FIRE STOPPING AND PENETRATION SEALS
There are techniques that will minimise the effect a fire has on the fabric of a building and these should form an integral part of the design of all new buildings. Specifiers and architects must look at dividing a building into compartments that can be closed to stop the spread of fire – this is known as compartmentation. Confining a fire to its point of origin is the key objective of any fire safety measure.. Compartments with fire-separating elements, on the other hand, can confine a fire to its area of origin so it is essential to maintain integrity where services breach fire resting walls in such areas as:-
• multi-service openings through walls and floors
• blank service openings through walls and floors
• combustible pipes (plastics)
• cavity barriers
• construction joints
• any imperfection of fit to a fire-rated building element
Proprietary penetration seal/service opening fire protection systems include boards, batts, mortars, sealants, collars, wraps, pillows, curtains and linear joints. Penetration seal systems are available for up to 4 hours integrity and, in some cases, insulation against a cellulosic fire, in accordance with national and European standards. Products are also available to protect against hydrocarbon fires.
Penetration seal systems must be specified in strict compliance with the manufacturer's data sheets and tested/assessed for that purpose. Seals should be used as a tested system and installed by competent contractors, in compliance with the manufacturer's application instructions.