In early June we attended and sponsored a round table discussion event with H&V News, to discuss issues around fire safety and best practice in fire protection for building services. Coverage of the event has been written up in the July edition of H&V News and is worth a read.
The event was attended by a range of industry professionals and experts including ourselves (representing manufacturers of passive fire protection products), Contractors NG Bailey and Hargreaves Ductwork, and experts from Firesafe, IFC (International Fire Consultants) and BESA. The discussion centered on the issues around how penetrations for building services such as pipework and ductwork are rendered fire-safe, and who takes responsibility for this. Some of the points discussed are summarized below:
It was widely agreed that building designers and architects should engage with manufacturers and fire safety experts at the design stage of projects to consider passive fire protection requirements. This will allow for the right systems to be specified to ensure the best fire protection is in place, and avoid the fire protection element becoming an afterthought on a project – which unfortunately, can often be the case.
The representative from the IFC commented that he had too frequently seen that a lack of understanding of the issues around passive fire protection can often give rise to poor installation of fire protection solutions on site. Companies often look at fire and ductwork in isolation, and a lack of anyone willing to take responsibility for all aspects of fire safety on construction sites leads poor installation of fire protection systems and a culture of no-one taking overall responsibility.
The discussion concluded that something has to be done to improve co-ordination among the various stakeholders in a building project and that there needs to be a collective responsibility towards fire safety to have the best chance of providing effective fire protection on buildings.Read a fire stopping case study from Walraven Read our fire stopping guide