Passive fire protection

Passive fire protection

Passive fire protection (PFP)

It involves components adopted in an attempt to contain fires or slow the spread of fire. It is one of the three forms of structural fire protection, along with active fire protection and fire prevention.

The purpose of PFP is to maximise the time available to evacuate a property, or prevent a fire from taking hold in the first place.

PFP measures are intended to contain a fire in the fire compartment of origin, thus limiting the spread of fire and smoke for a limited period of time, as determined the local building code and fire code. PFP measures, such as firestops, fire walls, and fire doors, are tested to determine the fire-resistance rating of the final assembly, usually expressed in terms of hours of fire resistance (e.g., ⅓, ¾, 1, 1½, 2, 3, 4 hour).

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Where passive fire protection can be used

Where is it used?

• High rise buildings
• Hotels
• Factories
• Historic buildings
• Hospitals
• Care homes
• Schools
• Supermarkets
• Tunnels
• Car Parks
• On-shore hydrocarbon
• Off-shore hydrocarbon
• Railways installations

Areas of Passive Fire Protection

There are four (4) major areas of passive fire protection, they are:

  1. Structural fire protection: Structural fire protection guards essential structural components (such as structural steel and joint systems) from the effects of fire.
  2. Compartmentalization: This involves the fire barriers, firewalls, fire partitions, and smoke barriers are all included in compartmentation.
  3. Opening protection: Fire doors and windows are installed in an opening of a fire barrier to maintain its fire resistance.
  4. Firestopping materials: These materials are used to limit fire spread through penetrations in a fire barrier.

Read More: Areas of fire protection


Passive fire protection regulations

These are some regulations that control the fire endurance testing certification of the passive fire protection components.

Examples of testing that underlies certification listing includes:

  • Europe: BS EN 1364
  • Netherlands: NEN 6068
  • Germany: DIN 4102
  • United Kingdom: BS 476
  • Canada: ULC-S101
  • United States: ASTM E119


Further reading

18 Important office fire safety tips

Fire Safety Engineering: Why you should enroll & Where

Fire safety plan & PDF Template


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