Why are fire barriers essential?
Firstly, we are required by law to provide suitable fire protection. This is primarily so that any occupants of a building are able to find a passage of escape in the event of a fire.
This means that stairs, corridors, and lift-shafts should all be manufactured to prevent the spread of fire and smoke. A properly implemented fire protection system not only saves lives but can help to save large portions of a building from destruction and devastation.
Where are firestops a requirement and what issues might we encounter?
Put simply, firestops should be present in all buildings. Minimising the impact of smoke, fumes, and heat is of utmost importance in all residential, commercial, and industrial properties.
Effective prevention can be divided into three main requirements:
1) Board enclosures – Covering the structural elements of the property with a fire-resistant board that will safeguard against the effects of heat and flames for a set amount of time.
2) Intumescent coatings – A covering that can be applied to internal elements of the building in the form of a spray, paint, or coating offering protection against the effects of fire.
3) General-purpose fire stopping – A level of protection that prevents fire infiltrating between levels in a building. This general fire protection is an essential element in protecting the occupants of a property that is spread across multiple levels.
How important are barriers in preventing the spread of a fire?
A fire door can often be the last form of protection between the occupants of a room and the blaze itself. Compartmentation is a form of protection using a variety of different components to seal joints and gaps in a wall, as well as spaces in floor elements of a building, helping to prevent the spread of fire. If a building is operating a stay-put policy, then this compartmentation technique can help to save lives. The use of passive fire protection and the installation of fire-resistant materials is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of fire throughout a building.
Issues centred around fire barrier protection usually arise due to inexperience and poor choice of materials. Expert, professional advice should always be sought to carefully consult on the suitability of each element of the environment. The selection of an inappropriate, non-flame retardant construction material could result in catastrophic events. And simply choosing the correct material isn’t always enough. Protective measures should be installed by experts who are familiar with the procedure and correct protocol for the appropriate fire safety measures.
With regards to fire doors, it’s worth noting that a barrier is only effective if it’s properly installed. Be sure to use the services of a reputable fire door company who have experience working within the official guidelines.
If you’re looking for professionals in the fire protection industry, look no further than JNR Ltd. JNR offer fire stopping, fire barriers, and a whole host of other supplies to not only get you fully fire safety compliant but to keep everyone in your care as safe as possible.