Engineering

Clark Rosales December 18, 2019

Why Your Building Needs a Firestop

Why do you need a firestop system?

  1. To Control Fire
  2. To Keep Your Building Safe
  3. To Comply with Fire Safety Guidelines

 

Any building manager knows the importance of building life safety systems during construction. Installing these systems in your building ensures the safety of your occupants and the building’s structural integrity.

Fire-stopping is part of a fire protection system. It’s made of different components, and it’s used to seal joints and openings in fire-resistant walls or floors. Sealing these joints can be used anywhere. It can be used on a roof that meets a wall structure and more. Fire-stopping contains the fire once it starts in an area. It stops it from traveling from one portion of the building to another. This system concentrates on compartmentalizing the fire within one space. Areas such as plumbing that goes through walls and other lines that are prone to smoke penetration are the areas that need a firestop installed.

The spread of fire can be restricted when you integrate this with your current fire protection system. Here are some reasons why your building needs a firestop system.

 

To Control Fire

steel production in electric furnaces

Fire is an unpredictable, destructive element. A lot of homeowners and buildings can be a victim to the destruction fires bring. It can be costly to recover and rebuild from fire damage. Instead of allowing the fire to spread from one area to another, installing a firestop can prevent this from happening. There are essential components you need to install to ensure that your firestop is functional.

First, you need to protect your perimeter slab edge. This edge is the main are for fire and smoke to spread across different rooms. The slab edge firestop is the extension of a floor slab’s fire-resistance rating. Having one installed in the edges of your room can prevent smoke and fire from spreading rapidly.

Next, you need to protect your walls. Curtain walls are walls that are thin and framed with aluminum. This wall has in-fills of metal panels, small stone, or glass. When aluminum begins to melt, the melted aluminum acts as a fire-resistant or fire-retardant insulation. This is why many buildings choose to use aluminum composite panels for their walls. Curtain walls can do the same for your building to help it resist fire.

Adding a firestop at the top of your wall and floor assembly can stop fire and smoke from spreading between different floors and rooms. You will need to fill the gaps with a fireproof compound to prevent the spread of flames and smoke. The joints of the building are essential, as well. Joint firestops protect the joints between your walls and floor assemblies.

Mechanical, HVAC, or plumbing can leave building openings very vulnerable. The structural integrity of your building becomes susceptible to fire. To solve this, pipe penetration firestop seals opportunities created by the construction in fire-rated flooring or walls.

 

To Keep Your Building Safe

Firestops keep your building safe. As mentioned earlier, fire is very destructive. If it gets in the way of your operations, it can disrupt your workflow and cost a lot of money. Building safety isn’t just a luxury, but it’s required by law for each building manager to have a fire protection system functioning in their building. To prevent damage as much as possible, holding off the fire must be done. To hold off fires, penetration sealants can be used around pipes, tubing, and ducts to hold off the fire for up to four hours. This sealant swells up when the fire is near, and this prevents it from going through cracks.

Significant gaps and spaces need protection as well. Pillows are a firestop that can temporarily protect these enormous gaps. It resembles your traditional pillow with an added fire-resistant rating. It’s usually made of rock wool batts, vermiculite, or intumescent foam rubber. Pillows are used for holes in walls or within the floors to provide extra protection.

 

To Comply with Fire Safety Guidelines

To Comply with Fire Safety Guidelines

It’s required by law for all buildings to have their fire protection system. A lot of building owners tend to overlook fire safety, but it can save a lot of lives should an emergency ever occur. Due to different climate and geography, some places are more prone to fire. Fire can also occur if the equipment isn’t properly maintained. For this exact purpose, fire safety guidelines must be followed to protect your building occupants. Combining a sound fire protection system and firestop can prevent accidents and lessen the impact of emergencies.

 

Key Takeaway

Building life safety systems ensure that the building’s structural integrity and building occupants are safe during emergencies. Emergencies and accidents caused by fire can put your building in danger if not carefully isolated. To isolate and prevent the spread of fire, you will need to use a firestop. Whether you’re upgrading or constructing a new building, remember to keep this in mind. Give your structure the protection it needs by using firestops.