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Who is Responsible for Passive Fire Protection?

Who is Responsible for Passive Fire Protection?

Arguably, a clear understanding of who holds responsibility for passive fire protection is as important to the safety of employees as its implementation. Fire safety is visible, it requires the provision of visible tools – fire extinguishers, for example. PRP, though, is integrated into the structure of the building. It’s largely invisible and can be overlooked.

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How Does Fire Affect Structural Steel?

How Does Fire Affect Structural Steel?

How Does Fire Affect Structural Steel?

The versatility, strength and sustainability of structural steel has ensured its phenomenal market share over the past two decades. Architects enjoy the freedom it affords them, and building owners appreciate both its aesthetic possibilities and the relative ease of construction where steel is used.

Less widely understood, however is the way in which fire affects the integrity of structural steel. Knowing how a building component behaves in the extreme temperatures caused by fire, provides an important insight into the kinds of fire protection required to protect it. In this blog, we consider effective passive fire protection solutions for structural steel.

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What is a Fire Door?

What is a Fire Door?

What is a Fire Door and What Part Does it Play in Fire Protection?

The fire door is a success story! Why? Because they’re now part and parcel of the work landscape, and – when professionally installed and maintained – they save lives in the event of fire. Over the past few years though, their success has been somewhat tarnished by the fact that 76% of fire doors were found to be ‘not fit for purpose’. Inspectors stated that their biggest concern was the lack of knowledge people had about the function and purpose of fire doors.

This blog aims to put that right! The Wallace Fire Protection team has come up with a concise guide to the question: What is a Fire Door?

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What is the Fire-Resistance of Building Materials?

What is the Fire-Resistance of Building Materials?

As creators of innovative passive fire protection solutions, we work every day with fire protection walls, ceilings and blast resistant panels. The development of a fire-resistance strategy isn’t just about specialist products though. The construction materials used throughout the building all need to play their part in stopping the spread of fire.

In this blog we take a look at the inherent fire-resistance of 6 construction materials that are used in the vast majority of the UK’s buildings.

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Fire Protective Coatings

Fire Protective Coatings

What Are Fire Protective Coatings?

Protecting people in a building where a fire is raging is hard. Which is why fire protection is ‘baked in’ to the design of new buildings. In England all new builds, refurbishments or extensions – regardless of whether they’re domestic or non-domestic, must adhere to The Building Regulations 2010, Approved Document B. This covers the requirement for structural fire resistance and the use of fire stopping, or fire protective coatings:

“every joint or imperfection of fit, or opening to allow services to pass through the element, should be adequately protected by sealing or fire stopping so that the fire resistance of the element is not impaired.”

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Promat DURASTEEL® Blast Protection

Promat DURASTEEL® Blast Protection

Wallace Installs Promat DURASTEEL® Blast Protection

In the vast majority of UK buildings, passive fire protection is sufficient to contain fire, and allow for safe evacuation. There are, however, a number of facilities that require additional blast protection. These are premises which house combustible fuels or materials, or provide the location for high voltage power transformers. These require Promat DURASTEEL® blast protection to protect the building, employees and infrastructure from unintentional explosions.

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What is Firestopping in Construction?

What is Firestopping in Construction?

Firestopping is a critical ingredient in passive fire protection. If it is neglected, or poorly installed a compartmentation system will fail quite quickly. Fire and smoke will spread to outside the area of origin and cause intense damage throughout the building to both the structure, and the occupants. In this blog, the Wallace team considers the role firestopping plays in creating structural resilience and saving lives.

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What is Fire Compartmentation?

What is Fire Compartmentation?

Why Fire Compartmentation Saves Lives

The tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire on 14th June 2017 could have been avoided if the external cladding had not used aluminium as its primary material. Aluminium has high conductivity; its presence aided the trajectory of the fire from one storey of the building to another, and through the windows. As a result, fire compartmentation at Grenfell was fatally breached and lives were lost.

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Passive Fire Protection System

Passive Fire Protection System

How Does a Passive Fire Protection System Work?

The goal of a passive fire protection system is always to save lives, and keep buildings standing. The term ‘passive’ is used to describe a strategic use of structural design to achieve this aim. Using compartmentation, fire resistant materials, and fireproofing to seal cavities and cracks, passive fire protection contains the conflagration, impedes the spread of smoke and creates a safe passage for evacuation.

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Why Are Fire Doors Important?

Why Are Fire Doors Important?

The Vital Role Fire Doors Play in Passive Fire Protection

Every business owner is aware that they have a legal responsibility to ensure a safe and secure environment for visitors and clients. This includes fire prevention and the installation of passive fire protection. Should a fire break out, internal fire doors play a vital role in stopping the spread of flames and smoke for a minimum of 30 minutes. This allows time for a safe evacuation of the building.

Why are fire doors important? The simple answer is that they save lives.

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How is Fire Protection Different From Fire Prevention and Suppression?

How is Fire Protection Different From Fire Prevention and Suppression?

In order to have in place a comprehensive strategy in the event of fire, buildings require fire protection, fire suppression and fire prevention components in place. Each of these terms describe a discrete function which, when combined, minimise the risk of harm to people, plant and building structure. In this blog the Wallace fire protection team considers the contribution each system makes in the process of safeguarding against fire.

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Choosing Between Intumescent or Cementitious Fire Protection

Choosing Between Intumescent or Cementitious Fire Protection

Whilst many business decisions carry a high level of risk, choosing the wrong kind of fire protection can be fatal. Being able to access specialist guidance and advice on which products are most appropriate for your needs is, therefore, vital. In this blog we take a look at two kinds of fire protection used by industry, infrastructure projects and commercial businesses: intumescent paint and cementitious coating.

Wallace Fire Protection provides passive fire protection to utilities, construction and power generation industries. It’s our job to ensure that the structural elements of a building or structure are protected in the event of a fire, or explosion. This protects lives, maintains plant operation and facilitates a quick return to business. Choosing between intumescent or cementitious fire protection is, therefore, integral to what we do.

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Passive Fire Protection in High-Rise Buildings

Passive Fire Protection in High-Rise Buildings

Passive Fire Protection in High-Rise Buildings

The spectre of the Grenfell fire disaster back in June 2017 requires that we shine a spotlight on the ways in which we protect the lives of residents living in high-rise buildings. The ongoing inquiry into the disaster has also highlighted need for us to learn urgent lessons from this tragedy. These should then be applied to how we construct tower blocks for future use, and protect those living in existing high rise buildings.

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The Difference Between Active and Passive Fire Protection

The Difference Between Active and Passive Fire Protection

The Difference Between Active and Passive Fire Protection

For most people fire protection means fire extinguishers or fire alarms. These, however, are the most visible elements of fire protection, whilst being just a small part of any comprehensive fire protection solution. There are two components that make up fire protection; active and passive. The difference between active and passive fire protection has nothing to do with which is more important. Both are vital to saving lives.

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4 Secondary Effects Fire Can Have on Your Business

4 Secondary Effects Fire Can Have on Your Business

4 Secondary Effects Fire Can Have on Your Business

The very thought of a fire in a business setting is terrifying. Our imagination goes to the evacuation of employees, or the loud arrival of the fire service as flames show through the windows. This, alongside damage to the building and business content, is the immediate impact a fire can have. Devastating as it may be, however, it represents the beginning and not the end of a fire’s consequences.

As fire protection specialists, Wallace goal is to mitigate effectively against a whole range of risks to business. Our job is to ensure that fire protection materials contain the fire, provide safe evacuation, and safeguard the future of the building and the business. In this blog we look at 4 secondary effects fire can have on your business, if fire protection mitigation has not taken place.

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Firestopping

Firestopping

Why Firestopping is Crucial

The design of commercial and industrial buildings is now required to take into account fire protection measures, both active and passive. Active fire protection includes systems that are activated in the case of fire – such as sprinklers, or extinguishers. Passive fire protection is part of the structural design, and its purpose is to contain the fire and manage its impact for up to 4 hours.

Passive fire protection materials include; fire protection barriers, fire and blast panels, intumescent paint, and firestopping, or penetration sealing. The goal of fire protection is threefold:

  1. Provide time and evacuation routes for the safe passage of employees from the building.
  2. Protect critical plant and maintain the structural integrity of the building.
  3. Allow fire fighters access to the source of the fire.

In this blog, we shall look at the crucial role firestopping plays in fire protection.

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Structural Fire Protection

Structural Fire Protection

Structural Fire Protection for Steel Frame Buildings

Over recent decades the UK has seen sharp growth in the popularity of steel frame construction. Steel provides a range of benefits to both architects and the construction industry. These include a reduced build schedule, leading to enhanced cost-effectiveness, and increased design flexibility. The fact that 70% of multi-storey buildings are now constructed using steel, underlines the impact steel frame buildings are having across the UK.

Wallace Fire Protection designers and installers regularly create structural fire protection for steel frame buildings. No matter the complexity, or function of the building, our standard is always the same. Fire protection is required to guarantee that, in the event of a fire, the structural integrity of the building will be maintained until all occupants have evacuated, and fire containment measures are on site and operational.

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Fire Protection is a Balance of Active and Passive Components

Fire Protection is a Balance of Active and Passive Components

Fire Protection is a Balance of Active and Passive Components

The test of a building’s fire protection design is ultimately its performance in case of a fire. You would expect that occupants of the building are able to evacuate safely, that the spread of fumes or flames is effectively minimised, and that fire teams are able to access the premises safely. Effective fire protection is a blend of both passive and active components, with the design tailored to a specific building, and its usage.

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UK Fire Door Regulations

UK Fire Door Regulations

UK Fire Door Regulations

Keeping people safe in a fire emergency requires passive fire protection to do its job effectively. This means that compartmentalisation contains the fire within a specific area of the building. Fire stopping arrests the spread of smoke or toxic fumes. Finally, the structure of the building is protected against collapse as a result of extreme temperatures. Passive fire protection provides a guaranteed period in which people can evacuate the building safely.

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Fire Protection Services

Fire Protection Services

Professional Fire Protection Services

Building owners and managers are required by Fire Safety Legislation to assume responsibility for fire safety on their premises. This includes carrying out regular risk assessments on both active and passive fire protection installed within the building. Active fire protection includes fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems (requiring active intervention for use), whilst passive fire protection will be integrated into the structure of the building.

The function of passive fire protection is to contain and manage the spread of fire, smoke or toxic fumes in order to allow for an orderly evacuation of the building, and the arrival of emergency services. The design and installation of passive fire protection materials requires specialist contractors with a proven track record in the field. This is because all premises offer specific challenges which need to be factored into effective fire protection.

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DURASTEEL Fire Protection

DURASTEEL® Fire Protection

DURASTEEL® Fire Protection

In a world where fire is always a significant risk to business and industry, the management of that risk is of prime importance. It’s impossible to eliminate the risk of fire completely, but fire protection design and installation can significantly reduce the risk to life, buildings and critical functions. Wallace Fire Protection Ltd  is committed to providing DURASTEEL® to UK utilities, construction, pharmaceuticals and nuclear power generation.

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Cementitious Fireproofing Materials

Cementitious Fireproofing Materials

Cementitious Fireproofing Materials

When Wallace design specialists develop a bespoke fire protection system for a building, they are guided by three clear aims:

  • Preventing the spread of fire to allow for evacuation
  • Allowing fire services access to the fire
  • Protecting the structural integrity of the building

The ability of the structural foundations to withstand a blast, or fire, is critical both to the safety of people inside, and to the long-term prospects of the building once the fire is quelled.

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Is Fireproof the Same as Fire Resistant

Why Terminology Matters in Fire Protection

Why Terminology Matters in Fire Protection

Ever heard that phrase: “Careless Words Cost Lives”? It was originally a WW2 warning to take care who you talked to, but it’s equally true when discussing the terminology around fire protection. In this blog we take a look at the words and phrases that are used to refer to fire protection materials. And we give a few tips on how to cut through the ‘marketing’ to ensure that a product actually does what it says it does.

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Design Principles for Passive Fire Protection

Design Principles For Passive Fire Protection

Design Principles For Passive Fire Protection

Wallace designs and installs bespoke passive fire protection systems for businesses, construction, utilities and power generation. In every case our goal is to delay the spread of fire long enough to allow for the safe evacuation of the building, and for the fire services to attend. The way we do this is by keeping the fire contained within smoke and fire-resistant compartments.

This larger goal is guided by a set of principles which are applied in any design process. These will always be balanced with active fire protection systems and will include:

  • The use of fire barriers which resist flames and insulate against heat
  • Compartmentalisation to stop the spread of fire
  • Protection against the collapse of the structure
  • Minimisation of the spread of smoke
  • Reducing the risk of damage to adjacent buildings
  • Ensuring access for fire services
  • Consideration of risks caused by water damage
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5 Considerations When Designing and Installing Industrial Fire Partitions

5 Considerations When Designing and Installing Industrial Fire Partitions

Industrial Fire Partitions

The role of industrial fire panels is to create an effective defence against the rapid spread of flames through the building. The installation of such panels has to be tailored to the contextual industrial environment. One of the major tasks when sub-dividing warehouse space into small units, for example, is to ensure that each of the partition walls provides the required level of resistance to fire.

All passive fire protection works in concert with active fire systems such as sprinklers, or fire alarms.  The aim of all fire protection systems is to provide stable conditions for an orderly evacuation, to allow for firefighter access, and to preserve the structural integrity of the building wherever possible.

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How Can Fire Cause Business Interruptions

Fire is Number One Cause of Business Interruption

Fire is Number One Cause of Business Interruption

When you start a business, the possibility that it could be destroyed, or severely impacted by fire is not likely to be uppermost in your thoughts. And yet, planning for fire as a business interruption is a key component to future-proofing your company. Fire is the most common cause of business interruption, globally, and a failure to plan for business recovery after a fire or explosion could cost you your company.

In 2018 there were over 13,000 non-residential fires in the UK. Speaking during Business Safety Week 2019, Lee Shears, Head of Protection at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service warned:

“Fires can have a devastating effect on businesses and 80% of companies who do not recover in a month after, are likely to go out of business.”

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How Partitions Keep Fire Contained

How Partitions Keep Fire Contained

How Partitions Keep Fire Contained

Passive fire protection has as its goal the creation of structural defences against the spread of fire through a building. Compartmentation is a key element in achieving this. A building is sub-divided into a number of compartments using horizontal and vertical partitions, made of fire resistant materials. The purpose of compartmentation is to contain the spread of fire for a designated period of time during which an orderly evacuation can take place and firefighters can access the building.

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Passive Fire Protection and The Building Regulations

Passive Fire Protection and The Building Regulations

Passive Fire Protection and The Building Regulations

In the event of a fire, a building needs both active and passive fire protection to ensure effective evacuation and access for firefighters. Active fire protection includes sprinkler systems or fire extinguishers – they’re systems that require ‘action’ to prevent the spread of smoke and flames. Passive fire protection is integrated into the structure of the building. It remains inert until a fire breaks out, at which point it works to contain it.

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The importance of passive fire protection in the workplace

The Importance of Passive Fire Protection In the Workplace

The Importance of Passive Fire Protection in the Workplace

For employees, fire safety tends to focus on active fire protection – extinguishers, alarms and sprinklers. These are only half the story, though. Life-saving fire stopping solutions require both active, and passive fire protection to be effective.

UK government statistics show that Fire & Rescue Services attended 15,577 non-dwelling fires in the year 2017/18. 20 fatalities were recorded, as a result of fire, and 994 non-fatal casualties. In the majority of the fires attended, lives were saved as a direct result of passive fire protection enabling the containment of the fire within one area of the building.

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Cable Duct Sealing is Key to Passive Fire Solutions

Cable Duct Sealing is Key to Passive Fire Solutions

Cable Duct Sealing is Key to Passive Fire Solutions

A passive fire solution doesn’t seek to stop a workplace blaze in its tracks, rather the goal is to contain the smoke and flames. This delivers two key benefits. First, it allows for an orderly evacuation from the building. Second, the structural integrity of the building is protected. Where buildings have passive fire protection installed, the recovery process, after a fire event, tends to be quicker, and less expensive.

Wallace Fire Protection designs passive fire protection systems for utilities, power generation, construction and high risk environments across the UK. Their solutions will normally incorporate a range of materials including:

Our aim, when designing a passive fire protection system, is to provide clients with a designated time frame during which the fire will be contained, evacuation can take place, and the structural and plant integrity is maintained.

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GSK Irvine, Fendolite Application

GSK Irvine, Fendolite Application

Case Study – GSK Irvine, Fendolite Application

Wallace recently installed VICUCLAD® fire protection board in the Decanter Hall at GlaxoSmithKline’s Irvine plant in Ayreshire. Following on from this work, we were asked to provide fire protection for Process Vessels located in the Decanter Hall.

A Process Vessel is used an a range of industries where there’s a need to manage pressure and temperature. Their uses include storage, chemical change, holding heat or agitation. In this instance the Decanter Hall vessels required fire protection against the outbreak of a fully developed hydrocarbon pool fire for a period of 120 minutes.

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What is intumescent coating for steel

What is intumescent coating for steel?

What is Intumescent Coating for Steel?

Intumescent coating, or paint, is designed to swell to 50 times its own thickness when subjected to temperatures over 120°C. As the coating swells it forms a carbon layer which thermally insulates the steel structure it is protecting. The goal of an intumescent paint  application is to keep high temperatures, caused by fire, away from the steel members for between 30-120 minutes.

The critical failure point for the structural steel framework of a building is between 550 – 620°C. Once the steel reaches these temperatures it will begin to buckle and bend, with a high risk of collapse. The purpose of intumescent coating is to maintain the steelwork below this temperature, in a condition of ‘elasticity’. This describes a state in which the steel will bend or deflect, but will crucially return to its original form once the heat reduces.

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Case Study – GSK Irvine, VICUCLAD® Installation

Case Study – GSK Irvine, VICUCLAD® Installation

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) opened its Scottish manufacturing plant in Irvine, Ayreshire nearly 50 years ago. It’s one of two plants located in Scotland and, between them, they have 800 employees. The Irvine plant produces the active ingredients which are use in GSK antibiotics. Around 2,500 tons of these are manufactured each year. That’s enough to provide 700 million people globally with an average course of antibiotics.

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Fire Stopping Regulations UK

Fire Stopping Regulations UK

What are the Legal Fire Stopping Regulations in the UK?

The rationale for passive fire protection is watertight when it comes to protecting employees and member of the public from being trapped in a burning building. But, more than that, the installation of PFP precautions in now a legal requirement.

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Passive Fire Protection Contractors

Passive Fire Protection Contractors

Dunbar Wallace are Specialist Passive Fire Protection Contractors

Passive fire protection describes materials which are built into the fabric of buildings with the sole aim of resisting the spread of fire. The role of passive fire materials is to allow the maximum amount of time for evacuation from the building, or to stop the fire in its tracks. Why passive? Because materials described in this way require no external stimulation to activate.

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Role Sprinklers Play in Reducing Fire Fatalities

The Role Sprinklers Play in Reducing Fire Fatalities

The Role Sprinklers Play in Reducing Fire Fatalities

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has just completed its activities around National Sprinkler Week. This event, supported by fire services across the UK, focuses on educating and raising awareness of the benefits of fitting fire sprinkler services. This year, National Sprinkler Week also heralded the publication of important new research in this area.

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Wallace Fire Protection – Wates House, 22 Gordon St, London.

 

E240 Durasteel Blast Ceiling


20160223_110813_resizedDunbar Wallace have recently had the pleasure to be involved in the £30million refurbishment of the historic Wates House.  An E240 Durasteel blast ceiling to UKPN specification was installed in the Transformer Room.

The success of the Durasteel installation has led to the Fire Door order being placed

If you are interested in learning more about Wallace Fire Protection’s services please contact our friendly office today on 01908 109045 or dwfpl@dunbarwallacefire.co.uk

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fire protection

Wallace Fire Protection Case Study — Heysham Nuclear Power Station

Wallace Fire Protection are the leading provider of passive fire protection systems in the United Kingdom

We specialise in designing innovative, robust, cost-effective and reliable fire protection systems for a wide variety of operating environments including factories, power generation facilities, petrochemical plants, construction sites and warehouses.

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