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Guide to Passive Fire Protection. What Is It & What You Need To Know 

What is Passive Fire Protection?

Fire safety incorporates a large number of measures and strategies that combines together assure solid protection against any fire emergencies. When it comes to fire protection, there are two main types of fire protection that should be taken into account. There is active fire protection and passive fire protection. 

While the active fire protection or AFP covers all manuals and automatic products, such as fire alarms, smoke detectors, extinguishers, fire systems emergency lighting, passive fire protection or PFP includes more strategies. 

Passive Fire protection represents all the built-in features of a building that ensures the protection and safety of a fire emergency and they act as a barrier to fire with the idea of stopping or delaying the fire from spreading. Some examples are fire-resistant floors and walls, protective doors and so on. These two types are designed to work together ina synergy and ensure the fire safety of the buildings and its occupants. 

 

Fire Resistance

Passive Fire Protection is characterised by fire resistance. The overall fire resistance of a building is given by the way its structure has been built – using fire-resistant floors, walls, doors, column and so on. Any of these elements that incorporate fire-resistance offers three benefits:

-Protects the building from a collapse;

-Protects against the spread of smoke and other gases

-Balances the insulations (heat conduction)

 

It is essential that all of the building protections against fire are designed and tested properly as well as installed in the correct way in order to ensure the buildings will react accordingly during a fire emergency

It is also important to note that any buildings that contain any elements such as cables, pipes or fire-resisting ducts should be ensured against fire as they are mostly placed in hidden areas and often fires can pass unnoticed. 

 

Both the active and passive fire protection measure re directly influenced by the type of building, the protection required, the water availability and the time required to evacuate the building safely. AFP generally actions in order to take out the fire while the PFP ensures you are delaying the fire from spreading. Together they contribute to the successful evacuation of the building and ensuring the lives fo the occupants are protected.

Passive Fire protection represents all the built-in features of a building that ensures the protection and safety of a fire emergency and they act as a barrier to fire with the idea of stopping or delaying the fire from spreading. Some examples are fire-resistant floors and walls, protective doors and so on. These two types are designed to work together ina synergy and ensure the fire safety of the buildings and its occupants. 

 

 How does passive fire protection work? 

 

Passive Fire Protection works in conjunction with the rest of the active fire protection measures, but generally, passive fire protection gives occupants time to escape the building in case of a fire emergency by:

-Providing protection for escape routes so that occupants can have enough time to safely escape the building;

-Incorporating fire-resistant doors and walls in order to create floors/compartments that delay the spread of fire, heat and smoke;

-Protection the overall building structure by enhancing its sustainability

-Ensuring the protection for firefighters by minimizing the growth of the fire

 

 Who has the responsibility of ensuring passive fire protection?

 All the passive fire protection measures in the UK must comply with all the Building Regulations which ensures that in the eventuality of a fire emergency, people have time to escape the building safely. The responsibility of ensuring that passive fire protection is provided falls on building owners, designers as well as the managers and occupiers. They need to ensure that fire risk assessments are carried out periodically. In addition, it is advised that all the building specifications should include both an active and passive fire protection strategy. Changes should be kept to a minimum in order to ensure that the overall fire protection of the building is not compromised and in the eventuality of any change, only a certified third-party body should carry them out.  

There are some materials that have a natural resistance to fire built-in already and can offer a higher level of fire protection. Clay bricks are usually used to built fire-resistant walls. Other passive fire protection products are:

-Fire-resistant doors and furniture;

Fire-resisting external walls

-Fire shutters

-Fire  fighting stairwells

Fire-resisting dampers

-Cavity barriers

-Compartment floors

 

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