What Is Fire Stopping?

What Is Fire Stopping?

Fire Protection
When it comes to building and designing large buildings, one of the biggest concerns architects face is the safety of the people inside of it. Whether it’s calculating the load of the building and whether it can withstand the weight or ensuring that the building won’t be affected by adverse weather such as strong winds, there are plenty of considerations to keep in mind and some of them might completely go over your head, especially when you’re renovating an existing office or a commercial property. However, arguably one of the most important security concerns to keep in mind is fire stopping. When a fire starts, it doesn't take long for it to spread around and affect virtually everything in the building. If a fire starts at the 1st floor of a building, then you’ll need to consider countermeasures to ensure that everyone above the 1st floor can make it out of the structure safely. So in this article, we’re going to talk about fire stopping, why it’s important and the type of products you should consider to stop fires from spreading around your building.

What exactly is fire stopping?

As the name suggests, fire stopping is a passive fire protection system that is made up of several different components that are used to seal openings and prevent the spread of fire around a building. It’s done by creating fire-resistant compartments that can contain fires so that they do not spread to surrounding buildings or compartments that could eventually overtake and engulf the entire building. The system should ensure that openings and gaps are fire stopped so that the fires cannot spread vertically or laterally across a building. In short, it’s a system that is made to prevent fires from spreading across a building and it uses various different tools that are built into the structure of your building.

Products used for fire stopping

There’s a large selection of products which are designed specifically for fire stopping.  
  • Fire covers - These typically provide around an hour of fire resistance and are used for ceilings. When it’s on fire, it expands internally to create a fire resistant material that prevents the vertical spread of fire.
  • Fire sleeves - These are used to fill or seal an aperture that is created by a pipe or cable. These are especially important in office buildings. During a fire, they expand to fill the space around the pipes it is covering to prevent fires from spreading. In the case of plastic pipes, the sleeve will physically crush the pipe to prevent a fire from spreading.
  • Fire collars - Collars are designed to maintain fire resistance levels by surrounding pipes and other penetrations with intumescent compounds that expand when it comes in contact with heat. This creates a fire-resistant seal, closing off the service component and creating an insulating barrier.
  • Fire sealant and filler - Lastly, there’s fire sealant and gap filler which expands when heated at a high temperature. This prevents the spread of smoke and fire throughout a building and there are many different types of fire sealant and filler.