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.
Fire stopping Products
Fire sleeves are designed to fill or seal an aperture created by pipes or cables passing through a fire-rated wall or ceiling. In a fire situation the sleeve expands to fill the available space between the service and the substrate. 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.
Fire collars are designed to maintain fire resistance levels. They do this by surrounding pipes and other penetrations with intumescent compounds that expand throughout the fire. This prevents flames and hot gases passing into other compartments.
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.
Considerations to make when selecting passive fire protection products
Ultimately the selection and correct installation of a fire stop can potentially save people’s lives. It is therefore a decision that should involve qualified parties to ensure effective fire stopping solutions are specified. All buildings are different, and it is important to consider not just the product you require, but also the environment and situation into which it is being installed. Each construction situation can be different, so simply using the same firestop you have used on a previous build may not be the answer.
With the huge range of fire protection products that are now required by building regulations, it can be difficult to understand which ones you need. The simple answer is, all of them. A functional firestop system is only made when a combination of products are all working together. Without the use of one single product, the rest of the fireproofing system could fail.
Talk to our fire stopping experts
The Walraven team have over 30 years’ experience in fire stopping. They have worked on huge fire stopping projects such as The Shard and are experts in both new build projects and remediation. They are willing to discuss your fire stopping projects and assist you with problem-solving, technical design and more.
How can Walraven help with fire stopping?
|Fire Protection System
Walraven’s Fire Protection System consists of a range of solutions for passive fire protection of mechanical and electrical service installations. Our range includes Pacifyre® fire sleeves and fire collars, fire protection mortars and sealants. As well as excellent fire seals, our products also provide hot and cold smoke seals and noise insulation.
The Walraven fire stopping products can be used to retrofit in buildings where inadequate fireproofing solutions have been installed. This is an added benefit of our products being incredibly easy to install. Our fire systems brochure shows the simple installation provided by Walraven’s Pacifyre® firestops; even when retro fitting.
We are always willing to provide you with valuable advice to ensure that building regulations are met. Guidance can be found online in our ‘how to’ guides, or you can always speak to a member of our technical team.
We recognise that sourcing and specifying fire stop solutions can be complex. Our team of Technical Support Advisers provide a FREE project support service to our customers including consultation and problem solving to find the most effective solutions for your construction challenges.
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:
The sub-contractor on the Shard had used the Walraven Pacifiyre® 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.
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.