As fire protection consultants, Vemco Consulting is a firm passionate about fire prevention. When looking at fire protection, most people and businesses are aware of fire extinguishers, fire blankets and other ways to minimise the spread of a fire once it has begun. However, there are ways the design of a building can help prevent and mitigate the spread of fire.
Passive fire prevention is a form of fire protection built into the property. It remains dormant during normal conditions but becomes active in a fire situation. This includes fire-resistant doors, floors and walls. It often works in combination with an active protection system which includes fire extinguishers, fire alarms and sprinklers. When living or working in the building, these features often go unnoticed.
While these systems won’t put out a fire, they are vital. They can slow the spread of fire from one room to another, which allows people to evacuate to safety. It also reduces the amount of damage that the fire inflicts on a building, massively reducing the costs and time it takes to make the building usable again. In addition to this, passive fire protection gives added security to the beams and load-bearing areas of the building, which allows the fire brigade to enter the building as safely as possible.
The Building Regulations 2010 state that passive fire protection provision is required in all buildings, whether residential or non- residential, with the aim of containing, isolating and slowing down the spread of a fire.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to fire safety. Though regulations give an idea of what’s legally required, it can take an expert to help you navigate all your options and find bespoke solutions that are right for you and your unique property needs.
Used in conjunction with an active protection system, passive fire protection tools like fire doors, intumescent air transfer grilles, pipe wraps and socket box covers, are a near-invisible way of protecting your employees or ensuring that every resident is as safe as possible.