Fire protection basics

What is passive fire protection and how does it work?

Passive fire protection is a form of fire safety provision that remains dormant or inert during normal conditions but becomes active in a fire situation. It is an integral component of structural fire protection in a building and is designed to contain fires or slow their spread.

The purpose of passive fire protection is to contain the spread of fire for sufficient time to permit:

  • The safe evacuation of all occupants of the premises

The arrival of the fire services

Is passive fire protection a requirement in the UK?

Passive fire protection provision is required in all buildings, whether domestic or non-domestic, with the purpose of containing and retarding the spread of fire. There are several methods and products available that will achieve the required standard of fire resistance in existing buildings, some of which may be more appropriate than others.

Who is responsible for passive fire protection?

The person responsible for fire safety also has a duty of care towards any members of the emergency services, e.g. fire fighters, who may have to enter the premises during the course of a fire. Slowing the spread of flames, smoke and hot gases, passive fire protection also serves to ensure the building remains as safe as possible for entry in this situation.

What is an intumescent?

An intumescent product contains a substance which swells as a result of exposure to heat. The swelling of the substance leads to an increase in volume and decrease in density.

What is fire resistance?

Fire resistance is the property of a material that prevents the passage of gases, smoke and flames.

What are fire classifications and what do they mean?

E – Integrity, the time it takes for fire to physically spread through a fire seal.  At the point of failure one can see the glow of the fire through the seal, flames coming through or via a cotton pad which catches fire when held close to the seal by the test technician.

I – Insulation, the temperature, measured on the non-fire side has increased by 180°C on either the fire seal or the services. This is measured through many thermocouples placed in strategic locations. The intention is to replicate the lowest possible temperature that can actually start a fire, even though the fire itself has not passed through the fire seal. This is the more difficult classification to achieve.

The letters are followed by a number, which is how long in minutes the integrity and insulation were maintained. For instance, the classification E 60 is integrity for one hour, whilst EI 120 is both integrity and insulation for two hours.

Can I substitute or mix manufacturers’ products?

No, this is not recommended. Substituting and mixing different manufacturers products will compromise the integrity of the firestop system, risking life and assets.

Firestopping basics

What is firestop and how does it work?

Firestop is a fire protection system that seals openings to prevent the passage of gases, smoke and flames from passing through compartments walls and floors

Is firestopping compulsory?

Yes, firestopping is compulsory in the UK.

What is a penetration seal?

Penetration seals are a passive fire protection system that prevent the passage of gases, smoke and flames between walls and floors where services such as cables, pipes or ventilation ducts pass through them.

Protecta passive fire protection products

Where are Protecta products manufactured?

Protecta products are manufactured at the Polyseam factory in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK.

What products are available in the Eco-Foil range?

The products available in our Eco-Foil range include FR Acrylic, FR IPT and FR Graphite and come in 300ml foils, ready to be inserted into an empty Eco-Cartridge.

How does the Eco-Foil system work?

The system works by inserting your selected 300ml foil into the reusable Eco-Cartridge which fits into a standard skeleton gun. The cartridge has a double-ended plunger, so once the foil is empty, remove the cap and nozzle and re-fill the opposite end with a new 300ml foil. Simply replace the cap and nozzle at the opposite end and the system is ready for use!

How long before I need to replace Protecta firestop products?

The system works by inserting your selected 300ml foil into the reusable Eco-Cartridge which fits into a standard skeleton gun. The cartridge has a double-ended plunger, so once the foil is empty, remove the cap and nozzle and re-fill the opposite end with a new 300ml foil. Simply replace the cap and nozzle at the opposite end and the system is ready for use!

Approvals, Certifications & Training

What certifications are available for Protecta products?

The Protecta® fire stopping range has ETA certifications and the CE-marks for Europe and Africa, UL-EU International certifications for Asia and South America and local certifications for the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand and Australia.

What is a CE mark?

CE mark stands for ‘Conformite Europeenne’ which is a French phrase but required by the European Union. A CE mark is a verification by a manufacturer that their product meets EU regulations in safety, health and environmental requirements.

Are all Protecta products CE marked?

Most Protecta products are CE marked, excluding Steel Paint FR-1, Mineral Fibre Bio and FR Damper.

What is declaration of performance?

The Construction Products Regulation requires manufacturers to supply a Declaration of Performance for each product they sell which outlines how the product performs when they are CE marked.

What is an ETA?

An ETA is a European Technical Assessment which is an approval received on testing to agreed European requirements.

Do Protecta offer training on their products?

An ETA is a European Technical Assessment which is an approval received on testing to agreed European requirements.

Where can I find documentation for Protecta products?

All product documentation including technical and safety data sheets, certifications, declaration of performance (DOP) can be downloaded from the relevant product pages here

I have a fire seal that is not mentioned in any of the solutions, what should I do?

Please contact us and we will assess if we can make an engineering judgement.

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