Our commitment is to promote the technology of fire containment in modern building construction through educational programs, training modules, and the development of safety standards and code provisions. These recommended guidelines are presented as part of Butler’s educational information program for Authorities, Owners, Architects, Engineers, Consultants, Contractors, and Installers.
Our credential of being NFPA member and with additional privilege of NFPA Education Section to develop and conduct dynamic fire and life safety programs provides us an excellent opportunity to share our know how with the industry professionals.
Our education and training portfolio includes Architects, Engineers, Consultants, Contractors, and Installers and Inspectors of AHJs and AAs. It covers;
Basics of Fire Protection – the Passive Fire Protection
Fire is one of the leading causes of accidental deaths worldwide – but one of the most preventable! A little precaution goes a long way.
A fire in your building could mean total devastation – get the facts on passive fire protection to minimize the spread of fire in your facilities. While every facility professional will do what he or she can to ensure that a fire never begins in the first place, the next step is knowing how to minimize its spread.
Most people are familiar with the basics of fire suppression (sprinklers, fire extinguishers, etc.), but the passive fire protection that actually contains a fire at its point of origin can be invisible and nearly forgotten – until the day you come to truly appreciate and depend on it.
Passive fire protection (PFP), despite its name, is always at work. Based on compartmentation of fire and preventing collapse through structural fire resistance, when properly installed and maintained, your building’s passive fire protection can save lives and assets, and the building itself.
What we have learned from the devastating fires across the globe is that the construction systems, especially Fire Protection Systems, must be properly Designed, Installed, Inspected and Maintained (DIIM). This philosophy for passive Fire Protection has an important role to play in the safety of buildings and their occupants many years from now.
Basic elements of Passive Fire Protection
Structural fire protection:
Structural fire protection guards essential structural components (such as structural steel and joint systems) from the effects of fire. This is accomplished with a fireproofing material (spray-on thin-film intumescents, endothermic materials like gypsum-based plasters and cementitious products, mineral wool wraps and insulation, and firepro ofing cladding) or building the structure out of concrete products. “When structural fire protection is designed and applied properly, the building’s structural integrity should be maintained when it’s exposed to fire.”
Fire barriers, firewalls, fire partitions, and smoke barriers are all included in compartmentation. Fire barriers include fire-rated walls, floors, and ceilings (often made of concrete, combination wood, gypsum, or masonry). These barriers are used to limit the spread of fire in a building and allow safe egress. Walls extend from a fire-rated floor to the fire-rated ceiling above, and continue into concealed spaces for full protection.
“Fire walls as defined by the International Building Code are built structurally stable, so even if there is collapse of a building on either side of the wall, the wall will remain standing”, says Bill McHugh, Executive Director at Firestop Contractors International Association.
“The window of evacuation time is maximized when the barriers effectively contain the fire”, says John P. Sinisi, education committee chairman at Intl. Firestop Council (IFC).
Fire doors and windows are installed in an opening of a fire barrier to maintain its fire resistance. McHugh explains, “Doors, builders’ hardware, and frames work together with the fire or smoke barrier to finish effective compartmentation”. Fire-rated glazing/glass and framing are tested as a complete assembly that maintains the protection of the fire barrier. Additionally, fire and smoke dampers (often used in duct systems) are considered “opening protection” and complete the fire barrier where air ducts penetrate fire-rated and/or smoke-resistant assemblies.
These materials are used to limit fire spread through penetrations in a fire barrier. It’s not uncommon to see a fire barrier penetrated during a minor building alteration, and then the penetrating item isn’t protected by firestopping. It can leave hidden holes in the barriers.
Other elements of PFP that warrant mentioning are cable coating (the application of fire retardants to wire and cable), joint systems (which include changes in direction between fire-separating elements and the spaces surrounded by those elements), and perimeter fire barriers (which deal with the perimeter of the floor and the exterior curtain-wall).
While passive fire protection can successfully prevent the spread of fire, it’s important to note that most professionals recommend redundancy in fire protection. In other words, a fire-sprinkler system, alarms and detection systems, and occupant education, in conjunction with passive fire-protection systems, are a safer, more balanced approach to protecting your building and the people inside.
Basics of Inspections
What is Inspection?
Careful and critical examination of materials, components, equipment and systems for verifying compliance to specific requirement set by authority
In simple words : Inspection is a direct determination of conformance
How do we do Inspections?
ASTM E2174 | Standard Practice for On-Site Inspection of Installed Fire Stops
ASTM E2393 | Standard Practice for On-Site Inspection of Fire Resistive Joint Systems and Perimeter Fire Barriers
- To ensure compliance to project specifications
- To minimize insurance premium
- To safeguard owner’s interest
Moreover, the inspection process ensures that the following situations don’t get overlooked during the construction phase of the project;