passive fire protection

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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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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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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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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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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