildings, and install measures to ensure full compliance with current regulations. If you’d like to know more, get in touch with CLM Fireproofing today – we’re here to help.
Disclaimer: This post is intended for educational use only, and should not be relied upon for compliance purposes.