Dunbar Wallace are Specialist Passive Fire Protection Contractors

Passive fire protection describes materials which are built into the fabric of buildings with the sole aim of resisting the spread of fire. The role of passive fire materials is to allow the maximum amount of time for evacuation from the building, or to stop the fire in its tracks. Why passive? Because materials described in this way require no external stimulation to activate.

The Difference Between Active and Passive Fire Protection

We’ve found that one of the best ways to describe to clients what we do, is to compare passive fire protection materials with active fire protection. Active systems comprise a range of products that detect or combat fires, such as:

  • Smoke detectors
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Sprinklers

These require external stimulus in order to fulfil their purpose. Passive fire materials, by contrast, are inherently resistant. They minimise the risk of fire spreading, and maximise the protection of people living or working in the building. The combination of both active and passive fire materials in a building form a powerful defence against the effects of fire.


What are Passive Fire Resistant Materials?

The five most regularly used passive fire resistant materials are:

  1. Boarding Systems. This provides passive fire protection to structural steelwork. The fire boards encase the steelwork and provide up to 240 minutes of insulation against flames.
  2. Cavity Barriers. These form a barrier to the spread of fire in potentially hidden spaces such as raised floors, roofs, voids and ceilings.
  3. Air Sealing. The leakage of air can speed up the spread of fire significantly in a building. This can be countered by sealing joints and gaps in the building’s structure.
  4. Intumescent Coatings. This is a coating that responds to high temperatures by expanding to more than 100 times its original thickness. It forms a protective insulator against the fire.
  5. Cable Duct Sealing. Sealing cables prevents water, gas or fire ingress. This requires the individual sleeving of cables, before application of a silicon-based sealant to protect the cables, whilst still allowing for movement.

Dunbar Wallace is a Leading Passive Fire Protection Contractor

Dunbar Wallace Fire Protection Ltd is a specialist contractor and an experienced installer of a wide range of passive fire protection materials. We also have the in-house capability to design and manufacture the materials required to put in place and effective fire protection strategy. These include: protection walls, ductwork, tunnels, ceilings, barriers and seals for pipework, ductwork and cables.


If you are interested in learning more about Dunbar Wallace Fire Protection’s services please contact our team today on 01525 864438 or dwfpl@dunbarwallacefire.co.uk