In the year ending December 2018, there was over 175,000 reported fires within the UK – a two per cent increase compared with the previous year. Despite efforts to ensure that minimal damage is caused by fires around the UK, every year thousands of people are still affected.
As experts in passive fire protection within the construction industry, Nullifire’s mission is to raise the awareness of the importance of passive fire protection, to ensure the safety of properties and people within the UK. Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions below to find out more. Should you have any other questions please don't hesitate to get in touch with our expert team.
- What is Passive Fire Protection?
Passive Fire Protection (PFP) is a vital component of any fire strategy. It is built into the structure of a building to safeguard people’s lives and limit the financial impact of damage to buildings and their contents.
- What is the Difference Between Passive Fire Protection and Active Fire Protection?
Fire protection within a building requires two types of protection: Active Fire Protection and Passive Fire Protection. Active Fire Protection relates to the detection and extinction of a fire whilst Passive Fire Protection relates to the containment of a fire.
- What is the difference between Reaction to Fire and Resistance to Fire?
When evaluating the ability of any construction material to withstand fire, there are two key factors that need to be considered – the materials reaction to fire and the materials resistance to fire performance.
- What is the Role of Compartmentalisation Within a Building Facing a Fire, and How is it Done?
One of the fundamentals of passive fire protection is the compartmentalisation of buildings. To limit the spread of fire and smoke within a building we must compartmentalise: divide the space into several smaller sections in order to confine the fire in the only space it was declared, during the time necessary for evacuation.
- What Fire Regulations are in Place Within the UK?
Fire regulations within the UK, are continuously being updated and improved to ensure the maximum protection for building structures and people.
- How Far From A Compartment Wall Should My Services Be Supported?
It is generally assumed that services should be supported as per the fire test, typically between 200mm and 500mm away from the compartment.
- I have plastic pipes that are less than 40mm in diameter, can they be fire stopped without a closing device?
The general consensus within the industry appears to be that combustible pipes and conduits with an internal diameter of less than 40mm only requires to be fire stopped "up to", with no requirement for a closer device.
- There is a fire damper in the same openings as other services, how can this be fire stopped?
As ducts and dampers are tested to a different standard to cables, pipes etc. they should therefore be separated from other services and installed into their own openings.
- Why is Fire Resistance expressed differently for Nullifire intumescent products?
It is simply down to the testing that is needed to generate the approvals used to market the products.
Some tests are absolute i.e., the test or approval criteria are black and white where a test sample has to achieve the set criteria.
Other tests are not absolute and the approval depends on a series tests results to be analysed together to produce an assessment. An example is intumescents for structural steel.
Because of the multitude of steel sizes and geometries that exist, performance needs to be determined over a range that the product intends to be marketed for.
When all of the results are analysed to produce the loading tables needed to market intumescents, they always contain additional FR loadings than the targeted FR, i.e:
A 60 minute product almost always has some limited 90 minute capability.
A 90 minute product almost always has some limited 120 minute capability.
A 120 minute product almost always has some limited capability beyond 120 minutes.
- Are they not tested to the same standard?
Although both Fire Stopping and Intumescent products are tested to the same fire test standards, such as BS476, how they are tested tends to vary greatly. Intumescents are tested predominantly on structural steel which is used extensively throughout the construction market. they can be also evaluated on other materials such as concrete, but are clearly identified when that is the case.
While Fire Stopping products are tested to the same standards, the samples that are evaluated cover a wide range to reflect the materials seen in the construction market. This includes:
· different types and thickness of building materials
· different sizes and types of penetrations
· different types of product materials
As there is no standard combination used in any area of the construction market, this gives a considerable number of potential variations that may have different results dependant on the specific combination.
- What’s the difference between the “Up to” or “Optimised to” identifier?
Several of our products have the Fire Resistance performance expressed in different ways – either by “Up to X minutes”, or “Optimised for X minutes”, where X is the Fire Resistance such as 30, 60, 90, 120, etc.
The ‘optimised for X minutes’ identifier is used to identify the fire resistance period that we would expect to be able to meet every requirement.
This is to move away from stating the maximum Fire resistance period where maybe a limited amount only can be protected that would be sufficient for only a fraction of projects (where another product would be best suited).