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5 Considerations When Designing and Installing Industrial Fire Partitions

5 Considerations When Designing and Installing Industrial Fire Partitions

Industrial Fire Partitions

The role of industrial fire panels is to create an effective defence against the rapid spread of flames through the building. The installation of such panels has to be tailored to the contextual industrial environment. One of the major tasks when sub-dividing warehouse space into small units, for example, is to ensure that each of the partition walls provides the required level of resistance to fire.

All passive fire protection works in concert with active fire systems such as sprinklers, or fire alarms.  The aim of all fire protection systems is to provide stable conditions for an orderly evacuation, to allow for firefighter access, and to preserve the structural integrity of the building wherever possible.

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How Can Fire Cause Business Interruptions

Fire is Number One Cause of Business Interruption

Fire is Number One Cause of Business Interruption

When you start a business, the possibility that it could be destroyed, or severely impacted by fire is not likely to be uppermost in your thoughts. And yet, planning for fire as a business interruption is a key component to future-proofing your company. Fire is the most common cause of business interruption, globally, and a failure to plan for business recovery after a fire or explosion could cost you your company.

In 2018 there were over 13,000 non-residential fires in the UK. Speaking during Business Safety Week 2019, Lee Shears, Head of Protection at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service warned:

“Fires can have a devastating effect on businesses and 80% of companies who do not recover in a month after, are likely to go out of business.”

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How Partitions Keep Fire Contained

How Partitions Keep Fire Contained

How Partitions Keep Fire Contained

Passive fire protection has as its goal the creation of structural defences against the spread of fire through a building. Compartmentation is a key element in achieving this. A building is sub-divided into a number of compartments using horizontal and vertical partitions, made of fire resistant materials. The purpose of compartmentation is to contain the spread of fire for a designated period of time during which an orderly evacuation can take place and firefighters can access the building.

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Passive Fire Protection and The Building Regulations

Passive Fire Protection and The Building Regulations

Passive Fire Protection and The Building Regulations

In the event of a fire, a building needs both active and passive fire protection to ensure effective evacuation and access for firefighters. Active fire protection includes sprinkler systems or fire extinguishers – they’re systems that require ‘action’ to prevent the spread of smoke and flames. Passive fire protection is integrated into the structure of the building. It remains inert until a fire breaks out, at which point it works to contain it.

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The importance of passive fire protection in the workplace

The Importance of Passive Fire Protection In the Workplace

The Importance of Passive Fire Protection in the Workplace

For employees, fire safety tends to focus on active fire protection – extinguishers, alarms and sprinklers. These are only half the story, though. Life-saving fire stopping solutions require both active, and passive fire protection to be effective.

UK government statistics show that Fire & Rescue Services attended 15,577 non-dwelling fires in the year 2017/18. 20 fatalities were recorded, as a result of fire, and 994 non-fatal casualties. In the majority of the fires attended, lives were saved as a direct result of passive fire protection enabling the containment of the fire within one area of the building.

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Cable Duct Sealing is Key to Passive Fire Solutions

Cable Duct Sealing is Key to Passive Fire Solutions

Cable Duct Sealing is Key to Passive Fire Solutions

A passive fire solution doesn’t seek to stop a workplace blaze in its tracks, rather the goal is to contain the smoke and flames. This delivers two key benefits. First, it allows for an orderly evacuation from the building. Second, the structural integrity of the building is protected. Where buildings have passive fire protection installed, the recovery process, after a fire event, tends to be quicker, and less expensive.

DunbarWallace Fire Protection designs passive fire protection systems for utilities, power generation, construction and high risk environments across the UK. Their solutions will normally incorporate a range of materials including:

Our aim, when designing a passive fire protection system, is to provide clients with a designated time frame during which the fire will be contained, evacuation can take place, and the structural and plant integrity is maintained.

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GSK Irvine, Fendolite Application

GSK Irvine, Fendolite Application

Case Study – GSK Irvine, Fendolite Application

DunbarWallace recently installed VICUCLAD® fire protection board in the Decanter Hall at GlaxoSmithKline’s Irvine plant in Ayreshire. Following on from this work, we were asked to provide fire protection for Process Vessels located in the Decanter Hall.

A Process Vessel is used an a range of industries where there’s a need to manage pressure and temperature. Their uses include storage, chemical change, holding heat or agitation. In this instance the Decanter Hall vessels required fire protection against the outbreak of a fully developed hydrocarbon pool fire for a period of 120 minutes.

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What is intumescent coating for steel

What is intumescent coating for steel?

What is Intumescent Coating for Steel?

Intumescent coating, or paint, is designed to swell to 50 times its own thickness when subjected to temperatures over 120°C. As the coating swells it forms a carbon layer which thermally insulates the steel structure it is protecting. The goal of an intumescent paint  application is to keep high temperatures, caused by fire, away from the steel members for between 30-120 minutes.

The critical failure point for the structural steel framework of a building is between 550 – 620°C. Once the steel reaches these temperatures it will begin to buckle and bend, with a high risk of collapse. The purpose of intumescent coating is to maintain the steelwork below this temperature, in a condition of ‘elasticity’. This describes a state in which the steel will bend or deflect, but will crucially return to its original form once the heat reduces.

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Case Study – GSK Irvine, VICUCLAD® Installation

Case Study – GSK Irvine, VICUCLAD® Installation

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) opened its Scottish manufacturing plant in Irvine, Ayreshire nearly 50 years ago. It’s one of two plants located in Scotland and, between them, they have 800 employees. The Irvine plant produces the active ingredients which are use in GSK antibiotics. Around 2,500 tons of these are manufactured each year. That’s enough to provide 700 million people globally with an average course of antibiotics.

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