WHAT IS A FIRE STOPPING?
Fire-Stopping is a form of passive fire protection that is used to seal around openings and between joints in a fire-resistance-rated wall or floor assembly. It is best defined as the sealing of any openings to prevent fire (including smoke and heat) from passing through multiple building compartments. The spread of a fire is contained by creating fire resisting compartments, which sub-divide the building. Buildings must ensure that any openings and gaps are fire stopped to restrict both lateral and vertical fire spread.
Passive fire protection (PFP) is a form of safety provision that remains dormant or inert during normal conditions but becomes active in a fire situation. It is an integral component of structural fire protection in a building, which is designed to contain fires or slow their spread.
The purpose of PFP is to contain the spread of fire for sufficient time to limit the spread of fire and smoke by containing it in a single compartment, protecting escape routes for essential means of escape and protecting the building structure thereby ensuring it’s sustainability. PFP provision is required in all buildings, whether domestic or non-domestic.
The role of PFP is to seal the gaps these penetrations create should a fire break out. All products designed to fulfill this criteria are fire rated, certified to resist fire for a specified length of time, which can be anything from 30 minutes to 4 hours.
PFP products include an intumescent material, which remains dormant, or passive, during normal conditions but swells to many times its original size when exposed to the heat of a blaze.