Fire Stopping Guide

Our Guide to Fire Stopping

What is fire stopping?

Fire stopping is best defined as the sealing of any openings to prevent fire (including smoke and heat) from passing through multiple building compartments. The spread of a fire is contained by creating fire resisting compartments, which subdivide the building (vertically or horizontally). Buildings must ensure that any openings and gaps are fire stopped to restrict both lateral and vertical fire spread.

The Wiki firestop definition is:

A firestop is a fire protection system made of various components used to seal openings and joints in fire-resistance rated wall or floor assemblies. For penetrating cables, these can also be called as Multi Cable Transits (MCTs). Firestops are designed to restore the continuous fire-resistance of wall or floor assemblies, impeding the spread of fire by filling the openings in them with fire-resistant materials.

download fire stopping checklist

Fire Stopping Products

pacifyre

Fire sleeves are designed to fill or seal an aperture created by pipes passing through a fire-rated wall or ceiling. In the case of plastic pipes the sleeve will crush and seal off the pipe preventing the passage of fire and smoke to the adjacent compartment. One great benefit of sleeves is that you only need one per aperture.

fire collar efc

Fire collars are a popular choice when looking at fire sealing of pipe penetrations through fire walls. They consist of a metal shell lined with intumescent. They are generally installed on both sides of the wall or the underside of flooring and simply screw into place.

Fire wraps are a quick and easy way of fire sealing pipe penetrations. They perform in a similar way to collars except they do not have the metal shell. This means that they need to be installed inside a solid construction – such as a concrete wall or floor.

Fire sealants and gap fillers expand when heated at high temperatures, to prevent the spread of fire and smoke. There are different kinds of sealants for different substrates and applications including pipes and cable penetrations.

Fire Sealing pipe penetrations

Buildings are separated into a number of fire compartments to help restrict the spread of fire. Pipework that penetrates fire compartment walls or floors must be adequately sealed to prevent the spread of smoke and fire. Read more about how to fire seal pipe penetrations and Walraven’s fire stopping solutions.

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Fire sealing cable penetrations

Cables that pass through fire compartment walls will melt in the event of fire, leaving dangerous openings through which fire and smoke can pass causing fire to spread more quickly. Find out how Walraven can help with fire stopping cable penetrations.

Read more

Understanding more about fire stopping

We understand that fire stopping can be a complex topic. Walraven’s fire stopping expert has written a collection of articles to help explain some key topics around fire stopping mechanical services. Here are a selection of articles, you can find all of them here.

What is fire stopping and why is it important for M&E installations?

In this article we explain about the importance of compartmentation and why M&E services penetrating fire compartment walls must be adequately sealed.

Read article

What is an ETA and why is it important for firestop products?

Not all firestop products have ETA documentation alongside them. Here we explain what are ETA’s and why they can be important for firestop products.

Read article

How to firestop single, multiple and mixed-service penetrations

Here we define single, multiple and mixed-service penetrations and explain the different requirements when fire stopping these different types of openings.

Read article

Talk to our fire stopping expert

If you have an enquiry about fire stopping M&E Services and would like to request a call from our fire stopping expert, simply complete the form below and we will get back to you.

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fire stopping system

How can Walraven help with fire stopping?

Fire Stopping Products

Walraven’s fire stopping products consist of a range of solutions for passive fire protection of mechanical and electrical service installations. Our range includes Pacifyre® fire sleeves, collars, wraps as well as mortars and sealants.

Our products have third party certifications, CE Marks and ETA documentation so you know you are installing products that are fit for purpose.

Compliance and Testing

Our products are tested and approved by several independent authorities throughout Europe according to EN 1366-3 and BS 476-20 amongst others. Our products also have ETA certifications and CE Marks. However, we are not just satisfied with achieving standard testing requirements. We are proud to carry out additional and bespoke testing on our firestops, to provide proof of our product suitability in multiple situations that go beyond standardised testing requirements.

Ease of Installation

We aim to design all of our products with a simple installation process. This minimises the risk of these life-saving products being installed incorrectly, saves time on site and prevents any issues arising during or after installation. The ETA documentation provides detailed installation instructions to ensure compliance. We can also provide on site training and support when needed.

Products for more complex situations

Our range of solutions includes products with features to suit more demanding installation environments. For example, if significant pipe movement is expected, a standard fire collar or wrap may not be effective. Our Pacifyre MKII Fire Sleeve is specially designed to allow for pipe movement. We also have solutions for angled pipes, cold smoke seals and with tested sound insulation.

Advice and Support

Our fire stopping specialist is ready to guide you through the selection and installation of the correct fire stop products for your project. We have a solution finder for pipe penetrations to get you started. We have a fire stopping checklist to give you some important considerations to start with, and we can also deliver a special CPD on fire stopping. Complete our enquiry form and we’ll get in touch.

Fire Rated Fixings

It’s important not to forget that fire rated fixings may also be required for M&E installations above escape routes and emergency exits. There are also additional criteria to be considered to ensure the safe installation of fire rated fixings depending on the fire rating required. Find out more in our special article on this topic.

Completed Projects

Using Walraven’s Firestop on The Shard

Standing at almost 310 metres, The Shard is one of Europe’s tallest buildings. It is home to restaurants, hospitality, offices and even retail shops. On such a large and complex building project, it was no surprise that installing a fire stop solution was not straightforward.

Originally, generic fire stop solutions were specified on this project, but some concerns were raised by the District Surveyor including:

  • How to adequately fire stop the breakouts from the riser shafts
  • Significant movement within the risers that the firestop would have to accommodate

The sub-contractor on the Shard had used the Walraven Pacifyre® MKII Fire Sleeve on a previous project, so knew it would be suitable where there was pipe movement.

The Walraven technical team spoke to the Local Authority’s District Surveyor and the consultants of The Shard. Walraven then demonstrated our firestopping solution, showing the simple installation and accommodation for pipe movement.

Subsequently, the consultants decided that the Walraven Pacifyre® MKII Fire Sleeve was the best product for the risers in The Shard.

For more information on how our fire stopping solution was used on The Shard, view the full case study here.

fire proofing buildings

Providing a firestop solution for expanding pipework

In the heart of Westminster lies Abell and Cleland, a prestigious residential development. The high rise building required products that could accommodate expanding and contracting pipes.

The pipework in the building required special supports that allowed for expansion and contraction. But also, fire seals were required where the fire rated walls had been penetrated by the pipes. There were a number of different substrates and pipework arrangements that all required fire stopping solutions.

The fixing points and slide guides provided by ourselves were able to accommodate the large pipework and allow for movement. The fire stopping product used was the Pacifyre® MKII Fire Sleeve, as it successfully allows the pipes to expand and contract whilst maintaining the fire seal.

Technical advice, design solutions and on site support were all provided throughout the project.

For more information on how our fire stopping solution was used on Abell and Cleland, view the full case study here.

fire stopping on buildings

Learn more about fire stopping solutions

‘How to’ guide on passive fire protection

Read our ‘how to’ guide on how to comply with passive fire protection regulations.

Read the guide

Walraven fire stopping products

View all of the Walraven firestop products

View all products

The Walraven fire protection brochure

To see a full overview of Walraven’s fire protection system download our brochure.

Download brochure

Fire Stopping Checklist

Download a copy of our 15 considerations you should make when looking for a firestop.

Download the checklist

fire stopping fire protection download

Other useful fire stopping information

Videos

The Association for Specialist Fire Protection shows a visual representation of the importance that compartmentation has in preventing the spread of fire. They also show the importance of having correctly tested products in compliance with the correct application. Watch the video.

Another ASFP video shows the importance of firestops in buildings. Watch the video.

Fire Associations

The Intumescent Fire Seals Association (IFSA) provides technical advice and guidance on all matters relating to fire seals and penetration sealing problems. Read their guide to using intumescent penetration seals.

Download the ASFP Red Book on fire stopping and penetration seals. The publication analyses passive fire protection and sealing in compliance with building regulations. Download the book.

Advice

The Life Safety Services posted an article which explains the differences between passive fire protection and active fire protection, and why they’re both extremely important. Read the article.

Other useful pages

The basics of passive fire protection article by buildings.com will help you understand the importance of fire protection. Read the article.

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