What are the Legal Fire Stopping Regulations in the UK?
The rationale for passive fire protection is watertight when it comes to protecting employees and member of the public from being trapped in a burning building. But, more than that, the installation of PFP precautions in now a legal requirement.
Why is Passive Fire Protection Important?
Should a fire break out in a building it is critical that measures are in place to contain the blaze in order to allow people to evacuate the building. Passive fire protection enhances a building’s fire resistance. This means that the structure of the building will be preserved, and escape routes kept clear for a period in which the emergency services can take control of the situation.
Passive fire protection focuses on the health and safety of building occupants. PFP measures give time for fire evacuation procedures to be followed. They also prevent the spread of flames, smoke and potentially harmful gases.
Passive fire protection installations include:
- Fire barriers to walls, ceilings and floors
- Fire protection for steelwork (structural and non-structural)
- Blast and fire resistant panels to protect plant and escape routes
- Sealing of cable ducts
Legal Obligations for Businesses
The legal obligations requiring businesses to install passive fire protection apply to existing buildings, new builds and residential, or non-residential premises.
“Where reasonably necessary to inhibit the spread of fire within the building, measures shall be taken, to an extent appropriate to the size and intended use of the building, comprising either or both of the following –
(a) sub-division of the building with fire-resisting construction;
(b) installation of suitable automatic fire suppression systems.
The building shall be designed and constructed so that the unseen spread of fire and smoke within concealed spaces in its structure and fabric is inhibited.”
Requirement 10.2 of the Building Regulations also states that fire stopping, or sealing, is applied to joints and openings between fire-separating elements. This refers to pipes, cables or conduits.
What is Required for Passive Fire Protection Compliance?
The goal of passive fire protection is to create a passive fire protection system which will resist fire for a specific period of time. The resistance ‘window’ can be anything between 30 minutes to 4 hours, but the system design must demonstrate specialist consultation and knowledge. For effective compliance, all products used in the installation should be fire resistance rated according to the current British standard.
Top Quality Compliance from Dunbar Wallace Fire Protection
Dunbar Wallace provides expert capability in passive fire protection design, manufacture and installation. Our professional engineers have provided effective PFP and blast resistance in nuclear facilities, waste management centres, power stations and railways depots. We use a range of fire stopping products which have been tested extensively and proven to stop the passage of fire, or prevent the ingress of smoke or toxic fumes.