What is Passive Fire Protection (PFP)
Updated: Feb 8, 2019
Passive fire protection is a vital component of any fire safety strategy. It is built into the structure of a building to safeguard people’s lives and limit the financial impact of damage to buildings and their contents. It does this by:
Limiting the spread of fire and smoke by containing it in a single compartment
Protecting escape routes for essential means of escape
protecting the building structure thereby ensuring it’s sustainability
Passive Fire Protection is built into the structure to provide stability and into walls and floors to separate the building into areas of manageable risk - compartments. These areas are designed to restrict the growth and spread of fire allowing occupants to escape and offering protection for firefighters. Such protection is either provided by the materials from which the building is constructed, or is added to the building to enhance its fire resistance.
Many construction materials have some natural resistance to fire and as such already have built-in fire protection. An example of such a material would be clay bricks, which, when constructed to form a wall is fire-resisting in its own right. Other materials e.g. timber used in the construction of a timber floor may have little such built-in fire protection and may require additional protection e.g. in the form of fire resisting boards fixed to the underside of the ceiling below.
Fire resistance may be enhanced by the use of added materials or components that are known by the collective term passive fire protection (PFP).
PFP products include:
Fire protection to the structural frame of the building
Fire-resisting doors and fire door furniture
Compartment walls and floors
Fire-resisting walls and partitions
Fire doors and hardware
Industrial fire shutters and curtains
Fire fighting shafts and stairwells
Fire-resisting dampers (mechanical or intumescent) used in horizontal or vertical air distribution ducts
Fire-resisting service ducts and shafts
Linear gap seals
Penetration seals for pipes, cables and other services
Fire-resisting air transfer grilles (mechanical or intumescent)
The building envelope, e.g. fire-resisting external walls, curtain walls etc.
Reaction to fire coatings
Hydrocarbon structural fire protection systems